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Research Guides

ENGL673.600: Black Transnationalisms- Prof. Ira Dworkin - Fall 2021

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Books of Interest

Slave Culture

Twenty-five years after its original publication, Oxford has released a new edition of Sterling Stuckey's ground-breaking study, Slave Culture. A leading cultural historian and authority on slavery, Stuckey explains how different African peoples interacted on the plantations of the South to achieve a common culture. 

Black Cosmopolitanism

What are the perceived differences among African Americans, West Indians, and Afro Latin Americans? What are the hierarchies implicit in those perceptions, and when and how did these develop? For Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo the turning point came in the wake of the Haitian Revolution of 1804. The uprising was significant because it not only brought into being the first Black republic in the Americas but also encouraged new visions of the interrelatedness of peoples of the African Diaspora. 

Saltwater Slavery

Stephanie E. Smallwood offers a penetrating look at the process of enslavement from its African origins through the Middle Passage and into the American slave market. Smallwood's story is animated by deep research and gives us a startlingly graphic experience of the slave trade from the vantage point of the slaves themselves. The result is both a remarkable transatlantic view of the culture of enslavement, and a painful, intimate vision of the bloody, daily business of the slave trade.

Keywords for African American Studies

Introduces key terms, interdisciplinary research, debates, and histories for African American Studies As the longest-standing interdisciplinary field, African American Studies has laid the foundation for critically analyzing issues of race, ethnicity, and culture within the academy and beyond. This volume assembles the keywords of this field for the first time, exploring not only the history of those categories but their continued relevance in the contemporary moment. Keywords for African American Studies provides a model for how the scholarship of the field can meet the challenges of our social world.

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself

It is accompanied by an introduction, maps, illustrations, and annotations. "Contexts" provides essential public writings on the autobiography, general and historical background, related travel and scientific literature, other eighteenth-century works by authors of African ancestry, and works debating the slave trade. 

Lose Your Mother

In Lose Your Mother, Saidiya Hartman traces the history of the Atlantic slave trade by recounting a journey she took along a slave route in Ghana. Following the trail of captives from the hinterland to the Atlantic coast, she reckons with the blank slate of her own genealogy and vividly dramatizes the effects of slavery on three centuries of African and African American history.  Lose Your Mother is a "landmark text" (Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams).

Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands

Written in 1857, this is the autobiography of a Jamaican woman whose fame rivalled Florence Nightingale's during the Crimean War. Seacole's offer to volunteer as a nurse in the war met with racism and refusal.  Sara Salih expertly analyses the rhetorical complexities of Seacole's book to explore the richness of her story. 

Blake; or, the Huts of America

Martin R. Delany's Blake (1859, 1861?1862) is one of the most important African American?and indeed American?works of fiction of the nineteenth century. It tells the story of Henry Blake's escape from a southern plantation and his subsequent travels across the United States, into Canada, and to Africa and Cuba. His mission is to unite the black populations of the American Atlantic regions, both free and slave, in the struggle for freedom, whether through insurrection or through emigration and the creation of an independent black state. 

The Collected Works of Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784), the first black American to publish a book, was internationally famous during her short life. This edition, with an essay by the editor, restores her to her proper place in America's literary heritage.

Louisiana

In Louisiana: A Novel she explores her continuing fascination with the power of the past to live in the present. Here, Ella Townsend, a young African American anthropologist whose roots are Caribbean, researches Louisiana folk life and discovers not only the world of voodoo and carnival but also the mystical connection of the living and the dead. Brodber shows how elements from the African diaspora are kept alive in the Creole culture of the Americas.

The Moor's Account

In this stunning work of historical fiction, Laila Lalami brings us the imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America--a Moroccan slave whose testimony was left out of the official record. The Moor's Account brilliantly captures Estebanico's voice and vision, giving us an alternate narrative for this famed expedition. In Laila Lalami's deft hands, Estebanico's memoir illuminates the ways in which stories can transmigrate into history, even as storytelling can offer a chance for redemption and survival.

Tacky's Revolt

A gripping account of the largest slave revolt in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world, an uprising that laid bare the interconnectedness of Europe, Africa, and America, shook the foundations of empire, and reshaped ideas of race and popular belonging. Tacky's Revolt expands our understanding of the relationship between European, African, and American history, as it speaks to our understanding of wars of terror today.

Jah Kingdom

From its beginnings in 1930s Jamaica, the Rastafarian movement has become a global presence. While the existing studies of the Rastafarian movement have primarily focused on its cultural expression through reggae music, art, and iconography, Monique A. Bedasse argues that repatriation to Africa represents the most important vehicle of Rastafari's international growth. Shifting the scholarship on repatriation from Ethiopia to Tanzania, Bedasse foregrounds Rastafari's enduring connection to black radical politics and establishes Tanzania as a critical site to explore gender, religion, race, citizenship, socialism, and nation. 

Servants of Allah

Sylviane Diouf shows in this new, meticulously researched volume, Islam flourished during slavery on a large scale. Servants of Allah presents a history of African Muslim slaves, following them from Africa to the Americas. Servants of Allah is the first book to examine the role of Islam in the lives of both individual practitioners and in the American slave community as a whole, while also shedding light on the legacy of Islam in today's American and Caribbean cultures.

Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave

A narrative of the experiences of fugitive slave, William W. Brown of his time spent as a slave and his escape. Written by William Brown.