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Picture of Living History

Living History

Encountering the Memory of the Heirs of Slavery

Editor(s): Ana Lucia Araujo
Contributors: araujo, Charmaine Nelson, Joshua M. Rosenthal, Chivallon Christine, Valika T Smealdeus, Eduardo Franca Paiva,

Book Description

This book focusses on the several forms of reconstructing the slave past in the present. The recent emergence of the memory of slavery allows those who are or who claim to be descendents of slaves to legitimize their demand for recognition and for reparations for past wrongs. Some reparation claims encompass financial compensation, but very often they express the need for memorialization through public commemoration, museums, and monuments. In some contexts, presentification of the slave past has helped governments and the descendants of former masters and slave merchants to formulate public apologies. For some, expressing repentance is not only a means to erase guilt but also a way to gain political prestige.

The authors analyse different aspects of the recent phenomenon of memorializing slavery, especially the practices employed to stage the slave past in both public and private spaces. The essays present memory and oblivion as part of the same process; they discuss reconstructions of the past in the present at different public and private levels through historiography, photography, exhibitions, monuments, memorials, collective and individual discourses, cyberspace, religion and performance. By offering a comparative perspective on the United States and West Africa, as well as on Western Europe, South America, and the Caribbean, the chapters offer new possibilities to explore the resurgence of the memory of slavery as a transnational movement in our contemporary world.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-0998-6
ISBN-10: 1-4438-0998-5
Date of Publication: 01/07/2009
Pages / Size: 290 / A5
Price: £39.99


Ana Lucia Araujo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Howard University (Washington DC). Her research deals with the history and the memory of slavery in Brazil and the Bight of Benin. Her first single-authored book Romantisme tropical: l’aventure illustrée d’un peintre français au Brésil was published by the Presses de l’Université Laval (Quebec, Canada) in 2008. She is preparing a second single-authored book which provisional title is Victims and Perpetrators: Slaving Memories in the South Atlantic.