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2. Historical Context
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the historical moment that Morrison writes about in Beloved, focusing in particular on the Atlantic slave trade and the story of Margaret Garner, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, and life in America for African-Americans in the decades following the Emancipation Act of 1863.
In this course, Professor Gina Wisker (University of Brighton) explores Toni Morrison's 1987 novel, Beloved. We begin by providing a broad introduction to Black women's writing, focusing in particular on the works of Alice Walker, Zora Neale Thurston and bell hooks, before moving on in the second module to think about the particular historical moment that Morrison writes about in Beloved – 1850s America. In the third module, we think about the 'politics' of writing, before looking in the fourth module at the presentation of women in novel – in particular Sethe, Baby Suggs, and Beloved herself. In the fifth module, we think about the presentation of the supernatural in novel, especially in its relation to race, before moving on in the sixth module to provide a close reading of a particular moment in the novel – where the slavecatcher arrives to take away Sethe's children.
Professor Gina Wisker is Professor of Contemporary Literature and Higher Education. Her principal teaching, PhD supervision and research interests lie in contemporary women’s writing, Gothic, horror and postcolonial writing. Her published work includes Margaret Atwood, an Introduction to Critical Views of Her Fiction (2012), Key Concepts in Postcolonial Writing (2007), Horror Fiction (2005) and Postcolonial and African American Women's Writing (2000).
Cite this Lecture
Wisker, G. (2018, August 15). Morrison: Beloved - Historical Context [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/morrison-beloved/historical-context-b602f5c1-8a5d-41d3-93d3-410212690740
Wisker, G. "Morrison: Beloved – Historical Context." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/morrison-beloved/historical-context-b602f5c1-8a5d-41d3-93d3-410212690740