JCB Fellow's Talk: Christopher Blakley

October 18, 2017 - 4:00pm

Christopher Blakley (Rutgers University), John Carter Brown Library Associates Fellow

"Inhuman Empire: Enslaved People and Nonhuman Animals in the British Atlantic World"

How did interactions between enslaved people and animals shape the expansion of the British Empire from the beginning of the Atlantic slave trade in the late seventeenth century until abolition in 1808? Posing this question offers environmental historians and scholars of empire, science, and colonization opportunities to complicate our understanding of ecological imperialism in the Atlantic World. Questioning how slave traders, planters, and naturalists circumscribed relations between the enslaved and animals through particular modes of interaction affords insight into how enslavement became enacted through more-than-human networks. However, these relations broke apart at times as some animals ruined plantations, and as enslaved men and women used animals in creative forms of resistance. Using manuscripts, printed books, and other items from the John Carter Brown Library, this talk provides an overview of their dissertation project.

The Reading Room will close to researchers at 3:30 p.m.