Enslaved Black Women's Listening Practices and the Afterlives of Slavery in Musical Thought

This presentation was created for the panel "Race, Music, and Slavery in the British Colonial Caribbean: Research Beyond Recovery," at the American Musicological Society's 2020 annual conference. In this video I consider what enslaved women dancing and making music depicted in images made by white British visitors may reveal about the under-examined musical lives of enslaved Black women.

Overhearing on the Plantation: Spectators and Witnesses

This video was made for the annual conference of the Society of American Music's 2020 virtual conference. In it I consider how I fit into Saidiya Hartman's categories of "spectators" and "witnesses" who come to the archive of slavery. As a case study I discuss the writings of Mrs. Carmichael - a white Scottish visitor to St. Vincent and Trinidad in the 1820s - who used her observations of Black enslaved children dancing to defend slavery.

"Paper which had once been white": intersecting invitation practices in colonial Antigua

This video was made for the 2020 virtual conference American Contact: Intercultural Encounter and the History of the Book (organized by Rhae Lynn Barnes and Glenda Goodman), in which every speaker discussed one object. My object was an invitation to a ball printed in Antigua in 1768. I use this invitation as a launch point from which to speculate about Black invitational practices in Antigua.

© 2020 by Maria Ryan. All photos by Maria Ryan unless otherwise noted.