October 7, 2020 – Rachel Grace Newman

Assistant Professor of Art History
Tyler School of Art and Architecture
Temple University

Beyond the Veil: Buried Entities, Black Geographies, and the Camera Lucida in Colonial Jamaica

Jamaica in the early nineteenth century was a brutal world ruled by sugar and plantation enslavement. Watercolors by the British artist William Berryman give us a glimpse into the oft-forgotten spaces of that world, specifically, the provision ground – land enslaved people used to grow sustenance. This paper peels back the layers of Berryman’s scenes, asking us to look beyond what has been rendered visible by his hand. Using Katherine McKittrick’s theory of black geographies, I examine how those things we cannot see, those things that are literally buried in the ground, constructed alternate modes of power on plantations and enabled enslaved people to mark their earth as their own.

* Unless otherwise specified, this lecture will be recorded.