Programs > Academic Programs

Academic Seminars


The Anatomy of a Stranger:
Slavery and the Bible in African American Literature


Lloyd Pratt

(AAS-NEH Long-term Fellow and Assistant Professor of English and Core Faculty in African American and African Studies, Michigan State University)

Monday, November 23, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.
Elmarion Room, Goddard-Daniels House
190 Salisbury Street, Worcester, Massachusetts

PRÉCIS: This paper asks how our ideas of the "modern," the "stranger," and the relationship between these two change when considered in the context of nineteenth-century debates over the Bible's position on slavery. Those nineteenth-century debates often turned on the question of who should count as a stranger. They also asked whether the Bible endorsed the enslavement of strangers or demanded hospitality to them. In addition to refining our sense of the meaning of the stranger in modernity, this context also illuminates the fugitive slave narrative's repeated turns to the language of strangerhood.


Refreshments will be provided after the paper, which will be followed by a dutch-treat dinner in Worcester. If you plan to attend, please notify Ann-Cathrine Rapp at AAS no later than Friday, November 20. Email her at arapp[at], or go to the calendar and electronic registration form.

The Society regrets that it is unable to make refunds after that date.

Reservations are suggested (and deeply appreciated) for attending the seminar. Reservations are required to attend the supper.