Date of Thesis

Spring 2023


This thesis explores late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British archives concerning the lived experiences of Black and mixed-race women in plantation chattel slavery and the Middle Passage, spanning from 1774-1831. I consider how representations of sexual violence, rape, maternity, and trauma are leveraged and imagined by the archive and contemporary readings of the Middle Passage. I centrally ask: can we broaden our understanding of transatlantic slavery through the archive, or what some may call the tombs of the enslaved, without doubling the injury of the violence enslaved people endured? In doing so, I seek to not only contribute to scholarship that attempts to articulate how that identity of “woman” entangled with “race”—both Eurocentric social constructs—operated at that time, but to also offer new ways of thinking about how white scholars should approach the archive and contribute to scholarship on race, and blackness in particular.


spectacularization, Black women, slavery, sexual violence

Access Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration


Managing for Sustainability

Second Major

English- Literary Studies

First Advisor

Jeremy Chow

Second Advisor

Meenakshi Ponnuswami