counter Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive

Availability: Ready to download

In the eighteenth century, Bridgetown, Barbados, was heavily populated by both enslaved and free women. Marisa J. Fuentes creates a portrait of urban Caribbean slavery in this colonial town from the perspective of these women whose stories appear only briefly in historical records. Fuentes takes us through the streets of Bridgetown with an enslaved runaway; inside a brothe In the eighteenth century, Bridgetown, Barbados, was heavily populated by both enslaved and free women. Marisa J. Fuentes creates a portrait of urban Caribbean slavery in this colonial town from the perspective of these women whose stories appear only briefly in historical records. Fuentes takes us through the streets of Bridgetown with an enslaved runaway; inside a brothel run by a freed woman of color; in the midst of a white urban household in sexual chaos; to the gallows where enslaved people were executed; and within violent scenes of enslaved women's punishments. In the process, Fuentes interrogates the archive and its historical production to expose the ongoing effects of white colonial power that constrain what can be known about these women. Combining fragmentary sources with interdisciplinary methodologies that include black feminist theory and critical studies of history and slavery, Dispossessed Lives demonstrates how the construction of the archive marked enslaved women's bodies, in life and in death. By vividly recounting enslaved life through the experiences of individual women and illuminating their conditions of confinement through the legal, sexual, and representational power wielded by slave owners, colonial authorities, and the archive, Fuentes challenges the way we write histories of vulnerable and often invisible subjects.


Compare

In the eighteenth century, Bridgetown, Barbados, was heavily populated by both enslaved and free women. Marisa J. Fuentes creates a portrait of urban Caribbean slavery in this colonial town from the perspective of these women whose stories appear only briefly in historical records. Fuentes takes us through the streets of Bridgetown with an enslaved runaway; inside a brothe In the eighteenth century, Bridgetown, Barbados, was heavily populated by both enslaved and free women. Marisa J. Fuentes creates a portrait of urban Caribbean slavery in this colonial town from the perspective of these women whose stories appear only briefly in historical records. Fuentes takes us through the streets of Bridgetown with an enslaved runaway; inside a brothel run by a freed woman of color; in the midst of a white urban household in sexual chaos; to the gallows where enslaved people were executed; and within violent scenes of enslaved women's punishments. In the process, Fuentes interrogates the archive and its historical production to expose the ongoing effects of white colonial power that constrain what can be known about these women. Combining fragmentary sources with interdisciplinary methodologies that include black feminist theory and critical studies of history and slavery, Dispossessed Lives demonstrates how the construction of the archive marked enslaved women's bodies, in life and in death. By vividly recounting enslaved life through the experiences of individual women and illuminating their conditions of confinement through the legal, sexual, and representational power wielded by slave owners, colonial authorities, and the archive, Fuentes challenges the way we write histories of vulnerable and often invisible subjects.

30 review for Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katie Hanna

    This book is brutal, and excellent. A must-read for anyone interested in the history of enslaved women. "Perhaps resistance to the violence of slavery is survival, the will to survive, the sound of someone wanting to live or wanting to die. But the struggle against dehumanization is in the wanting. And sometimes, we can hear it." This book is brutal, and excellent. A must-read for anyone interested in the history of enslaved women. "Perhaps resistance to the violence of slavery is survival, the will to survive, the sound of someone wanting to live or wanting to die. But the struggle against dehumanization is in the wanting. And sometimes, we can hear it."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Krista McCracken

    Highly recommend to archivists or historians who are working with the histories of marginalized communities. Fuentes' work with the history of the enslaved community of Bridgetown, Barbados fundamentally shifts the historical conversation away from the white colonial archival records and includes a deep conversation about archival silences, archival power, and violence in the archive. Highly recommend to archivists or historians who are working with the histories of marginalized communities. Fuentes' work with the history of the enslaved community of Bridgetown, Barbados fundamentally shifts the historical conversation away from the white colonial archival records and includes a deep conversation about archival silences, archival power, and violence in the archive.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Wacaser

