Hartman, Saidiya V. (Saidiya Hartman)

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Hartman, Saidiya V. (Saidiya Hartman)

PERSONAL:

Born in Brooklyn, NY. Education: Wesleyan University, B.A., 1984; Yale University, Ph.D., 1992.

ADDRESSES:

Office—618 Philosophy Hall, Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027-6902. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Educator. Columbia University, New York, NY, professor of English and comparative literature, 2006—. Has also taught at the University of California at Berkeley.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Fulbright fellow; Rockefeller fellow; Whitney Oates fellow; University of California President's fellow.

WRITINGS:

(With Beryl J. Wright) Lorna Simpson: For the Sake of the Viewer, Universe Publishing (New York, NY), 1992.

Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

(As Saidiya Hartman) Lose Your Mother: A Journey along the Atlantic Slave Route, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to South Atlantic Quarterly. Member of editorial board of Callaloo.

SIDELIGHTS:

Saidiya V. Hartman writes widely about African American literature and cultural history. In Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America, Hartman "considers the role of performance and audience in making racial identity," observed Joyce Green MacDonald in College Literature. Hartman examines forms of control commonplace in slave society, including auctions, public whippings, forced dancing and singing, and blackface minstrelsy, that "turned slaves' suffering into spectacle for the enjoyment of white observers and conveniently bodied forth more abstract or notional conceptions of ‘Negro nature as carefree, infantile, hedonistic, and indifferent to suffering,’" remarked MacDonald. "Hartman's study is grounded in much research and obviously propelled by a mighty passion," wrote Robert Pettus Hay in the Mississippi Quarterly. "The author has an unmistakable appreciation for the victims of the system, who faced the enormous challenge of carving out areas of personal freedom amidst the terror, of somehow even approximately a self-possessed individualism in these varied ‘scenes of subjection.’"

Hartman, a descendant of slaves, traveled to Africa to explore her past in Lose Your Mother: A Journey along the Atlantic Slave Route, "a provocative work, tinged with sadness and anger," observed a critic in Kirkus Reviews. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Elizabeth Schmidt called Lose Your Mother "an original, thought-provoking meditation on the corrosive legacy of slavery from the 16th century to the present and a welcome illustration of the powers of innovative scholarship to help us better understand how history shapes identity."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Hartman, Saidiya, Lose Your Mother: A Journey along the Atlantic Slave Route, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2006.

PERIODICALS

African American Review, winter, 1999, Anita Patterson, review of Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America.

American Literature, September 1, 1998, Russ Castronovo, review of Scenes of Subjection, p. 675.

Booklist, February 1, 2007, Vanessa Bush, review of Lose Your Mother, p. 25.

Choice, January 1, 1998, review of Scenes of Subjection, p. 884.

College Literature, spring, 1999, Joyce Green MacDonald, review of Scenes of Subjection.

Journal of American History, September 1, 1998, Nell Irvin Painter, review of Scenes of Subjection, p. 680.

Journal of American Studies, August 1, 1999, Karen Wilkinson, review of Scenes of Subjection, p. 374.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2006, review of Lose Your Mother, p. 1111.

Mississippi Quarterly, spring, 1999, Robert Pettus Hay, review of Scenes of Subjection.

New York Times Book Review, February 11, 2007, Elizabeth Schmidt, "Erasing Slavery."

TDR, winter, 1999, Fred Moten, review of Scenes of Subjection.

ONLINE

Saidiya V. Hartman Web site,http://www.loseyourmother.com (June 10, 2007).

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Hartman, Saidiya V. (Saidiya Hartman)

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