Interruptions, Disruptions and a Wall of Silence: A Study of African-American Representations 1542-1760


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Early American Literature


This dissertation argues that the presence of people of African descent was integral to the formation of early American literature. Current studies of race in early American literature examine representations of people of African descent as a passive event. The representations are viewed simply as mediations, a metaphorical African presence that was created and manipulated by European/Euro-American authors attempting to reify race as fixed and visible categories of difference. This project reads the representations of people of African descent in early American literature as contested events, a series of struggles between European/Euro-American literary imaginations and African presences that existed beyond that imagination.