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Anthony Edward Kaye
Penn State (University Park, PA 16802-1503)
Reinterpreting Nat Turner's Rebellion

This is a proposal to write a book reinterpreting Nat Turner's rebellion from the standpoint of neighborhoods. A generation of superb revisionist scholarship has trained us to think about slaves in terms of "the slave community," yet slaves thought about their society in terms of "neighborhoods." This was the terrain where slaves courted and formed families, worked, worshipped, socialized, and struggled. In a recent book, I described slave neighborhoods at length in Mississippi, where the neighborhood terrain comprised adjoining places, and sketched neighborhoods across the South. In Nat Turner's Confessions, one of the most widely read slave narratives, Turner described the rebellion he led as a neighborhood enterprise. Yet historians have yet to elaborate on the neighborhood leitmotif in the Confessions. This book aims to use the famous Turner insurrection to present neighborhoods as a new angle of vision on slavery for a general audience.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2009 – 8/31/2010