5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
“The Politics of Slaves: Mobility, Messages, and Power in the Antebellum South”
Susan O’Donovan, University of Memphis
Most of us have heard about the grapevine telegraph. Many of us talk about it. Some of us sing about it. But few of us have explored the full scope of an often covert system of knowledge creation and conveyance. How did this “telegraph” operate? Who embodied it, when, under what circumstances, and most critical of all, given an escalating debate about the future of slavery in a young nation, to what social and political effect? Susan O’Donovan investigates these and other questions as she attempts to make sense of the tangled relationships between mobility, messages, and an always unstable terrain of power in antebellum America.