Where Is All My Relation?: The Poetics of Dave the Potter

ISBN : 9780199390205

Michael A. Chaney
264 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Where Is All My Relation? presents the first sustained academic discussion of the poetry, pottery, and culture of David Drake, an antebellum slave who distinguished himself by composing verse on the ceramics he produced in the years leading up to the Civil War. During the 1830s, 40s, and 50s, he incised couplets and signatures (a singular "Dave") onto the incredibly large storage vessels that he made. In fact, his stoneware pots and jars are among the largest made in North America during the antebellum era, and craft enthusiasts and appraisers are still proclaiming their precision and ambitious volume. Rich with biblical allusions, historical facts, and personal opinions, his art provides unique insights into the lives of slaves, craftsmen, and the culture of the American South in the first half of the nineteenth century. The essays here engage with the historical context and major issues that Drake's work provokes, among them: prohibitions against slave literacy; Drake's privileged status compared to other slaves at the time; the interpretive status of his material craft objects; the influence of contemporary African American poet George Moses Horton; and Drake's ability to sell his pottery despite the fact that slaves were not officially permitted to participate in a cash economy. Featuring essays by literary critics, art-historians, archaeologists, and curators, Where Is All My Relation? provides a window into the world of nineteenth century material culture and expands our traditional understanding of the slave-narrative genre.


List of Illustrations
Chapter 1: 'Great & Noble Jar': David Drake, George Moses Horton, and the Possibilities of Poetry Faith Barrett
Chapter 2: A Letter to David Drake from a Friend and a Relation Evie Shockley
Chapter 3: Shifted Perspectives on Dave: Implications of Archaeological Excavation at the Pottersville Kiln Site George Calfas
Chapter 4: Inscribing Economic Desire: Dave the Potter's Money Inscriptions Xiomara Santamarina
Chapter 5: Signifying Jars, Resonating Like a Banjar: Influence, Politics, and Poetics in Dave's Pottery Babatunde Lawal
Chapter 6: The Fourth of July is Surely Come Elisa Edwards
Chapter 7: The Concatenate Poetics of Slavery and the Articulate Material of Dave the Potter Michael A. Chaney
Chapter 8: Writing in Clay: The Materiality of Dave's Poetry Ethan W. Lasser
Chapter 9: 1857: Dave the Potter's August Pots, Sexual Imagery, and Dred Scott P. Gabrielle Foreman
Chapter 10: An Easter Prayer, 1859 Carla L. Peterson
Chapter 11: Beneath Notice: A Social Philology of the Poetry of Dave the Potter Jon Woodson
Chapter 12: Accident Before Love, on horses, mules, and hogs - Sharon P. Holland
Chapter 13: Potter's Field: Trauma and Representation in the Art of David Drake Michael Bramwell
Chapter 14: Darion McCloud as Dave the Potter: The Model and the Artist's Mission Dianne Johnson
Chapter 15: 'Who Are The Other Potters? What Are Their Names?': Dave the Potter, Theaster Gates, and the Aesthetics of Power in African American Art and Craft Shelly Jarenski $ https://global.oup.com/academic/product/9780199390205


Michael A. Chaney is Associate Professor of English at Dartmouth College and the author of Fugitive Vision: Slave Image and Identity in Antebellum Narrative (2008).