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tgiFHI: Annette Joseph-Gabriel, "Childhood, Slavery, and Fugitivity in the Age of Revolution"


Annette Joseph-Gabriel

Please join the Franklin Humanities Institute for its Friday morning series, tgiFHI! tgiFHI gives Duke faculty in the humanities, interpretative social sciences and arts the opportunity to present their current research to their departmental (and interdepartmental) colleagues, students, and other interlocutors in their fields. "Childhood, Slavery, and Fugitivity in the Age of Revolution" When Jean Montague, an enslaved boy on the run in Paris, wrote to Benjamin Franklin in 1780, he claimed that it was his "youthful folly" that spurred his flight. In so doing, he drew on legal debates and social perceptions about childhood to make a case for his freedom. In this talk, I read Montague's letter as a fugitive account whose various temporalities blur the lines between childhood and adulthood, cause and effect, past and present. The fugitive account as an interpretive framework for reading the ways that enslaved people contested power and personhood in France as both the site of their enslavement and a land of freedom, also illuminates the ways that our contemporary reading practices might account for Black life in slavery's archive. Speaker bio: Annette Joseph-Gabriel is an Associate Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University. Her research focuses on race, gender, and citizenship in the French-speaking Caribbean, Africa, and France. She is the author of Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire (University of Illinois Press), which was awarded the Modern Language Association Prize for a First Book and Honorable Mention for the Eugen Weber Award for best book in modern French history. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals including Small Axe, Slavery & Abolition, Eighteenth-Century Studies and The French Review, and her public writings have been featured in Al Jazeera, HuffPost, and the Washington Post. She is a recipient of the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics. She is the senior editor of Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International. RSVP for this in-person event here: Breakfast served @ 9 am. Masks required.