Caroline H. YangDec 4, 2020
The Peculiar Afterlife of Slavery
The Chinese Worker and the Minstrel Form
Stanford University Press 2020
The Peculiar Afterlife of Slavery: The Chinese Worker and the Minstrel Form (Stanford University Press, 2020) explores how antiblack racism lived on through the figure of the Chinese worker in US literature after emancipation. Drawing out the connections between this liminal figure and the formal aesthetics of blackface minstrelsy in literature of the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction eras, Caroline H. Yang reveals the ways antiblackness structured US cultural production during a crucial moment of reconstructing and re-narrating US empire after the Civil War.
Ultimately, The Peculiar Afterlife of Slavery shows how the Chinese worker manifests the inextricable links between US literature, slavery, and empire, as well as the indispensable role of antiblackness as a cultural form in the United States.
Dr. Caroline Yang is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations.