Document Type


Date of Degree


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Brooks Landon

First Committee Member

Horace Porter

Second Committee Member

Miriam Thaggert

Third Committee Member

Harilaos Stecopoulos

Fourth Committee Member

Leslie Schwalm


My project argues that during the 19th century resistive violence by the enslaved is impossible to meaningfully acknowledge and simultaneously too compelling to ignore. The problem of representing this violence persists in 20th century literary representations of enslaved people's conscious militancy in the U.S. Black violence is often invisible, composing an un-tell-able or at least untold aspect of history. Because these acts that almost completely resist the kind of social/historical encodations of events that make the unfamiliar, that which is distant in time and experience, familiar, violent black self-possession finds expression in strangeness - what I call the fantastical historic. The fantastical historic as a theory explains how literature contributes, through the vehicle of the non-mimetic, to both obscurantism and clarification to the lived experience of enslavers and the enslaved.


iv, 203 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 197-203).


Copyright 2013 Wanda Sybil Raiford