In an effort to support global initiatives to contain the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the Academy is presenting Spring 2020 events through online platforms and some of our previously scheduled events are being postponed to a later date. Please check our events listing for the latest information and contact our Customer Service team with any additional questions. For Academy programs and resources about COVID-19, click here.

We are experiencing intermittent technical difficulties. At this time, you may not be able to log in, register for an event, or make a donation via the website. We appreciate your patience, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

This site uses cookies.
Learn more.

×

This website uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate while others offer you a better browsing experience. You give us your permission to use cookies, by continuing to use our website after you have received the cookie notification. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to change your cookie settings, see our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

Emancipation Landscapes and Public Space in Early New York

FREE

for Members

Emancipation Landscapes and Public Space in Early New York

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wenner-Gren Foundation

Presented By

Presented by the Anthropology Section

 

Histories of slavery and freedom in the northern United States present a counterpoint to mainstream stories that highlight the plantation South. While northern slavery remains not as pronounced, northern emancipation was still greeted with public fanfare and celebration. In parades and speeches, the formerly enslaved seized the urban New York landscape to assert their freedom in a highly visible public space. However, emancipation created other landscapes as well. These reflected an inward focus that came with the spatial and symbolic removal of labor from the white familial household. I argue, in fact, that public spaces used in the demands and expressions of freedom by African Americans and other marginalized people covered for a more subversive white-desired segregation of public from private, mirrored in the segregation of back from white and work from home. Northern emancipation, therefore, was only a partial freedom as it simply involved a shift in the basis of social distinction from legal status to the presumed and practiced capacity for civility, illustrated best in the creation of the home as a civilized private space distinct from the public worlds of work, race, class conflict, and poverty.

Speaker

Christopher N. Matthews

Hofstra University

Discussant

Jim Moore

Queens College, City University of New York

A reception will precede the meeting at 6:00 pm