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Learning Slavery at Home: Garçonnières and Adolescent Enslavers in Rural Louisiana 1806–1861

Livesey, A (2021) Learning Slavery at Home: Garçonnières and Adolescent Enslavers in Rural Louisiana 1806–1861. Journal of Global Slavery, 6 (1). pp. 31-54. ISSN 2405-8351

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Since Stephanie Camp wrote of the “rival” geography that enslaved people created on slave labor plantations, few studies outside the field of architectural history have used the built environment as a source to understand the lives of enslaved people and the mindsets of enslavers in the United States. This article takes adolescent outbuildings in Louisiana (garçonnières) as a starting point to understand how white parents taught and reinforced ideas of dominance over both the environment and enslaved people and simultaneously rooted young white sons to a slave labor plantation “home.” Using architectural evidence, alongside testimony left behind by both enslavers and the enslaved, this article argues that by moving young male enslavers out of the main plantation house and into a separate building, white enslaving parents created a “risk space” for sexual violence within the sexualized geography of the slave labor plantation. The garçonnière, with its privacy and age-and gender-specificity, constituted just one space of increased risk for enslaved women on Louisiana slave labor plantations from a violence that was manipulated within the built environment.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Brill
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2021 11:44
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 05:59
DOI or ID number: 10.1163/2405836X-00601003
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14403
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