Vincent Carretta, University of Maryland:
Strangers in Strange Lands: Figures in the Eighteenth-Century African Diaspora
This talk will focus in particular on William Ansah Sessarakoo (1720?-1770), who traveled first (involuntarily) from Africa to the West Indies, where he was redeemed from slavery by the Royal African Company, then sent to England, where he was treated as a celebrity before being repatriated to Africa to engage in the transatlantic slave trade, and Julius Soubise (1754?-1798), who was brought from Jamaica as a slave to England, where he was given to the Duchess of Queensberry, who gave him the education of a gentleman, and hustled him off to India to escape his debts and a rape charge. Although neither Sessarakoo not Soubise was an author, their lives inspired contemporaries (including John Newton) to write about them. The talk will be illustrated.
Part of the Literature Department Graduate Speaker Series