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Remembering slavery: The mobilization of social and collective memory of slavery in the 21st century
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the study is to investigate how a social and collective memory is mobilized by the directors’ depiction of ethnicity and gender roles from a post- colonial and gender perspective. The thesis focuses on how ethnicity and gender roles are depicted in each movie and how this results in a mobilization of a social and collective memory. The results show that Django Unchained mobilizes a memory by its use of the invective nigger and iconic acts of slavery, such as whipping and cotton picking. From a gender perspective, the results show that men worked with jobs that required more strength, compared to the jobs of women and thus mobilizes a memory of how we remember the gender roles of slaves. Nevertheless, these memories can result in traumas and to recover from them, memories must be revisited.

Similarly, yet differently, the results show that 12 Years a Slave mobilizes a memory by its use of the invective nigger and by the use of songs that solidified the hierarchy present during slavery. In other words, these songs were used to exhibit the level of supremacy Caucasians possessed from a post-colonial perspective.

The conclusion drawn in the study is that 12 Years a Slave, as a historical source, provides audiences with considerably more authenticity compared to Django Unchained. Therefore an individual might feel as if he or she has lived the life of Solomon Northup and experienced and endured everything he did. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 39 p.
Keyword [en]
slavery, social memory, collective memory, ethnicity, gender roles, African-Americans, Caucasians, post-colonial, gender
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-40523OAI: diva2:791179
Subject / course
Educational program
Teacher Education Programme for Upper Secondary School, 300/330 credits
2015-02-26, 19:20 (English)
Available from: 2015-03-09 Created: 2015-02-26 Last updated: 2015-03-09Bibliographically approved

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Zubak, Goran
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