Literacy and the Humanizing Project in Olaudah Equiano's The Interesting Narrative and Ottobah Cugoano's Thoughts and Sentiments
Jeffrey Gunn

My article examines the role of literacy in slave narratives of the late eighteenth century.  My main argument is that literacy enabled former African slaves Olaudah Equiano and Ottobah Cugoano to humanize the African slave.  This project required Equiano and Cugoano to reveal the intellectual capacity of the African while simultaneously Christianizing the African.  As they develop literacy they follow a trajectory from oral culture to literate culture.  What is significant is the political potential of such a movement.  Particularly, the manner in which displaced peoples, such as African slaves, played an instrumental role in disrupting or dismantling the system of commerce that initially forced their movement.

Understanding these narratives becomes an interdisciplinary project, which simultaneously requires a literary, historical and political perspective.  Growing literacy among the British public played a role in the mass circulation of abolitionist ideas.  This trend provided the social landscape in which Equiano and Cugoano spread their personal abolitionist testimonies.  The result is the emergence of an alternative history of the slave trade written from the perspective of former African slaves rather than Europeans.  This kind of history reveals that Africans played a fundamental role in the abolition of the slave trade by using their literacy to document the violence suffered by millions of slaves whose oral expressions would have otherwise been lost in history.  

10 - Gunn

Nam Bithinn Mar Eun ('If I were a Bird'): Re-accessing the Paralinguistic Dimension of Traditional Scots Gaelic Storytelling
Stuart A. Harris-Logan

In relation to traditional Gaelic storytelling, Alan Bruford has argued that importance of studying 'not only words but gestures, asides to the audience, tones of voice for different characters, and every trick of the trade used in this very dramatic art-form' (1994, p.27).  In a sense, to Bruford a tale could not be considered 'complete' without some record of its mode of diction, the performance aspect.  However, many (if not most) of the Gaelic folktales which survive to us today only do so in a literary format.

This paper will address the paralinguistic use of voice (inflection, volume, intonation, impersonation etc.) as a means of avifaunal mimesis, or aural bird imitation, in the Gaelic folktale repertoire.  Informed by comparable tales recorded in a purely oral format, and using the anthropomorphosis of birds as a model, literary records of oral performance will be interrogated with a view to re-accessing elements of their orality by identifying what may be called 'paralinguistic indicators', or indicia extrapolated from the syntax of translation or presentation (including the meta-textual explanation or contextualisation recorded by the reciter/recorder), within the text itself.  In this way, the mimetic voice in Gaelic folktale performance may be seen as a metaphor for the wider dialogue between orality and literacy in intercultural and international analyses.

10 - Harris-Logan

'This little abstract': Inscribing History upon the Child in Shakespeare's King John
Katherine Knowles

Shakespeare's King John engages with conflicting ideas of history, pitting the concerns of national history and public role against the needs of the private individual. This article examines the way in which this conflict is expressed through imagery of the literary and the oral: print and inscription come to epitomise the authority of public role and duty, while the need to express individual desire at odds with public duty takes the form of spoken narratives, often shared memories, which create or highlight a division between public role and personal character.

This conflict is epitomised by the child, Prince Arthur, who, as contender for the throne is described by his allies in such a way that his individuality is obliterated: he is figured as a 'little abstract' of his father - valued only for his place in the dynastic line. I explore Arthur's use of speech and invocation of shared personal history to persuade his captor, Hubert, to disobey King John's written command to murder him, and suggest that Arthur's successful persuasion results in a temporary fracturing of personal identity and public role. Arthur becomes momentarily ahistorical: false reports to the King of the child's death leave Arthur free of his role as contender for the crown, and though he does indeed die shortly after, his use of persuasive speech has disrupted the play's preoccupation with the dominance of official printed histories.

10 - Knowles

Mnemonics and Orality in Toni Morrison's Love
Mariangela Palladino

In her latest novel, Love, Toni Morrison recounts the tale of Heed, an illiterate old black woman who tells the story of her life to Junior, a younger woman she employs as secretary to write it down. However, Heed's story will never be written and Junior's job is soon discovered to be other than the one of a secretary. Telling rather than writing is in fact the focus of Morrison's latest novel and of my analysis. Through a close reading of the text in relation to the mnemonic techniques of oral cultures, and in particular the use of the body as a mnemonic tool, this paper explores how through Morrison's insistence on orality the female body becomes the locus of memory.

10 - Palladino

Leopold von Ranke and his Development and Understanding of Modern Historical Writing
Andreas Boldt

The German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886) was one of the most influential historians of the nineteenth century. He made important contributions to the emergence of modern history as a discipline and he has been described by historians such as Alan Munslow and John Warren as the father of 'scientific' history. He was responsible for the methodical principles of archival research and source criticism becoming commonplace in academic institutions and he is generally credited with the professionalisation of the historian's craft.

