Blackface Minstrelsy at Home: Domestic Performance and the Fantasy of the Non-Consumer

Erin Pearson

Elon University

Erin Pearson is an Assistant Professor of English at Elon University. After receiving her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Irvine, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Frederick Douglass Institute of African and African-American Studies at the University of Rochester. Her current book project, Savage Hunger: Consumption and Slavery in the Atlantic World, examines the economic metaphors that allowed people to see their own consumption habits as linking them to slavery through global trade networks. Her work has appeared in ELH and Mississippi Quarterly.


In antebellum blackface minstrel songs, enslaved people are repeatedly imagined as interchangeable with the fields they tend and the crops they produce. These songs describe slaves with teeth like corn, faces like coffee, and... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Erin Pearson (Elon University)

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P16 » Acts of Consumption: Performance, Bodies, Culture (14:00 - Thursday, 22nd March, Enchantment A)

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