Landscapes of Memory: Media Representations of Slavery and Abolition

By Anne Wales.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Imagery produced to support the abolition of the slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries accorded with a European tradition of Romanticism which both achored race in the spaces of the natural environment and materialised it in the human body. Race as an embodied phenomenon can be re-created and made contestable. This paper will consider histories of the slave trade mediated through film, television and the heritage industry during the bi-centenary of its abolition in Britain. Examples include the film, ‘Amazing Grace’, the TV series and book, ‘Rough Crossings’, the Equiano exhibition and the international Slavery Museum in Liverpool. Drawing on the theme of landscape, it will consider, following on from Bhabba, whether motifs of the past create a visual language in the present or whether they rescript social memory to fit existing narratives.

Keywords: Slavery, Representation, Social Memory, Landscape

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 8, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 526.091KB).

Anne Wales

Head / Assistant Dean, School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, Design and Technology, University of Derby, Alfreton, UK

I have taught a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate arts and humanities students for the last twenty three years in post 1992 UK universities. My current job is as head of a Humanities department. I both run the Humanities department and have broader Faculty/University roles relating to E-learning and to Equality and Diversity. My research is on visual and cultural representations of slavery and anti slavery, both in historical contexts, but also in 20c and 21c museums and media. I also have broader research and teaching interests on the representation of History in films and television programmes.

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