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"for dead weight": Sugar, Literature, and Anti-Slavery Material Culture," Dr. Patricia Matthew (Montclair State University)

abolition teapot
Park Hall 265

UGA's Colloquium in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century British Literature and the Franklin College Office of Inclusion & Diversity Leadership presents: "for dead weight": Sugar, Literature, and Anti-Slavery Material Culture," a lecture by a 2019 Franklin Visiting Fellow, Dr. Patricia Matthew (Associate Professor, Montclair State University)

When British abolitionists called for a sugar boycott in the late 1790s, they pointed to women as key to the campaign's success. The reasons for this are complex, and in this talk Dr. Matthew explores this complexity by linking poetry and fiction by regency-era women writers to the material representations of England's debates about slavery and the slave trade. Based on research in England's galleries, museums, and archives, Dr. Matthew connects white women's commitment to the abolitionist movement to how enslaved women and men are represented in portraits, etchings, and porcelain and compares that complicated ecosystem to how contemporary Black women artists like Kara Walker and Amma Asante revisit abolitionist tropes in their work. 

Dr. Patricia Matthew
Dr. Patricia Matthew

Dr. Matthew teaches courses in British Romanticism, the history of the novel, and British abolitionist literature. She is the co-editor of a special issue for Romantic Pedagogy Commons and has published essays and reviews in Women’s Writing, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, and the Keats-Shelley Journal. She is also the editor of Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure (University of North Carolina Press, 2016) and has published essays and books reviews on diversity in higher education in PMLA, The ADE Bulletin, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, The New Inquiry and The Atlantic. Her work on diversity has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Dr. Matthew is currently writing a monograph about sugar, gender, and British abolitionist literature. 

A reception in the Robert West Library, Park Hall 261 will follow Dr. Matthew's talk. The lecture and reception are free and open to the public. This talk has been sponsored by the English Department's Rodney Baine Lecture Fund, Dr. Isiah Lavender, III (Sterling Goodman Professor of English), Dr. John Lowe (Barbara Methvin Professor of English), the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the Department of History, and the Franklin College Office of Inclusion & Diversity Leadership.

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