Resonant Texts: Music and Antislavery Print Culture


Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships




This book project examines music as an important structural element of the literature of the US antislavery movement from the 1830s to the Civil War. It explores a large archive that includes antislavery songbooks, newspapers, political convention minutes, ethnographic accounts of music making, and collections of African American music alongside more traditional works such as antislavery novels and slave narratives. This investigation ties literary production to sound and music as alternatives to more discursive modes of analysis in accounts of the bourgeois public sphere, demonstrating how attending to the music in these texts recasts their role within political discourse.