This article will discuss Ranke and his historical method. It will give a brief biography of Ranke and his methodology, before discussing how he has been viewed historically, and then assessing whether this view of his historical method is correct. I will investigate Ranke's perception of, and methods of using, source evidence ranging from primary to secondary to oral material. Using this evidence, I will ask how did Ranke depict and compose history? In addition to these questions I will consider critics of Ranke's methods and include my own experiences of working on Ranke for my PhD thesis. I want to investigate what can we learn today from Ranke's methods and how far should one include one's own perceptions and biases in today's historical writing.

10S - Boldt

Progress Amidst the Pitfalls? Perception, Deception and Reception in the Writing of an Early Modern Biography
Thomas Byrne

This article will consider some of the historiographical issues which arose during the research and writing of my PhD thesis, From Irish Whig rebel to Bourbon diplomat: the life and career of Nathaniel Hooke (1664-1738). Originally the thesis set out to explore the life of an Irish Catholic Jacobite, Colonel Nathaniel Hooke. From the outset it was evident that his life was complex: converting from radical Protestantism to Catholicism, he moved from being the duke of Monmouth's chaplain to a loyal adherent of James II. However, extant depictions and perceptions of Colonel Hooke soon led to questions concerning the accuracy, completeness and biases of the sources available. It became evident that Hooke had deliberately manipulated his own family history and that archival documents and printed sources reflected this deception. Other sources available gave an insight into a conflicting interpretation -a very different family past - one where Hooke's Puritan grandfather had been deeply involved with, and benefited handsomely from, the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. For an ambitious Jacobite in exile in France, this was a poisonous heritage, understandably jettisoned. However, in a remarkable historical and historiographical twist, this sanitised version of Hooke's past became just as useful in independent Ireland over 200 years later. Thus, the process of writing the biography of an early-modern Irishman provided unexpected insights into the methodological and historiographical pitfalls of relying on authorial perceptions, the reliability of sources, and methods and motivations for manipulating the historical record - past and present.

10S - Byrne

The Equestrian Influence and the Foundation of Veterinary Schools in Europe, c. 1760-1790
Tatsuya Mitsuda

This article focuses on the emergence of veterinary medicine, illustrating the extent to which the discipline's foundation owed surprisingly little to concerns about animal diseases, which had periodically decimated livestock across Europe at this time. Rather, it argues equestrian academies, as well as those who were brought up within these riding schools, played a significant role in helping bring about veterinary schools across Europe in which the curing and shoeing of horses took pride of place above all other animals. Such a focus on horses, in particular on those which were ridden, was far from innocent: it was a reflection of an institutional mentality that considered saddle horses to be 'special', an attitude that had repercussions on what was taught and to whom within the so-called veterinary schools.

Early veterinarians who practised were thus far removed from those operating today - more accurately they can be described as enlightened farriers, who trained under the auspices of those who considered the horse the only animal worth treating and who believed that pupils should be recruited that could maintain this equine focus. Such traits were also reflected within schools in England and Germany, which followed the lead of the French schools. Similarly privileging the horse above all other animals, the article charts how the veterinary establishment defended the primacy of the horse from those who wanted to extend its remit. Even though comparative anatomy, medical and scientific thinking gradually did away with distinctions between various animals, the article will show how these pressures led to renewed effort, on behalf of the equestrian interest, to protect the equine focus well into the nineteenth century.

10S - Mitsuda

Writing Another Continent's History: The British and Pre-colonial Africa, 1880-1939
Christopher Prior

In recent years, some postcolonialists have argued that Britons were ambiguous as to the validity of the imperial mission in Africa. A British respect for the continent's 'noble' past, it is claimed, weighed up against a belief in the 'civilizing mission', generating an uncertainty at the very heart of the empire. In this paper, it is argued that, on the contrary, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the British were paradigmatically committed to 'saving Africa from itself'. Alongside the popular press and fiction of the time, this negation was bolstered in a serious, sustained manner by historians' disinclination to treat pre-colonial Africa as worthy of sustained attention, cementing a colonizing proactivism borne of both a sense of moral universalism and a low racial perception of African social systems. Even after the turbulence generated by the First World War, such a sense of faith in British imperial actions was sustained throughout the interwar period. The increased anthropological attention in African customs and a reduction in imperial bombast after 1918 make this initially appear puzzling. However, when the nature of the relationship between anthropologists and the colonial state, and the increasing disinclination towards hero worship, are examined more fully, it becomes clear as to precisely why this sort of British self-confidence continued.

10S - Prior