Author Discussion Series: Marisa J. Fuentes | Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive (Penn Press, 2016)
Winner of the 2016 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize
Winner of the 2016 Caribbean Studies Association Barbara Christian Prize
In the eighteenth century, Bridgetown, Barbados, was heavily populated by both enslaved and free women. Marisa J. Fuentes creates a portrait of urban Caribbean slavery in this colonial town from the perspective of these women whose stories appear only briefly in historical records. Fuentes takes us through the streets of Bridgetown with an enslaved runaway; inside a brothel run by a freed woman of color; in the midst of a white urban household in sexual chaos; to the gallows where enslaved people were executed; and within violent scenes of enslaved women’s punishments. In the process, Fuentes interrogates the archive and its historical production to expose the ongoing effects of white colonial power that constrain what can be known about these women.
Marisa J. Fuentes is an Associate Professor of women’s and gender studies and history at Rutgers University-New Brunswick
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