University of the Pacific

 

Location

Biology Building, Room 101

Start Date

5-10-2017 6:00 PM

End Date

5-10-2017 7:00 PM

Description

From the Stono Rebellion in 1739 to the revolt aboard the ship Amistad in 1839, from Nat Turner’s uprising in 1831 to the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859—on land and on sea, in U.S. territory and international spaces—slaves and abolitionist allies resisted the legal doctrines and martial enforcement of the slave system. In this presentation, we will explore how nineteenth-century literature imagined and depicted slave rebellion, particularly in the decade before the Civil War and in the aftermath of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. A component of the Great Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act strengthened a set of legal structures and practices that had developed historically with the institution of slavery in the United States. The 1850 legislation was particularly important because it intensified and extended the reach of previous fugitive slave laws, notably the Act of 1793. The law not only required federal marshals and other officials to arrest suspected fugitive slaves, it simultaneously mandated that U.S. citizens comply with and help enforce the law at the risk of being severely fined and jailed.

Reviewing literary works by former slaves such as Ellen and William Craft, William Grimes, and Frederick Douglass, among others, we will investigate how their lives and works played central and strategic roles in resisting the legal, political, and military powers of slavery.

Speaker Bio

Jeffrey Hole, Associate Professor of English, received his Ph.D. in English with an emphasis in critical and cultural studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He teaches courses in American and world literatures, including special topics on U.S. empire, slavery, and the field of literature and law. He has essayed on a range of subjects addressing transnational American studies, sentiment and security, the aesthetics of conflict in slave narratives, as well as the role of literary criticism in challenging the dehumanizing effects of the neoliberal university. He is currently completing a book, Cunning Inventions and the Force of Law , which examines the concomitances between nineteenth-century American literature and the tactics of fugitive slaves within the context of international law and extra- territorial reach of U.S. power in the wake of the 1850 Compromise.

 
Oct 5th, 6:00 PM Oct 5th, 7:00 PM

Slave Rebellion, Fugitive Literature, and the Force of Law

Biology Building, Room 101

From the Stono Rebellion in 1739 to the revolt aboard the ship Amistad in 1839, from Nat Turner’s uprising in 1831 to the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859—on land and on sea, in U.S. territory and international spaces—slaves and abolitionist allies resisted the legal doctrines and martial enforcement of the slave system. In this presentation, we will explore how nineteenth-century literature imagined and depicted slave rebellion, particularly in the decade before the Civil War and in the aftermath of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. A component of the Great Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act strengthened a set of legal structures and practices that had developed historically with the institution of slavery in the United States. The 1850 legislation was particularly important because it intensified and extended the reach of previous fugitive slave laws, notably the Act of 1793. The law not only required federal marshals and other officials to arrest suspected fugitive slaves, it simultaneously mandated that U.S. citizens comply with and help enforce the law at the risk of being severely fined and jailed.

Reviewing literary works by former slaves such as Ellen and William Craft, William Grimes, and Frederick Douglass, among others, we will investigate how their lives and works played central and strategic roles in resisting the legal, political, and military powers of slavery.