Friday, December 12, 2008

Atlantic History

It strikes me that this particular gravestone is a microcosm of Atlantic history: Puritan iconography dedicated to the memory of a black slave owned by a Portuguese Jew who made his fortune selling spermaceti and whale oil in the West Indies. Add in the language of economic and emotional loss, the artisan workshop tradition, and fact that Peter died by drowning in the Atlantic (ok, technically Newport Harbor), and it starts looking like an ideal object for introducing a larger work on the material culture of death in the Atlantic world. Like, perhaps, my dissertation?

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