Souls of Womenfolk: The Religious Cultures of Enslaved Women in the Lower South
Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh will present her recent monograph Souls of Womenfolk: The Religious Cultures of Enslaved Women in the Lower South (UNC Press, 2021). Beginning on the shores of West Africa in the sixteenth century and ending in the U.S. Lower South on the eve of the Civil War, the book traces a bold history of the interior lives of bondwomen as they carved out an existence for themselves and their families amid the horrors of American slavery. With particular attention to maternity, sex, and other gendered aspects of women’s lives, she documents how bondwomen crafted female-centered cultures that shaped the religious consciousness and practices of entire enslaved communities. Indeed, gender as well as race co-constituted the Black religious subject, she argues—requiring a shift away from understandings of “slave religion” as a gender-amorphous category.
Prof. Wells-Ohoghmeh’s presentation will offer an opportunity to discuss the process of turning a dissertation into a manuscript and ultimately into a published book. The introduction to Souls of Womenfolk will be circulated via the listserv two weeks prior to the event.
Presenter: Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh