Until fairly recently, critical studies and anthologies of African American literature generally began with the 1830s and 1840s. Yet there was an active and lively transatlantic black literary tradition as early as the 1760s.Genius in Bondagesituates this literature in its own historical terms, rather than treating it as a sort of prologue to later African American writings. The contributors address the shifting meanings of race and gender during this period, explore how black identity was cultivated within a capitalist economy, discuss the impact of Christian religion and the Enlightenment on definitions of freedom and liberty, and identify ways in which black literature both engaged with and rebelled against Anglo-American culture.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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