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Specters of Democracy – Blackness and the Aesthetics of Politics in the Antebellum U.S. - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Specters of Democracy: Blackness and the Aesthetics of Politics in the Antebellum U.S.

Ivy G. Wilson


This book interrogates the representational strategies that 19th-century Americans used in art and literature to delineate blackness as an index to the forms of U.S. citizenship. The book reveals how the difficult task of representing African Americans—both enslaved and free—in imaginative expression was part of a larger dilemma concerning representative democracy. More specifically, the book analyzes how African Americans manipulated aurality and visuality in art that depicted images of national belonging not only as a mode of critique but as an iteration or articulation of democratic represe ... More

Keywords: aurality, visuality, representation, discourse, vertreten, darstellen, remix, resonance, art, sociality

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780195337372
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195337372.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ivy G. Wilson, author
Northwestern University
Author Webpage

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