"To Speak For Myself": Eighteenth-Century Writers of Color and the First Great Awakening

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrew M. Pisano (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Karen Weyler

Abstract: This dissertation contends that the first religious Great Awakening of the eighteenth century provided colonial American and early Republic writers of color with an ideological catalyst that helped them define themselves and their communities' sense of pride, purpose, and continuance. My project examines a literate group of South Carolina slaves, free black itinerant preacher John Marrant, and Mohegan minister and cultural leader, Samson Occom. By considering how these marginalized writers and revivalist engaged with and inspired textual forms of representation, I expand the boundaries of early Black Atlantic literary studies and understandings of Mohegan resistance to colonial religious and cultural surveillance. Highlighting these writers' adaption of and engagement with the cultural norms and literary genres of the Great Awakening further nuances our knowledge of how oppressed writers of color asserted themselves as vital, imaginative agents of social justice.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Eighteenth-Century Print Culture, First Great Awakening, Jonathan Bryan's Slaves, Marrant, John, Occom, Samson, Revivals
Great Awakening
American literature $x Minority authors $x History and criticism
African Americans $x Intellectual life $y 18th century

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