Traces and Memories deals with the foundation, mechanisms and scope of slavery-related memorial processes, interrogating how descendants of enslaved populations reconstruct the history of their ancestors when transatlantic slavery is one of the variables of the memorial process. While memory studies mark a shift from concern with historical knowledge of events to that of memory, the book seeks to bridge the memorial representations of historical events with the production and knowledge of those events. The book offers a methodological and epistemological reflection on the challenges that are raised by archival limitations in relation to slavery and how they can be overcome. It covers topics such as the historical and memorial legacy/ies of slavery, the memorialization of slavery, the canonization and patrimonialization of the memory of slavery, the places and conditions of the production of knowledge on slavery and its circulation, the heritage of slavery and the (re)construction of (collective) identity. By offering fresh perspectives on how slavery-related sites of memory have been retrospectively (re)framed or (re)shaped, the book probes the constraints which determine the inscription of this contentious memory in the public sphere. The volume will serve as a valuable resource in the area of slavery, memory, and Atlantic studies.

chapter |12 pages


part I|86 pages

(Re)-Constructing the Memory and History of Slavery and of the Slave Trade

chapter 1|15 pages

Senegambia and the Atlantic World

African Voices on Slavery and the Slave Trade Through the Archive

chapter 2|17 pages

Postbellum Slave Narratives as Historical Sources

Memories of Bondage and Realities of Freedom in Life of Isaac Mason as a Slave

chapter 4|22 pages

Subjective Interpretations of the Memory of Slavery

Solving and Expressing Internal Conflicts Through Genealogical Research

chapter 5|15 pages

Tè Pa Konn Pèdi

What Rural Memory Has to Say About Haitian Freedom

part II|114 pages

Re-Membering Memory

chapter 6|11 pages

The Ghosts of Whose Past?

Remembering and Remorse in the Body Politic

chapter 7|16 pages

From White Guilt to White Responsibility

The Traces of Racial Oppression in United States’ Collective Memory

chapter 8|16 pages

Remembering in Black and White

Memorializing Slavery in 21st-Century Louisiana

chapter 10|13 pages

Reconstructing a Dismantled Past

The Case of Afro-Diasporic History in Ceará, Brazil

chapter 11|18 pages

Enslaved by History

Slavery’s Enduring Influence on the Memory of Pierre Toussaint

part III|82 pages

Artistic Memories of Slavery

chapter 14|16 pages

“The End Is the Beginning and Lies Far Ahead” 1

Time and Textuality in African American Visualizations of the Historical Past, 1990–2000

chapter 15|18 pages

Breathing Statues, Stone Sermons, Pastoral Trails

Memorializing Truth

chapter 17|14 pages

“A Modern Slave Song” 1

Reggae Music and the Memory of Slavery