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Research Project

Visual Regimes of Enslavement and Their Afterlives

2021 – 2023
Titus Kaphar, Behind the Myth of Benevolence, 2014.

Titus Kaphar, Behind the Myth of Benevolence, 2014. © Titus Kaphar. Photo: Jeremy Lawson. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian.

Key Question

Project Summary

This project will investigate how visual practices fostered during the slaveholding era in the circum-Atlantic world have underwritten or organized contemporary modes of seeing black bodies.

Research Team

Larissa Brewer-García

Larissa Brewer-García

Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature

University of Chicago

Larissa Brewer-García specializes in colonial Latin American studies, with a focus on cultural productions of the Caribbean, the Andes, and the African diaspora. Within these areas, her interests include gender studies, literature and law, genealogies of race and racism, humanism and...

Allyson Nadia Field

Allyson Nadia Field

Allyson Nadia Field

Associate Professor, Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College

University of Chicago

Allyson Nadia Field’s scholarship contributes to evolving areas of study that investigate the functioning of race and representation in interdisciplinary contexts surrounding cinema. Her primary research interest is in African American film, both silent era cinema and more contemporary...

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz

Associate Professor of Latin American Literature, Romance Languages and Literatures

University of Chicago

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz is a specialist in nineteenth-century Latin American literature, and in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Caribbean cultural history. Her work focuses on questions concerning the relationships between cultural production and the formation of modern socio-political identities....

Danielle Roper

Danielle Roper

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in Latin American Literature 

University of Chicago

Danielle Roper specializes in contemporary racial and queer performance, racial formation, feminist activism, and visual culture in the Hemispheric Americas. Her work on Caribbean feminism, mestizaje, queer art, and racial impersonation has appeared in Latin American Research Review,...

Christopher Taylor

Christopher Taylor

Associate Professor, English Language and Literature

University of Chicago

Christopher Taylor's research and teaching focus on the hemispheric Americas in the nineteenth century. While the British West Indies is his primary area of focus, he is interested in how these islands were linked to worlds beyond the boundaries of the British Empire. Working at the edges of...

Reading List

Bennett, Herman

African Kings and Black Slaves: Sovereignty and Dispossession in the Early Modern Atlantic Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019 Read

Boisseron, Bénédicte

Afro-dog: Blackness and the Animal Question NY: Columbia University Press, 2018 Read

Brooks, Daphne

Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performance of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 Durham: Duke University Press, 2006 Read

Finley, Cheryl

Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019 Read

Fracchia, Carmen

"Black but Human": Slavery and Visual Arts in Hapsburg Spain, 1480-1700 Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019 Read

Hartman, Saidiya

Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-century America Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997 Read

Lane, Jill

Blackface Cuba Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005 Read

Lugo-Ortiz, Agnes and Angela Rosenthal

Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic World Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013 Read

Sharpe, Christina

In the Wake: On Blackness and Being Durham: Duke University Press, 2016 Read

Thomas, Sarah

Witnessing Slavery: Art and Travel in the Age of Abolition New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019 Read

Explore

Oil slicks from leaks in the various oil production and storage platforms located on Lake Maracaibo, in Venezuela, June 11, 2003. Courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.

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Colored Troops, Under General Wild, Liberating Slaves in North Carolina, from Harper’s Weekly, January 23, 1864.

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