The Child Convict and Anti-Childhood in Austin Reed's The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict

Arline Wilson

University of Delaware

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Delaware, working on my dissertation, “Haunting in Plain View: Textual Ghosts and Cultural Hauntings and Reading Eruptions in 19th-Century African American Literature and American Culture.” My scholarship examines eruptions of gothic language in 19th-century African American texts and analyzes why authors turned to gothic language to articulate experiences and trauma specific to African American lived realities. My dissertation advisors are Dr. Jeannie Pfaelzer, Professor of English, Women and Gender Studies, and Asian Studies at the University of Delaware and Dr. John Ernest, English Department Chair, University of Delaware. 


On July 19th, 1833, a ten-year-old African American boy named Austin Reed was arrested for arson against the property of Mr. Herman Ladd, a wealthy farmer in New York (Reed 224). Reed, who was indentured to Ladd, set fire to... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Arline Wilson (University of Delaware)

Topic Area

Childhood Teleologies: Climates of Growth


S7a » Seminar 7.a: Childhood Teleologies: Climates of Growth I (15:45 - Friday, 23rd March, Boardroom East)

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