Event Title

The School of Arts and Sciences

Event Website

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiHw7sFQ-n6Xz2fVTqsaU1Q

Start Date

19-4-2022 3:05 PM

End Date

19-4-2022 3:30 PM

Description

Presentation

Title: Work What You've Got: Womanhood, Constraints, and Power in Two Victorian-Era texts

Principal Investigator: Dr. Chandra Mountain

Comments

Abstract

In The Diaries of Hannah Cullwick, Victorian Maidservant, Cullick refers to herself as “Massa’s slave.” In doing so, she acknowledges 18th-century English writer Mary Wollstonecraft’s assertion that “all women are slaves” and thus, she embraces sisterhood with all of womankind. Through this declaration, Cullwick also recognizes her position as enslaved to the patriarchal structure of a society which maintains the “natural inferiority” of women in relation to men. Furthermore, she establishes Massa’s ownership of her as a “work tool” and an “article of property.” Her “privilege” of being Massa’s slave--coupled with the blackening of her skin and the padlock around her neck—links her in more ways than one to enslaved Black persons. It is through such connections that we begin to see that the Diaries share several similarities with the African American slave narrative, particularly the authenticating narrative. This project, then, considers Hannah’s diaries alongside an African American slave narrative, Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a SlaveGirl. Through study of specific passages of Incidents, the project studies not only the connections (and disconnections) between two classes of women living on opposite sides of the Atlantic, but also examines the patriarchal male-female/master-slave dichotomies and the diarist’s and narrator’s disruption of those structures. Through such examination, the project positions the two very different women at the forefront of a discussion on race, class, and gender in the 19th century and invites us to participate in the conversation about popular notions of Black and white women during the 19th century and grapple with the controversial means by which these women choose to empower themselves.

Biography

Biography

Dr. Chandra Tyler Mountain is Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of English at Oakwood University. She is a graduate of Oakwood College, now University (Bachelor of Arts), and the University of Florida (Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy). She has served in academia for nearly 28 years in the capacities of professor, chair, assistant dean, dean, and Assistant Vice President of Academic Administration. Her experience is broad and comprehensive. Her scholarly expertise lies in literary theory and women’s, Africana, and British literatures. She has been exploring the subjects of women’s empowerment and liberation, madness, psychical violence, and trauma in literature for well over two decades and has written, presented, and lectured on the topics extensively.

As a creative writer, she writes poetry, short prose, inspiration, and creative non-fiction. She’s also maintains Pics and Posts (iamchandralynn.com), a webblog about snail mail, photography, and the beautiful facts of life.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 19th, 3:05 PM Apr 19th, 3:30 PM

The School of Arts and Sciences

Presentation

Title: Work What You've Got: Womanhood, Constraints, and Power in Two Victorian-Era texts

Principal Investigator: Dr. Chandra Mountain

https://ouscholars.oakwood.edu/annual_faculty_research_symposium/2022/schedule/7