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Black Inter-American Mobility and Autobiography in the Age of Revolutions (1760-1860)

Project description

Autobiographies and black inter-American mobility

From slave and captivity narratives to secular travelogues and religious memoirs, autobiographies have played a defining role in shaping black identities and experiences in the Americas. The interdisciplinary EU-funded BIMAAR project explores the ways four major types of transnational autobiography by black authors from have addressed varying forms of black mobility in the Americas during the Age of Revolutions and its aftermath until the onset of the United States Civil War. Home to the renowned Institute of Black Atlantic Research and its world-class scholars of the Early Black Americas and Black Atlantic, the University of Central Lancashire provides an ideal host institution for this study.

Objective

The interdisciplinary research explores the ways transnational autobiographies by black authors address different forms of black mobility in the Americas during the Age of Revolutions and its aftermath until the onset of the US American Civil War (1760-1860). During that time, large parts of the Americas gained their independence from the European colonial powers. Simultaneously, black-authored narrative texts emerged in the region. Among them, autobiographies played a key role as vehicles of asserting black selfhood and participating in societal discourses. Four major types of black life narratives developed at the time: slave narratives, Indian captivity narratives, spiritual autobiographies, and memoirs-as-travelogues. In all of them different form of (im)mobility played a defining role in shaping black identities and experiences.
The research is the first of its kind to study transnational black autobiographies from across the Americas in the Age of Revolutions with a focus the (voluntary or enforced) spatial, socio-cultural, and narrative mobilities of black people. Its objective is to produce a series of scholarly essays, to be subsequently joined into the first comprehensive study on the subject. Drawing on the theoretical and methodological approaches of Inter-American, Black Atlantic, Mobility, and Autobiography Studies, the project closes a gap in the scholarship of the Americas and the Atlantic world. Due to the aesthetic innovation and societal relevance of autobiography in the region from 1760-1860, the research will be based on a literary analysis of the major types of black Inter-American life writing of the era. In so doing, it will not only chart black contributions to autobiography but also advance the theoretical study of the genre.
Home to the renowned Institute of Black Atlantic Research and its world-class scholars of the Early Black Americas and Black Atlantic (Prof Rice, Dr Hoermann, Dr Saxon), UCLAN provides an ideal host institution.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL LANCASHIRE
Net EU contribution
€ 212 933,76
Address
-
PR1 2HE Preston
United Kingdom

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Region
North West (England) Lancashire Mid Lancashire
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Total cost
€ 212 933,76