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Inhuman empire: slavery and nonhuman animals in the British Atlantic world

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TitleInfo
Title
Inhuman empire: slavery and nonhuman animals in the British Atlantic world
Name (type = personal)
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Blakley
NamePart (type = given)
Christopher Michael
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Christopher Michael Blakley
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author
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Delbouro
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James
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James Delbouro
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chair
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Fuentes
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Marisa J
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Marisa J Fuentes
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Jones
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Toby C
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Toby C Jones
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Maher
NamePart (type = given)
Neil M
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Neil M Maher
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
Name (type = personal)
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Norton
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Marcy
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Marcy Norton
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Advisory Committee
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outside member
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Rutgers University
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RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
degree grantor
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School of Graduate Studies
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school
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Text
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theses
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2019
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2019-10
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2019
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English
Abstract (type = abstract)
This dissertation examines how material interactions between slaveholders, enslaved people, and nonhuman animals shaped the territorial expansion of the British Empire in the era of the Atlantic slave trade. My project is an environmental history of slavery and slaving from the Royal African Company’s entrance into the castle trade in 1672 through the American Revolution to the abolition of the trade in 1808. I argue that human-animal entanglements generated by slaving constituted a decisive factor in expanding the political, scientific, and economic networks of the empire. Inhuman Empire challenges the predominantly European frame of ecological imperialism by interrogating the ecological, social, and cultural interplay between English enslavers, Atlantic Africans, and animals. I use the theoretical frameworks of eco-cultural networks and modes of interaction to draw out how these relations shaped the expanding geography of slavery in the British Atlantic world. English and African traders exchanged animals as propitiatory sacrifices, gifts, and media of exchange to forge bonds of alliance and commerce on the Gold Coast and the Bight of Benin. Naturalists studying the faunal environments of slave depots from New Spain to North American plantations became slaveholders or relied on the judgment and collecting efforts of enslaved people to gather specimens for natural history collections. On Caribbean and Chesapeake plantations, enslavers raising sugar and tobacco harnessed the labor and bodily energy of slaves and draft animals. However, many animals proved difficult to control in the pursuit of imperial profit. Intractable vermin ruined plantations at alarming rates, and planters produced the category of pests to describe the animals beyond their control. Most importantly, enslaved people resisted their bondage and undermined the institution of slavery by injuring, starving, or stealing animals for their own purposes, while black intellectuals produced critiques of slavery as the foundation of an “inhuman” empire as central to the campaign to abolish the slave trade. The centrality of human-animal networks that supported slaving and slavery is one conclusion of this dissertation, which intervenes in early American environmental history. A second conclusion is that this environmental history provides a valuable materialist account that supports formerly enslaved people’s narratives and experiences of becoming less-than-fully human animalized subjects in the long eighteenth century.
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
History
Subject (authority = local)
Topic
Early America
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Slavery -- Great Britain -- Colonies -- America
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Slave trade -- Great Britain -- Colonies -- America
RelatedItem (type = host)
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Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD_10178
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application/pdf
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text/xml
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1 online resource (x, 395 pages) : illustrations
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
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School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001600001
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Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/t3-q9r8-mm34
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

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The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
FamilyName
Blakley
GivenName
Christopher
Role
Copyright Holder
RightsEvent
Type
Permission or license
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = start)
2019-08-22 11:06:27
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Name
Christopher Blakley
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Affiliation
Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
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License
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Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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Type
Embargo
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = start)
2019-10-31
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = end)
2021-10-30
Detail
Access to this PDF has been restricted at the author's request. It will be publicly available after October 30th, 2021.
Copyright
Status
Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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2019-09-11T19:43:49
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2019-09-11T19:43:49
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