Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


(Re)Viewing the Promisedland in Lawrence Hill's "Book of Negroes"




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Lawrence Hill's Book of Negroes (2007) is a significant recent addition to the growing list of post-modern slave narratives published since 1970. One of the most interesting features of Hill's neo-slave narrative is its multi-rootedess; while the narrative carries the reader from the western shores of the continent Africa to the US, it also includes Canada as a part of the Americas that perpetuated notions of white supremacy. In so doing, Hill troubles Canada's oft-touted image as the space of refuge for blacks fleeing racism in the US. The author's inclusion of life in the Canada, the nation that is the mythical "promisedland" in both actual and post-modern slave narratives, is significant in the troubling of the Canada's image as being morally superior to the USA. As the neo-slave narrative usually fills in the gaps of official narratives of national slave history, in my paper presentation I look at what the multi-rootedness of the post-modern slave narrative with particular emphasis on images of Canada contributes to the genre at this moment in history.

Conference Name

Ethnic Literatures and Transnationalism

Conference Location

San Jose, California

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