’She Must Go Overboard & Shall Go Overboard’: Diseased Bodies and the Spectacle of Murder at Sea

Title’She Must Go Overboard & Shall Go Overboard’: Diseased Bodies and the Spectacle of Murder at Sea
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMustakeem, Sowande’ M.
JournalAtlantic Studies
Volume8
Issue3
Pagination301-316
Abstract

The Atlantic slave trade represents the largest forced migration of humans in recorded history. Using an anonymous black woman as a critical point of entry into the slave ship experience, this essay explores the spatial hierarchies of trauma in the middle passage and assesses the material, psychological, and emotional context of death aboard an eighteenth-century slave ship. This study, moreover, considers the process by which enslaved people were commodified both in life and in death, how ship captains treated disease outbreaks, and the context in which an infectious risk was calculated. The article furthermore highlights the process of enslavement, disease, terror, and ultimate death within the broader history of New World slavery. In so doing, it furthers scholarly approaches to the Atlantic slave trade, middle passage studies, gender and slavery, as well as the medical history of slavery.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14788810.2011.589695
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4839588351

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