simon gikandi’s slavery and the culture of taste: a collaborative reading?

When I arrived at MLA, I learned that Gikandi’s book, Slavery and the Culture of Taste had just been awarded, along with Greenblatt’s The Swerve, the James Russell Lowell Prize. Would readers of the Long 18th be interested in arranging a collaborative reading of this book for this spring?  If I get enough responses, I’ll see if I can solicit Simon Gikandi to participate.  If you’re interested in participating, or better yet, organizing, hit the Comment button or contact me offline at dmazella at


PS: It would be helpful if those responding would let me know the best time to schedule this week-long event.  Thanks.

19 responses to “simon gikandi’s slavery and the culture of taste: a collaborative reading?

  1. I’d be interested, depending on the date.

  2. I’d be interested too– support both to stay on track and for the communal experience. Even more fun if Simon wants to engage–perhaps folks could build a joint annotated bib of useful readings aro the topics raised once we get further along.

    • David Mazella

      Hi folks, I’m traveling today, but this sounds great. Will be in touch soon.

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Dale Katherine Ireland

    Sounds good. Please count me in.

  4. I’d love to. I’ve been looking for a new reading project–great idea!

  5. Laura Rosenthal

    I’m in!

  6. Melissa Mowry

    I’d love to participate as well.

  7. Angela Rehbein

    Excellent idea! I am very interested in participating.

  8. Dave, if I can make it work, I’d love to participate. Keep me in the loop please.

  9. What a great choice, Dave! Did you have a chance to attend the roundtable on it at MLA? (I missed MLApalooza myself.) I’m also interested in participating, though probably will not be available until after the spring term.

  10. (Available to post a response, that is. Will read along whenever!)

  11. Hi folks, we’ve exchanged emails, and Gikandi is definitely interested, though we’re still discussing how much involvement he can have in the spring given his other commitments. I’m thinking that we would schedule between April 22-29 this semester. Let me know if that works for you. If the response is generally positive, then I’ll post a schedule etc. soon. Thanks.

  12. Jennifer Thorn

    I’d like to participate, too!

  13. Hi Jennifer, that sounds great. More details soon.

  14. Melissa Mowry

    That time slot works great for me, Dave.

  15. Shayda Hoover

    In case anyone missed it:

    CFP: Slavery and the Book Trade (MLA Chicago, 2014)

    The MLA Division on Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Literature requests proposals for a panel entitled “Slavery and the Book Trade,” to be held at the MLA convention in Chicago in January 2014. This panel will combine the methodology of the history of the book with recent studies of slavery and aesthetics, focusing on the eighteenth century Atlantic world.

    Simon Gikandi’s prize-winning 2012 monograph “Slavery and the Culture of Taste” has called our attention to the relationship of slavery to the Enlightenment, specifically to how financial support for the arts and humanities in the eighteenth century was often derived from the profits of the slave trade. This panel seeks to extend Gikandi’s observations by asking how books – the material vehicles for the aesthetic – made their way into the hands of readers throughout the Anglophone Atlantic. If the production and dissemination of Enlightenment ideas was deeply intertwined with the book trade, as Richard Sher has argued, how might we begin to reframe book history within the larger social history of an eighteenth-century Atlantic economy based on slavery? How might the study of material culture benefit from a properly materialist understanding of the eighteenth-century conditions for the production of knowledge? By what means, costs, and distribution networks did British bo!
    oks make their way into the hands of readers in the British Isles as well as to the British diaspora?

    250 word proposals for papers addressing these and other questions related to slavery and book history are requested by 15 March 2013. Please email abstracts to Sean Moore,

  16. Dave Mazella

    Thanks for noting this, Shayda. Gikandi’s reading of cultural and Atlantic history promises to shake up understandings in quite a few fields.