Dr Anita Rupprecht lectures and researches in history, with a focus on postcolonialism and slavery.
Committed to interdisciplinary study, her primary research interests are in cultural and literary histories of British transatlantic slavery and abolition, postcolonial literature and theory, and the politics of cultural memory.
Anita Rupprecht is based in the School of Humanities and lectures in cultural history, theory and literary studies across the Humanities Programme. An interdisiplinary scholar, her primary research interests focus on the British and American slave trades, enslavement and empire. She is particularly interested in the politics of history making, representation and cultural memory as they relate to these contexts. She has published on slave ship rebellion, the relationship between discourses of sentiment and political economy in relation to the representation of transatlantic slavery, the shaping of British emancipation in the Caribbean and the development of maritime financial insurance in the context of the transatlantic slave trade.
Her work is currently energised by a determination to work out what a 'reparative history' might mean and how it might provide a politically engaged context for the research. To this end, she is working, in collaboration, to develop a research project devoted to the concept. Most broadly, she is interested in how we might conceptualise and trace the historical legacies of transatlantic slavery within the history of capitalism and the politics of how they can be represented in the contemporary moment.
Rupprecht's primary research falls under a long-term project, Sympathy, Slavery, and Representation in the British Atlantic World, 1770-1840, which concerns the representation of transatlantic slavery and abolition in relation to discourses of moral sentiment and political economy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.
Within this research context, she is currently exploring the development of maritime financial insurance in the context of the transatlantic slave trade. A particular focus is the role that African ship-board rebellion played in disrupting the commodifying mechanisms of the insurance trade especially in the context of the revolutionary Atlantic. This work is framed by the contemporary politicisation of cultural memory, the campaign for reparations and by a critical and reflective engagement with the politics of archival research.
If that research is concerned with the ways in which Africans were rendered at sea, another branch of the project concerns an exploration of the ways in which Caribbean enslaved labour relations were reconfigured in the years prior to the British Emancipation Act. Focusing on the so-called 'Liberated Africans', and their experiences and resistance 'from below', she is currently exploring the ways in which the movement from slavery to freedom can be thought in terms of a wider imperial continuum of coerced labour forms.
As well as these historical and conceptual concerns, Rupprecht also maintains a research and teaching interest in the history and politics of postcolonial and cultural theory, critical practice and in contemporary literary revisitings of slavery in Black Atlantic contexts. Together with her doctoral research, she has published on the history and configuration of postcolonial theory, situated memory,and on historical and contemporary colonial/postcolonial autobiography.
Rupprecht completed a BA (Hons.) degree in English and an MA in Culture and Social Change at the University of Southampton before studying for a D.Phil. at the University of Sussex. Awarded in 2000, her doctoral thesis focused on the anti-slavery campaigns, the Enlightenment culture of sentiment and the slave narrative. She has had a full-time teaching post at the University of Brighton since 2001 and is the co-founder and co-convenor of the research seminar series, 'Politics, Philosophy and Aesthetics'.
She will be a Visiting Fellow at the Gilder Lehman Centre for the Study of Slavery, Abolition and Resistance, Yale University in Spring 2018.
Rupprecht has regularly supervised MA dissertations in the fields of cultural and critical theory, cultural memory and Caribbean postcolonial studies. She has supervised three doctorates to completion and currently supervises doctoral students working on Belizean women's fiction and the memory of slavery, the history of the Commonwealth Institute, photography and Black British identity and the Nazi persecution of homosexual men. She is interested in supporting research in the following areas: the historical representation of the slave trade and slavery, the anti-slavery campaigns, slavery and resistance, cultural memory, commemoration and the legacies of slavery, colonial and postcolonial Caribbean literatures and postcolonial literary and cultural theory.
This chapter is the result of a long-standing research interest in colonial and postcolonial autobiography.
What are the consequences of replacing macro narratives of modernity with the personal micro-narratives of postmodernity?
Illustrates the different ways in which understandings of ‘race’ and slavery require a grasp of how racial practices are embedded in wider society.
Bergin, Catherine and Rupprecht, Anita (2016) History, agency and the representation of ‘race’ – an introduction Race & Class, 57 (3). pp. 3-17. ISSN 0306-3968
Rupprecht, Anita (2016) 'Inherent Vice': Marine Insurance, Slave Ship Rebellion and the Law Race & Class, 57 (3). pp. 31-44. ISSN 0306-3968
Rupprecht, Anita (2013) “All We Have Done, We Have Done for Freedom”: The Creole Slave-Ship Revolt (1841) and the Revolutionary Atlantic International Review of Social History, 58 (S21). pp. 253-277. ISSN 0020-8590
Rupprecht, Anita (2012) ‘When he gets among his Countrymen, they tell him that he is free’: Slave Trade Abolition, Indentured Africans and a Royal Commission Slavery & Abolition, 33 (3). pp. 435-455. ISSN 0144-039X
Rupprecht, Anita (2008) 'A Limited Sort of Property': History, Memory and the Slave Ship Zong Slavery & Abolition, 29 (2). pp. 265-277. ISSN 0144-039X
Rupprecht, Anita (2007) ”A Very Uncommon Case”: Representing the Slave Ship, Zong in British Abolition, 1783-1821 Journal of Legal history, 28 (3). pp. 1-18. ISSN 01440365
Rupprecht, Anita (2007) Excessive Memories: Slavery, Insurance and Resistance History Workshop Journal, 64 (1). pp. 6-28. ISSN 14774569
Rupprecht, Anita (2006) Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands (1857): colonial identity and the geographical imagination In: Colonial Lives Across the British Empire: Imperial Careering in the Long Nineteenth Century. Cambridge University Press, pp. 176-203. ISBN 0-521-84770-2
Rupprecht, Anita (2002) Making the Difference: Postcolonial Theory and the Politics of Memory In: Temporalities: Autobiography and Everyday Life. Manchester University Press, pp. 35-52. ISBN 071905575X