    This book asks the question, how can you recreate the lives of enslaved women when the archive has obliterated their lives? The ways I which Fuentes is able to illuminate those lives using what little sources are available is masterful. I found myself in tears often as I read this book. As a genealogist and budding historian I am reconsidering everything I thought I understood about archives and sources. This book also details how much effort went into developing a system of racism to dehumanize This book asks the question, how can you recreate the lives of enslaved women when the archive has obliterated their lives? The ways I which Fuentes is able to illuminate those lives using what little sources are available is masterful. I found myself in tears often as I read this book. As a genealogist and budding historian I am reconsidering everything I thought I understood about archives and sources. This book also details how much effort went into developing a system of racism to dehumanize, in gender, objectify, and sexualize the bodies of enslaved women. By extracting the few names she could, Fuentes attempts to reconstruct the lives of a few women, contextualizing their history within the place and time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    This one went pretty far over my head, to be honest. Definitely not a trained historian (I went the English route instead), but I admired the structure and dedication to thorough end notes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    I have to criticize Fuentes for the accessibility of Dispossessed Lives. It's certainly not a book for the layman researcher or a book you want to pick up without some introduction to the subject. In many other works I find this acceptable, as the elite in a field sometimes need converse with each other at the highest academic level and that's fine. That being said, a lot of it felt unnecessary here. Past that it's a fantastic book that cleanly slices most everything in the established archive i I have to criticize Fuentes for the accessibility of Dispossessed Lives. It's certainly not a book for the layman researcher or a book you want to pick up without some introduction to the subject. In many other works I find this acceptable, as the elite in a field sometimes need converse with each other at the highest academic level and that's fine. That being said, a lot of it felt unnecessary here. Past that it's a fantastic book that cleanly slices most everything in the established archive in half. Just be ready to reread certain sections... a lot.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    This book changed how I view silences in the historical archive. It is absolutely a read that is worth it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abby Suzanne

    I grabbed Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive by Marisa Fuentes at my library book sale at one point in time. If you know nothing else about Gainesville, you should know our library book sale is insane and glorious and a place to find all sorts of treasures for like zero dollars. This book was no exception. It was definitely an exercise in highlighting my own ignorance, because I knew nothing (and still know little) about slavery in the Caribbean and the lives of enslav I grabbed Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive by Marisa Fuentes at my library book sale at one point in time. If you know nothing else about Gainesville, you should know our library book sale is insane and glorious and a place to find all sorts of treasures for like zero dollars. This book was no exception. It was definitely an exercise in highlighting my own ignorance, because I knew nothing (and still know little) about slavery in the Caribbean and the lives of enslaved and free(d) Black women in the Caribbean. This was definitely definitely an academic read; that being said, because the story was framed using the lives and archival records (however limited) of several women, it wasn't as dense as it could have been. I learned A LOT from this one, mostly about how the lives of enslaved women continue to be erased by history, and how their experiences of violence have been silenced just as they were when the women lived. Honestly I'm not sure where you'd even find this one (it was published in 2016, so probably still available via the publisher), but reading it definitely highlighted the importance of catching up on your TBR and all those books you picked up at one point or another. Could be some gems in there, just like this one!

  8. 5 out of 5

    RLC

    This is an important read for anybody interested in the history of enslaved women. It is a brutally honest recounting of the lived experience of enslaved women in the Caribbean. Stylistically, it is a very well executed book. One of the most intriguing additions, in my opinion, is Fuentes' use of the names of individual women in her chapter titles. In chapter 1 we are introduced to Jane, a fugitive slave, through an ad that had been put out to aid in her capture and return to her master. The add This is an important read for anybody interested in the history of enslaved women. It is a brutally honest recounting of the lived experience of enslaved women in the Caribbean. Stylistically, it is a very well executed book. One of the most intriguing additions, in my opinion, is Fuentes' use of the names of individual women in her chapter titles. In chapter 1 we are introduced to Jane, a fugitive slave, through an ad that had been put out to aid in her capture and return to her master. The add is only two lines long but according to Fuentes can tell us much about Jane's individual lived experience as a slave. For example, Fuentes argues that the scars left on the bodies of enslaved women is a way in which their story can be understood and shared to others. I believe that this is a book that should be better incorporated into the study of slavery. Any book written about the lives of enslaved women should be given specific attention, as the history of enslaved women is often missing from the history of slavery as a whole.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Constance

