The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the experiences of enslaved women as victims of the brutality of colonial slavery as well as to put on record the ways in which their bodies were marked, confined and put to death in Bridgetown. It is also an attempt to contend with the plethora of scholarship which invokes the “possibilities” and social nobilities purported to be inherent in an urban female enslaved experience in relation to domestic work and “domestic relationships.” Finally, the archival sources themselves both mask and reveal instances of torture, pain and the sentience of enslaved women. This paper seeks to address the following questions: How does examining black female bodies in peril change our understanding of the narrative of urban enslavement and the manner in which enslaved people were criminalized? What does it demonstrate concerning the contradictions of the construction of subject-hood, commodity and criminal? And finally, how does the experience of torture and pain evade historical articulation?
See more of: AHA Sessions