Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

The Iconography of Slavery

Lead Scholar: Maurie McInnis (Executive Vice President and Provost, University of Texas at Austin)

October 14, 2010

Visual imagery played a major role in the anti-slavery movement. From the iconic image of a kneeling slave asking “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” to images of family separations through sale at auction, images were an important weapon in the arsenal of abolitionist activity. This seminar looks at some of the imagery created in support of anti-slavery activities. How did the imagery evolve? What were the major themes? What were the iconic images of slavery? And how, then, did artists portray freedom? What was the relationship between anti-slavery imagery and slave narratives and abolitionist writing, including Uncle Tom’s Cabin?

Subjects: Literature; Film and Media; History; Slavery; Enslaved Persons; Iconography; Abolitionism; American History