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The Strange History of the American Quadroon: Free Women of Color in the Revolutionary Atlantic

Exotic, seductive, and doomed: the antebellum mixed-race free woman of color - Untangling myth and memory

featuring Professor Emily Clark -- the Clement Chambers Benenson Professor in American Colonial History and Associate Professor of History at Tulane. Prof Clark specializes in early American and Atlantic world history.

Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Building: Alumni House, 6319 Willow Street - parking available in the Collins Diboll Parking Garage
Location: uptown campus

Exotic, seductive, and doomed: the antebellum mixed-race free woman of color has long operated as a metaphor for New Orleans. Commonly known as a "quadroon," she and the city she represents rest irretrievably condemned in the popular historical imagination by the linked sins of slavery and interracial sex. However, as Emily Clark shows, the rich archives of New Orleans tell a different story. Free women of color with ancestral roots in New Orleans were as likely to marry in the 1820s as white women. And marriage, not concubinage, was the basis of their family structure. In The Strange History of the American Quadroon, Clark investigates how the narrative of the erotic colored mistress became an elaborate literary and commercial trope, persisting as a symbol that long outlived the political and cultural purposes for which it had been created. Untangling myth and memory, she presents a dramatically new and nuanced understanding of the myths and realities of New Orleans's free women of color. The complex stories of free women of color “should make us think about all kinds of other stories in American history that we’ve been comfortable with and haven’t asked questions about,” says Clark. “It‘s a good lesson in why it pays to go back and look at the archives. Archives are more likely to tell us what people were actually doing. Narrative accounts only tell us what people say people were doing.”

Sponsored by: Alumni Affairs / Alumni Association

Admission: Admission is charged
Open to: Alumni, Faculty, Graduate students, Parents, Prospective undergrads, Staff, Undergraduates, Visitors

Tickets: Required
Ticket Information: $10 per person. Open to Alumni, Faculty, Graduate Students, Parents, Prospective undergrads, Staff, Undergraduates, Visitors and Friends.
Refreshments

Please RSVP by Friday, September 13, 2013 via the web at http://www.tulane.edu/alumni

For more information contact Ken Tedesco via email to ktedesco@tulane.edu or by phone at 504-314-2963






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