class="csc-default"Who tells us where the centers and peripheries of knowledge are?

Zentrum Geschichte des Wissens

Universität Zürich

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Zentrum Geschichte des Wissens

Universität Zürich

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

PROF. DR. ANDREW ZIMMERMAN (Washington DC)

Constructing Black Poverty in Civil War Arkansas: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Transnational Politics of Knowledge

Helena, Arkansas, on the Mississippi River, might seem like an unlikely place from which to consider the transnational politics of knowledge. This has much to do with prevalent doctrines of American exceptionalism, which isolates the United States from the world, as well as stereotypes about the rural South. However, during the Civil War, German-American revolutionary soldiers, some communists, and enslaved African Americans with their own Afrocentric political traditions converged on Helena to create an experiment in economic autonomy under the auspices of sympathetic radical officers. These experiments were undone by pro-slavery conservatives, impoverishing former slaves and transforming them into miserable objects of northern philanthropy and disciplinary knowledge. This talk considers the interplay of international revolutionary and counterrevolutionary knowledge from the vantage point of the main settlement of former slaves in Arkansas, Camp Ethiopia.