Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor's Name

Linda Strong-Leek

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

James Sutton

Third Advisor's Name

Lisa Ann Blansett

Date of Defense

4-11-2000

Abstract

This investigation focuses on representations of the physical construction and landscape of Southern slave plantations in order to explore the power relationships among inhabitants of those plantations and how those power relationships attempted to function and failed to establish a system of discipline and governance. While every plantation functioned violently in some form, many plantations appear to have attempted to instill a sense of place and permanence of status in slaves with more than just physical violence or obvious and overt forms of mental coercion and abuse. As a supplement to the strategic (and oftentimes random) physical violence inflicted on slaves in the attempts to control their behaviors, owners seem to have also attempted to discipline their slaves through strategic constructions of the plantation landscapes. While concluding that this strategy ultimately failed, this thesis examines attempts by owners to implement particular strategies in regulating and disciplining the behavior of slaves which can be compared with the strategies implemented in a panoptic system as described by Michel Foucault.

Identifier

FI14052590

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