Scholars of slavery engage history, archives, Saidiya Hartman, and violence, in a recent History of the Present. From the introduction by Brian Connolly and Marisa Fuentes:
“This special issue of the journal asks how the violence of the archives of slavery contributes to the production of a history of our present. What is at stake in revisiting the devastation and death contained in the documents of slavery? And is such a revisiting even possible? As several of the authors note, all archives are incomplete—such historical accounts written primarily by the most powerful have overwhelmingly informed our understanding of the past. But what is it about the archives of slavery, the more than 400-year span of forced labor and death of Africans that requires that we pause to consider their particular silences? It is partly about violence—the varied forms of violence on black bodies in slavery that created the conditions by which they are made invisible, mutilated and difficult to reach; they are not easily articulated or narrated in the historical accounts. Even as we formulate new methods that challenge archival power, some things remain unrecoverable, silent. We have irretrievably lost the thoughts, desires, fears, and perspectives of many whose enslavement shaped every aspect of their lives…”
Table of Contents:
Brian Connolly, and Marisa Fuentes. “Introduction: From Archives of Slavery to Liberated Futures?” History of the Present 6, no. 2 (2016): 105–16.
Stephanie E. Smallwood. “The Politics of the Archive and History’s Accountability to the Enslaved.” History of the Present 6, no. 2 (2016): 117–32.
David Kazanjian. “Freedom’s Surprise: Two Paths Through Slavery’s Archives.” History of the Present 6, no. 2 (2016): 133–45. doi:10.5406/historypresent.6.2.0133.
Anjali Arondekar. “What More Remains: Slavery, Sexuality, South Asia.” History of the Present 6, no. 2 (2016): 146–54.
Seth Moglen. “Enslaved in the City on a Hill: The Archive of Moravian Slavery and the Practical Past.” History of the Present 6, no. 2 (2016): 155–83. doi:10.5406/historypresent.6.2.0155.
Jennifer L. Morgan. “Accounting for ‘The Most Excruciating Torment’: Gender, Slavery, and Trans-Atlantic Passages.” History of the Present 6, no. 2 (2016): 184–207.
Saidiya Hartman. “The Dead Book Revisited.” History of the Present 6, no. 2 (2016): 208–15.