Travel, globalization, capitalism, class politics, feminism, liberalism, and the spread of democracy are typically associated with contemporary political moments. But they all have their roots in the nineteenth century, when they gained strength in part through their intersections with rhetorics of race. This site is keyed to a course on race and the Victorians, that was collaboratively developed by professors at Macalester College, Michigan State University, and the University of Detroit-Mercy. The course interrogates notions of race as they were being invented—exploring how they were popularized and used to dominate, how they failed, and how they were resisted in 19th-century Britain. The reading list includes canonical and non-canonical texts, including works by writers of color, visual images, scientific theories, fiction, and non-fiction.
Considering locations throughout the British empire, three groups of students on three different campuses will explore common readings and undertake assignments–some in collaboration with each other–to help them think through complex issues of the intersections of race with the history of British slavery, colonial settlement, gender politics, enfranchisement, war, and religion.
Over the course of the semester, the students will work in groups that span institutions to produce a digital final project: a full scholarly edition—including appendices, annotations, and a scholarly introduction—of a nineteenth-century memoir written by a person of color: A Visit to Europe, by T.N. Mukharji (1889).
Students will collect and annotate primary documents from the period that provide a wide range of contexts in which to consider Mukharji’s text, ultimately producing a digital scholarly version of the text.
For more information, contact:
Andrea Kaston Tange (Macalester College, akastont @ macalester.edu)
Zarena Aslami (Michigan State University, aslami @ msu.edu)
Mary-Catherine Harrison (University of Detroit-Mercy, mc.harrison @ udmercy.edu)