    This book is phenomenal. As a new historical researcher, Fuentes lays out a methodology that makes it possible to work with the "fragments" and traces of Black women in the archive. She circumvents the normalization of archival violence of Black women and unveils the power and production at play in the writings of Black women's histories. Even if so many Black women were unable to tell their stories, Fuentes gives voice to those who probably never thought that their stories would be told. It is This book is phenomenal. As a new historical researcher, Fuentes lays out a methodology that makes it possible to work with the "fragments" and traces of Black women in the archive. She circumvents the normalization of archival violence of Black women and unveils the power and production at play in the writings of Black women's histories. Even if so many Black women were unable to tell their stories, Fuentes gives voice to those who probably never thought that their stories would be told. It is clear that the ancestors were with Fuentes as she was writing this. Her book convinced me that the work of a historian is first and foremost spiritual. Historical storytelling relies on gut feelings, intuition, prayers, and meditation, especially when grappling with lives marred by violence. This is a must read for anyone doing historical research and for anyone interested in the intersections of gender, blackness, and slavery.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David York

    This is the kind of book that I love encountering during college history courses. A deep dive, case study style book that truly unearths stories and narratives by writing in a very unique style that I found both engaging and informative as I worked my way through the book. The chapter by chapter approach, focusing on a variety of different women but remaining within the same relative area of Bridgetown, allows Fuentes to get creative with her writing while also not losing the primary goal of sho This is the kind of book that I love encountering during college history courses. A deep dive, case study style book that truly unearths stories and narratives by writing in a very unique style that I found both engaging and informative as I worked my way through the book. The chapter by chapter approach, focusing on a variety of different women but remaining within the same relative area of Bridgetown, allows Fuentes to get creative with her writing while also not losing the primary goal of showing the reader the brutality that enslaved women faced. The book moves at a good pace, and the only real critical element that I have is that maybe it is not for everyone. The book has a very historical nature, and even though I greatly enjoyed the structure of the book, some more casual readers may not.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Skezas

    Constructing the history of Barbadian slavery in a sociological lens, Fuentes discusses the oppression enslaved women endured in through various topics. They range from sexual exploitation, race, gender and the gruesome violence that occurred in the 18th century. Fuentes explains the history of a brutal institution that left enslaved women in the cusp of life and death everyday from their masters. One important aspect she emphasizes in the beginning of the book is that the scarred body of the en Constructing the history of Barbadian slavery in a sociological lens, Fuentes discusses the oppression enslaved women endured in through various topics. They range from sexual exploitation, race, gender and the gruesome violence that occurred in the 18th century. Fuentes explains the history of a brutal institution that left enslaved women in the cusp of life and death everyday from their masters. One important aspect she emphasizes in the beginning of the book is that the scarred body of the enslaved is not only a demonstration on the evils of slavery, but was an archival piece of history illustrating one of humanity’s darkest parts of history. If you want to delve deep into some postmodernist feminist theory, I reccommend reading this book to those who wish to take a look at some micro-histories of slavery in 18th century Barbados.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eliya

    Fuentes offers excellent examples on how to extrapolate and analyze archival sources in a way that allows the researcher to garner more insight into the lives and experiences of people who are often erased from historical memory. This book focuses on the various experiences of free and enslaved women in an urban setting in Barbados. Throughout the book, Fuentes focuses on the stories of several women whose fleeting appearances in the historical record carry far more weight and insight into this Fuentes offers excellent examples on how to extrapolate and analyze archival sources in a way that allows the researcher to garner more insight into the lives and experiences of people who are often erased from historical memory. This book focuses on the various experiences of free and enslaved women in an urban setting in Barbados. Throughout the book, Fuentes focuses on the stories of several women whose fleeting appearances in the historical record carry far more weight and insight into this Caribbean slave society than a traditional reading might establish. Fuentes’ way of challenging the limitations of traditional reading and piecing together more complete pictures of women’s role in the slave system makes this book useful for historians who are interested in understanding more about the history of marginalized people.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rayan Ramirez

    Marisa J. Fuentes’s Dispossessed Lives is a focused historical piece on slave narratives within Bridgetown, Barbados. Moreover, it is an examination on the narrative of women who had been enslaved in Barbados. As a whole, the book serves as a device to recount slave narratives and assert them at the front of slave history. Additionally, Fuentes puts forward the notion that the system of slavery was based on gender and was made to keep women within it. It is a combination of theory meeting histor Marisa J. Fuentes’s Dispossessed Lives is a focused historical piece on slave narratives within Bridgetown, Barbados. Moreover, it is an examination on the narrative of women who had been enslaved in Barbados. As a whole, the book serves as a device to recount slave narratives and assert them at the front of slave history. Additionally, Fuentes puts forward the notion that the system of slavery was based on gender and was made to keep women within it. It is a combination of theory meeting history as Fuentes examines the gendered history that is involved in telling the slave story. I’d recommend this book to any person or scholar who wishes to be given new perspectives of slavery within the Americas.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tara Wilson

