Troubled Memories: histories of the British Slave trade and slavery

Catherine Hall (UCL)
18 May 2011





Language: English


This paper explores the memories and histories of the slave trade and slavery produced by three figures, all of whom were connected with the compensation awarded to slave owners by the British government in 1833. It argues that memories associated with slavery, of the Middle Passage and the plantations, were deeply troubling, easier to forget than remember. Enthusiasm for abolition, and the ending of ‘the stain’ upon the nation, provided a way of screening disturbing associations, partially forgetting a long history of British involvement in the slavery business. Yet remembering and forgetting are always interlinked as different genres of text reveal.