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Race, emotions and rhetoric in British anti-slavery literature, 1787-1833

Westwood, Nicola (2019) Race, emotions and rhetoric in British anti-slavery literature, 1787-1833. In: University of Birmingham Graduate School Research Poster Conference 2019, 19th June 2019, University of Birmingham 2019. (Unpublished)

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My research investigates the different emotions used in British anti-slavery literature. Abolitionist (anti-slavery) writers used sentimental tropes (expressions of sadness, such as slave's tears) to evoke sympathy, and gain the reader's support for the abolition of slavery and the slave trade. This will be compared with portrayals of anger, manifested in slave revolts, violence, and vengeance, although this was problematic as it highlighted the threat posed by slaves. Therefore, abolitionists portrayed slaves praying for divine vengeance, depicting natural disasters (such as earthquakes) as manifestations of God's wrath. Such fear tactics portrayed slavery as a national sin, with abolition as the only way to avoid divine punishment. Current scholarship concerns abolitionist's use of individual emotions, which my research develops with a comparison of these emotions. It will impact both historical studies of the anti-slavery campaign and literary studies of emotions, as well as potentially influencing persuasive techniques of future political campaigns.

Type of Work:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of English Literature
Additional Information:

College of Arts and Law winner. Supervisors: Matthew Ward, Fariha Shaikh, Tom Lockwood

Date:19 June 2019
Series/Collection Name:Prizewinners from the Graduate School Research Poster Conference 2019
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
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Copyright Status:This poster is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this poster must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged.
Copyright Holders:The Author
ID Code:3230

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