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Marcus Wood

Black Milk.jpg
Horrible Gift Of Freedom.jpg
High tar babies,
Poetry Of Slavery.jpg
Folly and Vice.jpg


Black Milk

Imagining Slavery in the Visual Cultures of Brazil and America

Black Milk is the first in-depth analysis of the visual archives that effloresced around slavery in Brazil and North America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In its latter stages the book also explores the ways in which the museum cultures of North America and Brazil have constructed slavery over the last hundred years. These institutional legacies emerge as startlingly different from each other at almost every level. The book is a breakthrough text in that it reveals the many extraordinary differences between the way Brazil culturally recorded the memory of slavery compared with the rest of the Atlantic Slave Diaspora. 


The Horrible Gift of Freedom

Atlantic Slavery and the Representation of Emancipation

In his tour de force Blind Memory, Marcus Wood read the visual archive of slavery in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America and Britain with a closeness and rigor that until then had been applied only to the written texts of that epoch. Blind Memory changed the way we look at everything from a Turner seascape to a crude woodcut in a runaway slave advertisement. The Horrible Gift of Freedom brings the same degree of rigor to an analysis of the visual culture of Atlantic emancipation.For a short film uncovering the rationale of the book see the weblink below.

Click here for a short film about this book

Slavery, Empathy, and Pornography

Slavery, Empathy, and Pornography is the first major study to think through the connections between the nascent pornographic industries in the eighteenth century and the rise of traumatic abolition propagandas.  The book also considers the operations of slavery and of abolition propaganda on the thought and literature of English from the late-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. Incorporating materials ranging from canonical literatures to the lowest form of street publication, Marcus Wood writes from the conviction that slavery was, and still is, a dilemma for everyone in England, and seeks to explain why English society has constructed Atlantic slavery in the way it has. The book ends by considering the intimate links between BDSM cultures today and the history of slave torture.

Blind Memory

Visual Representations of Slavery in England and America

Throughout this important volume, Marcus Wood underscores two vital themes: one, that visual presentation of slavery in England and America has been utterly dishonest to its subject, and two the question of whether the ruptures of the slave experience - middle passage, bondage, and torture -- can be adequately represented and remembered. The book contains celebrated discussions of representations of the slave ship including  the Plan of the Slave Ship Brookes and Turners painting of the  Slave Ship.  There are chapters on the iconography of the runaway slave, the representation of slave torture, and the visual cultures generated around Uncle Tom's Cabin. 

High Tar Babies

Race, Hatred, Slavery, Love

In this book the painter writer and performance artist Marcus Wood focuses on issues of race and the inheritance of slavery. His current work uses tar in order to question assumptions surrounding the concept of blackness. The book includes an introductory essay, thirty eight tar paintings exhibited  in Wood's one man show at the Royal College of Art, and short stories centered on the themes of the exhibition: race, hatred, slavery and love. All of the material is concerned with how stereotypes of race and color have come to operate in Britain and America today.

Radical Satire and Print Culture 1790-1822

Radical Satire and Print Culture 1790-1822 focuses on the work produced collaboratively between 1816 and 1822 by the poet and radical journalist William Hone and the brilliant young graphic satirist George Cruikshank.
Professor  Wood provides a much needed analytical framework for Regency radical satire uncovering a set of new sources and previously unknown cultural contexts for Hone and Cruikshank's work, which is shown to combine modernity and tradition in thrilling ways....

The Poetry of Slavery

An Anglo-American Anthology, 1764-1865:

This is the first book to collect the most important works of poetry generated by English and North American slavery. Mixing poetry by the major Anglo-American Romantic poets (Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Whittier, Longfellow, Lowell, Whitman, Melville, Dickinson) with curious, and sometimes brilliant verse by a range of now forgotten literary figures, the anthology is designed to aid students and teachers address the Anglo-American cultural inheritance of slavery.

Folly and Vice

The Art of Satire and Social Criticism (South Bank Centre Touring Exhibition)

Folly and Vice is the catalogue which Marcus Wood wrote to accompany the show he curated for he South Bank Centre, London  The exibtition presented a range of the most powerful graphic satire produced in Europe  from the eighteenth through to the late twentieth centuries.  The catalogue contains key images from the show and a wide ranging anthology of writings on satire and human vice from Erasmus to Ben Shahn. .                      

For a selected list of Marcus  Wood's academic articles and  edited chapters in books click here

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