Freedom under Scrutiny

Freedom under Scrutiny The objective of this special issue is to decenter discussions around freedom by focusing on “freedom from below, i.e. from the perspective of those who have lost their freedom and struggled … to regain it.”1 It brings together seven contributions that portray the struggles of enslaved and unfree persons in different places and moments in time. Together, these articles show that the strugglers do not share the same perspectives, aspirations, and strategies. Responses to oppression are fragmented and diverse. They range from accepting unfreedom while negotiating for better treatment; to trying to move away from sites of unfreedom and seeking opportunities elsewhere; to openly voicing resistance. Perhaps paradoxically, what brings these articles together is the spread of an abolitionist discourse that made available a particular way of imagining and pursuing freedom. Abolitionist freedom—the freedom that Alice Bellagamba sets out to deconstruct—runs across all of the contributions and exposes the singularity of myriads of individual projects of freedom “from below.”That the aspirations of dominated and unfree persons do not coalesce into a unified, visible, and public political agenda is a corollary of their powerlessness. Their visions of freedom, whatever they may be, do not shape policy. John Christman is correct http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Global Slavery Brill

Freedom under Scrutiny

Journal of Global Slavery, Volume 2 (1-2): 10 – Jan 1, 2017

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2405-8351
eISSN
2405-836X
DOI
10.1163/2405836X-00201014
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The objective of this special issue is to decenter discussions around freedom by focusing on “freedom from below, i.e. from the perspective of those who have lost their freedom and struggled … to regain it.”1 It brings together seven contributions that portray the struggles of enslaved and unfree persons in different places and moments in time. Together, these articles show that the strugglers do not share the same perspectives, aspirations, and strategies. Responses to oppression are fragmented and diverse. They range from accepting unfreedom while negotiating for better treatment; to trying to move away from sites of unfreedom and seeking opportunities elsewhere; to openly voicing resistance. Perhaps paradoxically, what brings these articles together is the spread of an abolitionist discourse that made available a particular way of imagining and pursuing freedom. Abolitionist freedom—the freedom that Alice Bellagamba sets out to deconstruct—runs across all of the contributions and exposes the singularity of myriads of individual projects of freedom “from below.”That the aspirations of dominated and unfree persons do not coalesce into a unified, visible, and public political agenda is a corollary of their powerlessness. Their visions of freedom, whatever they may be, do not shape policy. John Christman is correct

Journal

Journal of Global SlaveryBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2017

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