Spectacularising Black bodies

cartoon image of a Black woman in chains

Punch cartoon 'The Virginian slave, intended as a companion to Power's Greek slave.'

27 Jun 2017
Suitable for:
Free drop-in event, no need to book
Anthony Walker Education Centre

Spectacularising Black bodies on 19th century stages

In this talk, cultural and performance historian Professor Lisa Merrill will explore how staged interventions and appearances by formerly enslaved Black Americans and artistic renderings of the bodies of Black and enslaved persons contributed to the ways 19th century British spectators came to 'see' slavery.

This event is presented in partnership with Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS), a collaboration between the International Slavery Museum and the University of Liverpool to foster understanding and share research on human enslavement and its legacies.

Speaker: Lisa Merrill, Professor, Department of Rhetoric & Performance Studies, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, USA (PhD, New York University)

Professor Merrill's ongoing research and publications are in the fields of performance studies, critical race and cultural studies, American studies, and women's and LGBT+ history. Her critical biography, When Romeo was a Woman: Charlotte Cushman and her Circle of Female Spectators (U of Michigan Press, 2000) was awarded the Joe A. Callaway Prize for Best Book on Drama or Theatre.

Professor Merrill’s talks and appearances in Britain on 19th century performances of race in the abolition movement and onstage were sponsored, in part by IBAR, the Institute for Black Atlantic Research, UCLAN, Preston England, where she was Visiting Scholar 2016. She has published widely in the US and UK, most recently in the Slavery and Abolition Journal, 2016, vol 37, no.3: “Amalgamation, Moral Geography and Slum Tourism’: Irish and African Americans Sharing Space on the Streets and Stages of Antebellum NY.”