Abstract

Abstract:

At a time when Enlightenment ideology, European travel narratives and memoirs influenced racial discourses about African women and their daughters in the Americas, Mederic Elié Moreau de Saint-Méry, writing in 1796, composed the essay "Danse". This paper translates and explores the prominent writer's voyeuristic observations of the detailed preparations, festive gatherings and stylized body movements of free(d) and enslaved women on the island of Saint Domingue. Deconstructing Saint-Méry's biased gaze, I argue that intimacy needs to be redefined considering the everyday lives of women of colour, especially in the port cities of Cap Français and Port-au-Prince, before the stirrings of revolution.

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Additional Information

ISSN
0799-5946
Print ISSN
0047-2263
Pages
pp. 143-170
Launched on MUSE
2019-03-27
Open Access
No
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