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Self-writing, written of freedom: autobiographies and memories of black slavery in Atlantic diaspora (1772-1897)

Grant number: 13/26945-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2014
Effective date (End): March 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Jaime Rodrigues
Grantee:Rafael Domingos Oliveira da Silva
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


This research is the analysis of autobiographies and memories written by black slaves and also former slaves, especially in the English language between 1772 and 1897. It is aimed to understand these narratives from the dynamics of the discourse productions on black slavery, a practice of writing about themselves. Those speeches that were produced around the abolitionist struggle or were used by it are the object of this research. As slave narratives, the way these documents are broadly known, constitute a textual corpus with great potential for understanding the complex forms of identity construction. Moreover, they articulated knowledge that circulated in the Atlantic, such as literacy practices and christianization, besides the fight for freedom that crosses them in each memory present on it. Recall and produce memory is a form to enroll in the history, and this in itself is a political action that, in the case of black enslaved, should be better understood by the historian perspective. From this analysis, I intend to highlight the historical agency of slaves and former slaves in the struggle for freedom and the recurrence of a textual production afro centered between the last quarter of the eighteenth century and nineteenth century. To do so, I will use a methodology tuned to the debate on the use of autobiographies as historical sources in dialogue with the historiography of slavery and abolition in the Americas. (AU)

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