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Slavery and the Culture of Taste$
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Simon Gikandi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691140667

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691140667.001.0001

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(p.50) Taste, Slavery, and the Modern Self

2 Intersections
Slavery and the Culture of Taste

Simon Gikandi

Princeton University Press

This chapter moves beyond the critical debates raised in Chapter 1 to provide a more concrete narrative of the coexistence of taste and slavery as aesthetic objects and products of everyday life in the modern world. It explores the link between slavery, consumption, and the culture of taste, all-important conduits for understanding modern identity. With a particular emphasis on changing theories of taste in eighteenth-century Britain, it provides an analysis or reading of the troubled relation between race, ideologies of taste, and the culture of consumption. It examines how slavery enabled the moment of taste; led to fundamental transformations in the self-understanding of modern subjects; and, consequently, resulted in a redefinition of notions of freedom, selfhood, and representation.

Keywords:   taste, slavery, consumption, culture, modern identity, race, freedom, selfhood

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