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Fallacies of hope: Contesting narratives of abolition in Turner’s Slave Ship

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journal contribution
posted on 18.09.2019, 17:32 by Laura Brace
This article explores the risks and dangers of redemptive readings of JMW Turner’s (in)famous 1840 painting, Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying – Typhon Coming on) that assume that we cannot be complicit in anything other than abolition and deliberately forget and disavow the underlying structures and continuing dispossessions of slave racial capitalism. The paper reads the painting as an intervention in an important set of nineteenth-century debates around slavery and the slave trade, and as a key element in the war over representations over slavery. How should we incorporate black death and white abolitionism into our stories, self-understandings and conceptions of justice? Turner’s painting brings us all into a space of temporal entanglement, and leaves us to question the history of modernity and the meaning of freedom both in the past and in the present.

History

Citation

Atlantic Studies, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1080/14788810.2019.1669419

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of History, Politics and International Relations

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Atlantic Studies

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for MESEA (The Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas)

issn

1478-8810

Acceptance date

15/09/2019

Copyright date

2019

Available date

11/04/2021

Notes

The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en