COMM 190

The Discourses of Slavery

While the institution of American slavery existed as a corporeal, material phenomenon, it nevertheless was initially implemented via judicial rulings and legislative enactments, was sustained and challenged through the rhetorical hermeneutics of Biblical and constitutional exegesis, was promoted as a 'positive good' and attacked as an unmitigated evil, was represented in fictional and dramatic productions, was repeatedly contested and defended in the legal sphere and in various deliberative forums, and remains an integral part of our cultural memory. In this seminar students examine these various discourses of slavery, developing an understanding of the discursive resources through which our nation's peculiar institution has been defended, attacked, and remembered.