Wesleyan University

David Kazanjian and Matthew Garrett: A Conversation at the Center for the Humanities


University of Pennsylvania Associate Professor of English David Kazanjian talks with Wesleyan's Matthew Garrett, assistant professor of English and American studies, at the Center for Humanities. Kazanjian talks about his concept of "over-reading" in relation to the quotidian archives of the 19th-century Atlantic world. He touches on portions of his forthcoming book The Brink of Freedom, in which he asks what and how did freedom mean in the midst of three relatively unheralded and heterodox historical and textual flashpoints from the mid 19th-century Atlantic world: first, the black settler colonization of Liberia between 1820 and 1860; second, debates about the relationship between race and insanity in the U.S. census of 1840 and the Creole slave ship uprising of 1841; and third, a massive Maya uprising on the Yucatan peninsula that began in 1847 and came to be known as la Guerra de Castas, the Caste War.

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