Black Prometheus: Race and Radicalism in the Age of Atlantic Slavery by Jared HickmanBlack Prometheus: Race and Radicalism in the Age of Atlantic Slavery by Jared Hickman

Black Prometheus: Race and Radicalism in the Age of Atlantic Slavery

byJared Hickman

Hardcover | November 9, 2016

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Black Prometheus addresses the specific conditions under and the pointed implications with which an ancient story about different orders of gods dueling over the fate of humanity became such a prominent fixture of Atlantic modernity. The Prometheus myth, for several reasons - its fortuitousgeographical associations with both Africa and the Caucasus; its resonant iconography of bodily suffering; and its longue duree function as a limit case for a Platonic-cum-Christian political theology of the Absolute, became a crucial site for conceptualizing human liberation in the immanent spaceof a finite globe structured by white domination and black slavery. The titan's defiant theft of fire from the regnant gods was translated through a high-stakes racial coding either as an "African" revolt against the cosmic status quo that augured a pure autonomy, a black revolutionary immanenceagainst which idealist philosophers like Hegel defined their projects and slaveholders defended their lives and positions. Or as a "Caucasian" reflection of the divine power evidently working in favor of Euro-Christian civilization that transmuted the naked egoism of conquest into a righteousheteronomy-Euro-Christian civilization's mobilization by the Absolute or its internalization of a transcendent principle of universal Reason. The Prometheus myth was available and attractive to its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century revivalists and reinventors - from canonical figures like Voltaire, Percy Shelley, Frederick Douglass, and Karl Marx to anonymous contributors of ephemera to abolitionist periodicals - not so much as a handyemblem of an abstract humanism but as the potential linchpin of a racialist philosophy of history.
Jared Hickman is Assistant Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University.
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Title:Black Prometheus: Race and Radicalism in the Age of Atlantic SlaveryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:November 9, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190272589

ISBN - 13:9780190272586

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