Rape victims and victimisers in Herbstein's Ama, a Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade

Keywords: Manu Herbstein, neo-slave narrative, postcolonial theory, rape, trans-Atlantic slave trade, women


This paper examines how Manu Herbstein employs his fictionalised neo-slave narrative entitled Ama, a Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade to address the issue of sexual violence against women and to foreground the trans-Atlantic rape identities of victims and victimisers in relation to race, gender, class and religion. An appraisal of Herbstein's representations within the framework of postcolonial theory reveals how Herbstein deviates from the stereotypical norm of narrating the rape of female captives and slaves during the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade by creating graphic rape images in his narration. This study therefore shows that a postcolonial reading of Herbstein's novel addresses the representations of rape and male sexual aggression in literary discourse and contributes to the arguments on sexual violence against women from the past to the present.

Author Biography

Oluyomi Oduwobi, University of Venda

Oluyomi Oduwobi is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of English, University of Venda, South Africa. His research focus is on African and Black Diaspora literature as well as postcolonial studies.

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