Session Title

Racism and Immigration Issues

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor

Leslie Bickford, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of English

Description

In this paper, I evaluate slavery from the perspective of female slaves to show how their experience may have been more difficult than that of male slaves. Although most slave narratives have come from the male slave’s point of view or from a male author, there may be evidence that the female point of view may be of more importance. To argue this, I use Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and Clotel by William Wells Brown to show that the slave experience for females was more difficult than the slave experience for males due to the way that they were oppressed. I believe the authors of these two works illustrate this oppression from a fictional and autobiographical view to show how being sexually harassed can affect an individual’s psyche, where the fascination with the female slave body comes from, along with how female slaves had to deal with the consequences of resentment from their masters’ wives or mistresses. Working from the research of Katie Frye, Seda Peksen, and Ann Taves, I also delve into the psychology in terms of why female slaves had certain feelings and why the mistresses of slave owners had such animosity against female slaves. This evaluation will help scholars and students alike understand that female slaves endured things that male slaves could not even comprehend happening to them.

Previously Presented/Performed?

South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2019; Sixth Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE), Winthrop University, April 2020

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

The Female Slave Experience

In this paper, I evaluate slavery from the perspective of female slaves to show how their experience may have been more difficult than that of male slaves. Although most slave narratives have come from the male slave’s point of view or from a male author, there may be evidence that the female point of view may be of more importance. To argue this, I use Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and Clotel by William Wells Brown to show that the slave experience for females was more difficult than the slave experience for males due to the way that they were oppressed. I believe the authors of these two works illustrate this oppression from a fictional and autobiographical view to show how being sexually harassed can affect an individual’s psyche, where the fascination with the female slave body comes from, along with how female slaves had to deal with the consequences of resentment from their masters’ wives or mistresses. Working from the research of Katie Frye, Seda Peksen, and Ann Taves, I also delve into the psychology in terms of why female slaves had certain feelings and why the mistresses of slave owners had such animosity against female slaves. This evaluation will help scholars and students alike understand that female slaves endured things that male slaves could not even comprehend happening to them.

 

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