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The Black Maritime Atlantic in the Nineteenth Century (9/30/2010 ; 4/7-11/2011)
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This panel calls for papers on maritime literature that represents the experience of Black and Asian sailors and their contribution to nineteenth-century Atlantic maritime culture. Known variously as “Black Jacks,” “Prize Negroes,” “Seedy Boys” and “Kru Men,” a growing number of blacks –- slaves liberated from slave ships, indentured servants and freed men –- joined the ranks of the British naval and merchant marine service as sailors, stokers, cabin boys, translators and navigators. Historical census records estimate that, by the late-nineteenth century, a third of Britain’s maritime force was Black or Asian.
We welcome papers addressing the variety of nineteenth-century literary forms engaged in representing Atlantic sea-faring –- maritime fictions, nautical dramas, slave narratives, the memoirs of sailors, explorers, and naturalists, and travel writing, among others. Topics are open. Some questions that papers might consider are: in what ways did travel define and/or complicate a sense of individual or collective identity? In what terms are the multiple racial geographies of maritime experience described and narrated? What sorts of literary and cosmopolitan cultural exchange are developed along with the intermingling of different racial and ethnic groups aboard ships? What parallels and distinctions are drawn by this literature among the injustices of conscription, naval discipline and slavery?
Abstract Deadline: September 30, 2010
NeMLA's 42nd Annual Convention will feature approximately 360 sessions. For details see: www.nemla.org. Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. Please do not accept a slot if you may cancel to present on another session.