Slavery, Colonialism, and Connoisseurship: Gender and Eighteenth-century Literary Transnationalism

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Ashgate, 2006 - 201 pages
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Colonization, slavery, traffic in women, and connoisseurship seem to have particularly captured the imaginations of circumatlantic writers of the later eighteenth century.In this book, Nandini Bhattacharya examines the works of such writers as Richard Brinsley Sheridan, George Colman Jr., James Cobb and Phillis Wheatley, who redefined ideas about value and taste. She explores the circumatlantic redefinition of Taste and Value as cultural and moral concepts in gender and racial discourses in slave-owning, colonizing and connoisseurial Britain, and demonstrates how values and aesthetics were redefined in late eighteenth-century England, with particular focus on the language of slavery, trade and connoisseurship. She delineates the workings of transnational consciousness and experience of race, class, gender, slavery, colonialism and connoisseurship in the late eighteenth-century circumatlantic rim. Writers re-presented the ethical debate on value and trade through aesthetic metaphors and discourse, thus disguising the distasteful nature of the ownership and exchange of human beings and mitigating the guilt associated with that traffic. Throughout the study, Bhattacharya rereads late eighteenth-century British literature as a stage for the articulation of theories of difference and domination.

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About the author (2006)

Nandini Bhattacharya teaches in and chairs the department of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Toledo, USA.

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