Sasha Turner

Contested Bodies

Pregnancy, Child-Rearing, and Slavery in Jamaica

University of Pennsylvania Press 2017

New Books in British StudiesNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network February 8, 2018 Tyler Yank

Sasha Turner’s Contested Bodies: Pregnancy, Child-Rearing, and Slavery in Jamaica (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017) reveals enslaved women’s contrasting ideas about maternity and raising...

Sasha Turner’s Contested Bodies: Pregnancy, Child-Rearing, and Slavery in Jamaica (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017) reveals enslaved women’s contrasting ideas about maternity and raising children in plantation-era Jamaica. Turner argues that, as the source of new labour, these women created rituals, customs, and relationships around pregnancy, childbirth, and childrearing that enabled them at times to dictate the nature and pace of their work as well as their value. Drawing on a wide range of sources—including abolitionist treatises, legislative documents, slave narratives, runaway advertisements, and proslavery literature—Contested Bodies yields a fresh account of how the end of the slave trade changed the bodily experiences of those still enslaved in Jamaica.

Sasha Turner is an Associate Professor of History at Quinnipiac University, where she teaches courses on the Caribbean and the African Diaspora, women, piracy, colonialism, and slavery.


Tyler Yank is a senior doctoral candidate in History at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). Her work explores bonded women and British Empire in the western Indian Ocean World.

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