Category: slavery

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Mediated Voices in Longfellow’s “Poems on Slavery”

Last semester, I added selections from Philip Freneau and Henry Wadsworth Longefellow to my syllabus. We only read about 3-4 poems from each author and explored them in relation to the trope of the “Vanishing American,” defining American, and the issue of slavery. As I do with most classes, I assign questions to small groups of students, 2-3 typically, give them time to answer … Read More Mediated Voices in Longfellow’s “Poems on Slavery”

“I play Monopoly with refugees”: Romans 13 and Immigration

Last week, while speaking in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Attorney General Jeff Session referenced Romans 13 as he defended the administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the border. He said, “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of government because God has ordained them for the purpose … Read More “I play Monopoly with refugees”: Romans 13 and Immigration

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Literacy in Kyle Baker’s “Nat Turner”

In his preface to the graphic novel Nat Turner, Kyle Baker talks about his reasons for wanting to tell Turner’s story through the medium of comics. He states hat “[c]omic books/graphic novels are a visual medium, so it’s important to choose a subject with opportunities for compelling graphics.” The story of Nat Turner’s rebellion in 1831 provides just that opportunity. More importantly, Baker wanted … Read More Literacy in Kyle Baker’s “Nat Turner”

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Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog” and Slave Rebellion

Ever since I first encountered Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog, or the Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs,” I became intrigued by the issues Poe addressed through this Gothic story that takes place far away from American soil. The story first appeared in 1849, and we can read the story in an autobiographical manner, as some scholars have done. However, I would argue that we must also read … Read More Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog” and Slave Rebellion

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Frederick Douglass’ Rhetorical Rebuttals of Stereotypes

Over the past couple of semesters, I have taught Frederick Douglass’ What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? instead of teaching his narrative. I do this for a couple of reasons. One, I assign Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave, and during discussions about Northup, I bring in Douglass’ narrative and Harriett Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl because … Read More Frederick Douglass’ Rhetorical Rebuttals of Stereotypes