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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2023
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Book description

Black Women and Energies of Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Haitian and American Literature intervenes in traditional narratives of 19th-century American modernity by situating Black women at the center of an increasingly connected world. While traditional accounts of modernity have emphasized advancements in communication technologies, animal and fossil fuel extraction, and the rise of urban centers, Mary Grace Albanese proposes that women of African descent combated these often violent regimes through diasporic spiritual beliefs and practices, including spiritual possession, rootwork, midwifery, mesmerism, prophecy, and wandering. It shows how these energetic acts of resistance were carried out on scales large and small: from the constrained corners of the garden plot to the expansive circuits of global migration. By examining the concept of energy from narratives of technological progress, capital accrual and global expansion, this book uncovers new stories that center Black women at the heart of a pulsating, revolutionary world.

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