    Personally, I found Fuentes’ research of the micro history of Bridgetown, Barbados enslaved and free women fascinating. Fuentes’ goal was to reveal the enslaved women’s story of urban Caribbean enslavement and dedicated to enslaved women who tend to be mislooked when examining enslaved history. She boldly combindes the archive, it’s silences, black feminist theory and critical studies of history to reexamine these women’s lives and experiences through a organized thematic approach that touched o Personally, I found Fuentes’ research of the micro history of Bridgetown, Barbados enslaved and free women fascinating. Fuentes’ goal was to reveal the enslaved women’s story of urban Caribbean enslavement and dedicated to enslaved women who tend to be mislooked when examining enslaved history. She boldly combindes the archive, it’s silences, black feminist theory and critical studies of history to reexamine these women’s lives and experiences through a organized thematic approach that touched on enslaved runaway, brothels, households and economic, and genered punishments and exploitation. Fuentes’ achieves her intended goal to illustrate how enslaved women were violated throughout their bodies and the body of the archive.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    This book is great for historians or students of history. For the average reader looking for a great narrative story to read, this just isn’t it. Fuentes deals with the nitty gritty of archival research in Barbados while trying to relay what life was like for enslaved women in the urban setting of Bridgetown. Unlike histories on prominent white men, or even regular white men involved in history, Fuentes openly deals with the silences of enslaved women in Barbados’ archives, despite the fact that This book is great for historians or students of history. For the average reader looking for a great narrative story to read, this just isn’t it. Fuentes deals with the nitty gritty of archival research in Barbados while trying to relay what life was like for enslaved women in the urban setting of Bridgetown. Unlike histories on prominent white men, or even regular white men involved in history, Fuentes openly deals with the silences of enslaved women in Barbados’ archives, despite the fact that enslaved women made up the majority of Barbados’ population. By focusing on several figures that appear once or twice in the archives, Fuentes does a fantastic job of displaying the social, gender, and racial hierarchies of colonial Bridgetown that can be reflected in aspects of modern life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine

    The author gives us, as the reader, a first hand look at women who are enslaved. As scholars and even students know; women, especially enslaved women, and their stories are left out of the master narrative. She takes the approach looking into the enslaved women in Barbados under the English crown. Throughout the book she starts with mini slave narratives, stories of the enslaved women such as Molly in Chapter 4. We get an introduction piece and an introduction to the argument all at once. Which The author gives us, as the reader, a first hand look at women who are enslaved. As scholars and even students know; women, especially enslaved women, and their stories are left out of the master narrative. She takes the approach looking into the enslaved women in Barbados under the English crown. Throughout the book she starts with mini slave narratives, stories of the enslaved women such as Molly in Chapter 4. We get an introduction piece and an introduction to the argument all at once. Which is something I appreciate and enjoy, because then it does not feel like a textbook. She also is bringing to light the British colony we don’t learn about in U.S. history and revolutionary in bringing a new look into the life of enslaved women.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Baileigh Moquin

    I read this book for my college course on Slavery and Freedom in the Atlantic World. I found this book specifically enlightening because it is a book that finally highlights the experiences of women during this period of time in history. I highly recommend this book for historians looking to read narratives and stories about women who otherwise would have been left silent without Fuentes and their documentation. It is brutally honest and Fuentes does not hold back in their writing. Instead, she I read this book for my college course on Slavery and Freedom in the Atlantic World. I found this book specifically enlightening because it is a book that finally highlights the experiences of women during this period of time in history. I highly recommend this book for historians looking to read narratives and stories about women who otherwise would have been left silent without Fuentes and their documentation. It is brutally honest and Fuentes does not hold back in their writing. Instead, she offers the entire truth of these women and their stories. I applaud Fuentes on her use of the archives which would otherwise be overlooked.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jordan D

    Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive is a wonderfully written account of the lives of women in the Atlantic slave system. Fuentes uses the case study format to tell the reader not only the story of the women she's writing about but how slavery was gendered and what that meant for the captured females. What stands out is the integration of the resources she uses in her narrative. They are not only there to bring validity to the her argument, they bring a character to her Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive is a wonderfully written account of the lives of women in the Atlantic slave system. Fuentes uses the case study format to tell the reader not only the story of the women she's writing about but how slavery was gendered and what that meant for the captured females. What stands out is the integration of the resources she uses in her narrative. They are not only there to bring validity to the her argument, they bring a character to her writing that is unique. Her book is a raw look at gender, control and power. It will leave an impression on anyone who reads it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    NicoleKat

    A good historian is able to find historical facts and logically recite them. A great historian can retell the seemingly obsolete stories and turn them into rich imagery of character and place; Fuentes is a great historian. I have never read a more extensive examination of enslaved women, let alone one so condensed geographically. Every chapter felt like reading an obituary, an in-depth, sympathetic view of one's life, along with the unforeseen consequences of their stories. I have never felt so A good historian is able to find historical facts and logically recite them. A great historian can retell the seemingly obsolete stories and turn them into rich imagery of character and place; Fuentes is a great historian. I have never read a more extensive examination of enslaved women, let alone one so condensed geographically. Every chapter felt like reading an obituary, an in-depth, sympathetic view of one's life, along with the unforeseen consequences of their stories. I have never felt so invested in a historical character's life as I did when reading this book. Truly a trailblazer for the interdisciplinary work of women's studies and history.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Geraghty

    The book focuses on the perspectives of enslaved women and gives insight into why collecting this information can be difficult. This book looks at the lives of both freed and enslaved women in Barbados. The population of Barbados is important because the population was primarily women, both white and black. This helps us to understand the daily lives and formation of identity for multiple women during this time. This book brings to light how complex women's history can be and is a must-read for The book focuses on the perspectives of enslaved women and gives insight into why collecting this information can be difficult. This book looks at the lives of both freed and enslaved women in Barbados. The population of Barbados is important because the population was primarily women, both white and black. This helps us to understand the daily lives and formation of identity for multiple women during this time. This book brings to light how complex women's history can be and is a must-read for those who want to study marginalized groups in history.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John McElligott

    In this book, Fuentes does a magnificent job of portraying female slaves’ lives. Fuentes portrays the lives of female and male slaves in a completely different light and demonstrates the main differences between the two. One part of her method I particularly enjoyed was the use of quotes at the beginning of each chapter. This serves as an excellent way to engage the reader and works to generate interest. Fuentes is an excellent writer and did a spectacular job with this book and I would highly r In this book, Fuentes does a magnificent job of portraying female slaves’ lives. Fuentes portrays the lives of female and male slaves in a completely different light and demonstrates the main differences between the two. One part of her method I particularly enjoyed was the use of quotes at the beginning of each chapter. This serves as an excellent way to engage the reader and works to generate interest. Fuentes is an excellent writer and did a spectacular job with this book and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elissa Branum

    Historiographic intervention: new reconstruction methodology ("along the bias grain" p. 7); enslaved women as focus in urban slavery; agency in context (owning and owned women) I would say the best example of successful critical fabulation we have thus far Historiographic intervention: new reconstruction methodology ("along the bias grain" p. 7); enslaved women as focus in urban slavery; agency in context (owning and owned women) I would say the best example of successful critical fabulation we have thus far

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Simultaneously phenomenally impressed and irritated by Fuentes' use of sources. But challenging our traditional use/reading of the archives is central to her entire argument--and in this regard, she absolutely succeeded. Simultaneously phenomenally impressed and irritated by Fuentes' use of sources. But challenging our traditional use/reading of the archives is central to her entire argument--and in this regard, she absolutely succeeded.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Brilliant, though very difficult to read, emotionally-speaking.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, in addition to the extensive footnotes that only added to the methodological approach of Fuente’s research method and writing style.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    An important work. Fuentes seems to ask more questions than she answers, but the questions are challenging and productive in changing the way we think of and make history.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Sklarew

    As a student of history, this book has changed the way I will approach an archive forever. Working with seemingly nothing: a description in a runaway slave ad, a map of the urban landscape, or a sentence in a legal document, Fuentes uncovers a wealth of knowledge about the experience of enslaved women in Barbados. This book is a master class in describing and enacting brilliant ways to extrapolate from sources. I cannot recommend this book enough.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Fontaine Carpenter

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Loper

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marisa Natale

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.