Yearning for Freedom: Afro-descendant Women Writers at the Edge of Transatlantic Slavery

Morabito, Valeria (2019) Yearning for Freedom: Afro-descendant Women Writers at the Edge of Transatlantic Slavery, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Dese - les litteratures de l'europe unie/ european literatures/ letterature dell'europa unita, 31 Ciclo.
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Abstract

The aim of this doctoral dissertation is to reconsider nineteenth century European literature through the study of non-canonical texts written by Afro-descendant women during the transatlantic slavery, in English, Spanish and Portuguese. It advances the thesis that the writings of the “minor subjects” in modern Europe put forth an innovative idea of freedom, which can help us to reconsider not only our understanding of gender identities but also our notion of Europe. The literary texts selected for this study are the following: the slave narrative written by Mary Prince, a former slave from the British colonies in the Caribbean and entitled "The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave Related by Herself" (1831); a collection of Cuban poems written by Maria Cristina Fragas (Cristina Ayala), "Ofrendas Mayabequinas" (1926); and "Ursula" (1859), a novel by Maria Firmina dos Reis, a woman of African descent born in Brazil. These works are useful examples in order to re-examine European identity in the light of the important historical event of the transatlantic slave trade, given the role that slavery and colonialism played not only as historical facts but also as ideologies. The study hereafter presented is structured in five chapters, with an introduction and a concluding section. In the first chapter, the topic of the research and its rationale are discussed, explaining the hypothesis and the objectives of the work and presenting a review of the existing literature on the topic. The second chapter examines the way in which the historical and cultural background of the nineteenth century influenced my corpus of primary texts. Subsequently, in the following three chapters, I examine each work individually: "The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave Related by Herself" in the third chapter; "Ofrendas Mayabequinas" in the fourth; and "Ursula" in the fifth.

Abstract
Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Autore
Morabito, Valeria
Supervisore
Dottorato di ricerca
Ciclo
31
Coordinatore
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Women’s writing, colonial and de-colonial literature, transatlantic slave trade, slave narrative, female slave narrative, feminist literary criticism, gender studies, Afro-Cuban women’s literature, Afro-Brazilian women’s literature, Afro-American women’s literature.
URN:NBN
Data di discussione
29 Marzo 2019
URI

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