Souls on Ice: Matthew Henson's `Negro Explorer at the North Pole' and Isaac Julien's `True North'

Jennifer James

The George Washington University

Jennifer James is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Africana Studies Program at The George Washington University and author of A Freedom Bought with Blood: African American War Literature, the Civil War-World War II. She is working on two books: Black Jack: Andrew Jackson and African American Cultural Memory traces three generations of her ancestors enslaved by the President. Captive Ecologies explores intersections between theories of blackness and environmental thought. Recent essays include “‘Buried in Guano’: Race, Labor, and Sustainability,” in American Literary History and “Ecomelancholia: Slavery, War, and Black Ecological Imaginings” in Environmental Criticism for 21st Century. 


In 1891, Admiral Robert Peary chose black seaman Matthew Henson to accompany him on a series of expeditions to the North Pole. This paper interprets Henson’s memoir of his role in the sixth and successful 1909 expedition and... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Jennifer James (The George Washington University)

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P77 » Bodies in Im/Proper Places: Geography, Climate, and Ideology in Scientific Research (14:00 - Saturday, 24th March, Enchantment A)

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