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Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh: “The Ethics of Revenge: Enslaved Women and Poison in the American South.”
Summary: Narratives regarding acts of lethal violence enacted by enslaved females remain largely on the periphery of histories of slavery in the United States amid the robust historiography documenting insurrections and other acts of violence organized primarily by enslaved males. However, a closer examination of accusations of poisoning in the South reveals the various ways bondwomen wielded botanical and ritual knowledges against their captors and invites questions about the place of vengeance in woman-gendered bondpeople’s ethical repertoires.
Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies.