Inkface: An Alternate Genealogy for Atlantic Racial Ideology

NOV 16, 2018 | 4:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


4406: English Student Lounge


November 16, 2018: 4:00 PM




Miles Grier, Queens College CUNY

Histories of racial ideology in the early Atlantic world tend to be derived from the fields of legal history and the history of science and their archives of documents that elaborate and systematize. However, this archive does not capture the historical fact that racial difference had already been established in reading and performance cultures as a distinction between white persons capable of reading texts and bodies and blackened persons, covered in ink and, thus, meant to be read. In this talk, I will provide examples of this recurring trope in literary and performance culture--predating the first slave codes--and discuss what they offer for an intersectional history of early modern race and its persistent contemporary manifestations.