Do Black Ghosts Matter? Harriet Jacobs’ Spiritualism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


This essay looks at Spiritualism in Harriet Jacobs’s slave narrative to these rethink Orlando Patterson’s influential yet widely critiqued theorization of the social death of the enslaved. It shows that the end product of social death was not silent, passive slaves, but a multitude of voluble, raucous ghosts and other politically potent incarnations of the living dead.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-479
Number of pages36
JournalESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2016

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Black Humanities


  • African American Literature
  • Women Writers
  • Religion and Literature
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Agency
  • Literature of Enslavement
  • Spiritualism
  • Black Women Writers
  • Motherhood

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