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Title: Representations of slavery in French writing : from revolution to abolition
Author: Campbell, Tanya Lee Margaret
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis seeks to explore the ways in which anxieties and ambivalences surrounding slavery were constructed, reflected and challenged in French writing from the period between the French Revolution and the abolition of slavery in 1848. It draws on historical and literary analyses, and an informed understanding of the sociopolitical currents of the early nineteenth century, to highlight the important role literature and journalism have to play in helping us to understand the multifarious complexities of slavery. It offers close analysis of a selection of key literary and journalistic texts from the period, including work by Olympe de Gouges, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Gabrielle de Paban, Sophie Doin, Jean-Baptiste Picquenard, Victor Hugo, Cyrille Charles Auguste Bissetteand Adolphe Granier de Cassagnac. This thesis contributes to a growing body of academic work on slavery by developing three broad perspectives on the institution: it examines the metaphorization of slavery in women's writing, and takes issue with the view that women necessarily privilege entertainment in their narratives; it considers the usefulness of a transactional model of violence as a framework through which to read early nineteenth-century men's revolutionary writing, interrogates the use of 'proportionality' as justification for the (il)legitimacy of violent acts, and investigates the (non-)representation of violence in texts; finally, it offers the first in-depth analysis of the slavery polemic that emerged between Bissette and Granier, and highlights how polarizing debates around slavery were mobilized in the press. This thesis therefore expands current research by demonstrating how the post-Revolutionary social and political conflicts, and racial prejudice cultivated under slavery, suffused nineteenth-century writing in both France and the French Caribbean.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available