The Other(ed) Woman: Racial Terror, Gendered Captivities, and Jim Crow Punishment
A talk by Dr. Sarah Haley. PLEASE NOTE: This talk is currently full.
Location: Robertson Hall, Bowl 01
Date/Time: 03/31/11 at 12:00 pm - 03/31/11 at 1:20 pm
This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served. Space is limited to 18 people. RSVP to Jennifer Loessy at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space at the talk.
As gender ideology became increasingly crucial to the maintenance of racial and economic subordination during the emergence and development of Jim Crow, Georgiaâs punishment regime worked in the service of white supremacy by reifying racially exclusive gender categories. While white womanhood figured most prominently in discourses about the future of the âNew South,â? imprisoned black female subjects represented an oppositional âother,â? which gave womanhood and femininity meaning. Extreme labor exploitation and gendered racial terror were institutionalized features of the southern convict lease and chain gang systems. Combined with popular representations of black female criminal deviance, these practices were important to the process of subject position creation, making legible an absolute distinction between black female and white female subjects under the developing Jim Crow order that required the fixity of social and political roles. This talk engages black womenâs disproportionate imprisonment in Georgiaâs convict lease and chain gang systems, the institutionalization of a system of domestic penal servitude, and the codification of specific legislation about the treatment of imprisoned women in the aftermath of Atlantaâs infamous 1906 race riot, placing punishment at the center of the rich scholarly literature about the significant role of gender ideology during the development of Jim Crow.
Sarah Haley received her Ph.D. in the combined program in African American Studies and American Studies at Yale University. Her research areas include nineteenth and twentieth century African American cultural and social history, gender history, feminist theory, labor and working-class studies, gender violence, and carceral regimes. While at CAAS Sarah will continue to develop her research on black women and punishment, incorporating archival material from comparative southern contexts as part of the completion of her manuscript, "Engendering Captivity: Black Women and Convict Labor, 1865-1938." Engendering Captivity is an interdisciplinary social and cultural history of imprisoned womenâs experiences in southern convict labor systems during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This project investigates the significance of the black female subject to the formation of Jim Crow modernity by using the penal regime as a lens through which to interrogate the institutionalization of gendered racial terror and the racial construction of gendered subject positions during the development of Jim Crow.
While pursuing her academic research Sarah has participated in the labor movement, organizing graduate teachers, clerical workers, and airport food service workers in New Haven and Detroit. She has also been involved in anti-prison organizing campaigns. After concluding her fellowship with CAAS she will begin her appointment as assistant professor of African American studies and women's studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Department: Center for African American Studies