Urvashi Chakravarty (Toronto) - The Stain of Slavery in Early Modern England - CEMS Research Seminar

Urvashi Chakravarty (Toronto) - The Stain of Slavery in Early Modern England - CEMS Research Seminar
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This is a past event

This talk explores the ideologies of slavery in early modern England, in a moment which preceded the development of an organized trade in enslaved persons. Despite the persistent fiction that England was innocent of racialized slavery, I argue that the ideologies of slavery were seeded in the quotidian spaces of early modern English life and the everyday contexts of England’s service society, from the family to the household to the grammar schoolroom, which inherited and reimagined the legacies of classical slavery and race. The Roman freedman’s figurative “stain of slavery” was conscripted by and in the English terms of epidermal race in order to register an immutable sign of bondage and to secure slavery to somatic difference. Thus, as England negotiated its classical inheritances and contemporary contexts for bondage, it also laid the conceptual groundwork for the futures of racialized slavery. 

Dr Chakravarty is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto. Her articles have appeared in Shakespeare Quarterly, English Literary Renaissance, Spenser Studies and in various collections. Her monograph Fictions of Consent: Slavery, Servitude, and Free Service in Early Modern England (University of Pennsylvania Press,  2022) is about to appear in the series RaceB4Race: Critical Race Studies of the Premodern. 

Please note this event has been postponed to 16 March.

Hosted by
Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Aberdeen

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