Envisaging a future for slavery : Agostino Brunias and the imperial politics of labor and reproduction

Thomas, Sarah (2018) Envisaging a future for slavery : Agostino Brunias and the imperial politics of labor and reproduction. Eighteenth-Century Studies, 52(1), pp. 115-133. ISSN (print) 0013-2586

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Abstract

The paintings and prints of Agostino Brunias (1730-1796) served not only to visualise some of the British Empire’s newest colonies following the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War, but also to encourage settlement by presenting a utopian vision of slave societies that were content, wealthy and, most importantly, self-sustaining. This paper argues that Brunias’s imagery contributed to the ameliorationist rhetoric that accompanied the rise of abolitionism in Britain. By avoiding scenes of plantation labor, discipline and punishment, and emphasising instead the refinement, robust health and fertility of slaves and free people of color, it purported to confirm that amelioration could safeguard slavery’s future.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: History
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Kingston School of Art > School of Critical Studies and Creative Industries
Kingston School of Art
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Depositing User: Sarah Thomas
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2018 09:53
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2019 09:02
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/ecs.2018.0029
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/41135

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