This collection of eight essays by research students and academics from the UK, France, Germany and the USA examining different forms and manifestations of postcolonial slavery underlines the significance of the year 2007, marking the bicentennial anniversary of the passage of the British law banning the slave trade. Slavery and its legacies galvanized a diachronic series of ethnic crossings and transformations that engendered new and complex patterns of crosscultural contact. And the importance of communities of runaway slaves can scarcely be overstated as a symbol of an insistent black resistance and self-affirmation. But in bringing the material realities of slavery to the forefront of the imagination, this volume also highlights the marginalization of British and French colonial practices in institutionalized frameworks of historical knowledge. Actively contesting the related traumas of transplantation, the middle passage, and the fracturing of the collective memory, and drawing actively on a wide range of approaches and perspectives, this collection seeks to reinscribe a material historical consciousness of slavery and its legacies through a strategic interaction between history, subjectivity, and representation. —H. Adlai Murdoch, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Charlotte Baker is Lecturer in French in the Department of European Languages and Cultures at Lancaster University. Her research interests focus on 20th century French and Francophone African literature, and particularly on the representation of marginalised and stigmatised groups in Africa. Jennifer Jahn has recently completed her PhD on Martinican Women’s Writing at the University of Cambridge, Sidney Sussex College. She is interested in contemporary French and Francophone island literature by women with a focus on socio-political issues and the legacy of colonialism.