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Cross Racial Alliance and the Turning Point of Slavery in A Mercy

Scholars of U.S. Culture and History Sharon Holland, Thomas Foster, Francesca Royster and John Shanahan explore the unexpected fluidity of interpersonal relationships across race and class in colonial America.

Morrison’s novel represents a wide range of alliances between white indentured servants and free blacks, between enslaved and free blacks, between Native Americans and blacks, between mistresses and servants, and between hetero and non-heteronormative men. How do these relationships challenge our assumptions about traditional categories of identity and difference? What are the points of shared stakes and tension between groups? How and why did such tenuous communities change?

Sponsored by DePaul University’s Department of English

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