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Britain's History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery$
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Katie Donington, Ryan Hanley, and Jessica Moody

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382776

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382776.001.0001

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Multidirectional Memory, Many-Headed Hydras and Glasgow

Multidirectional Memory, Many-Headed Hydras and Glasgow

(p.195) 9 Multidirectional Memory, Many-Headed Hydras and Glasgow
Britain's History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery

Michael Morris

Liverpool University Press

This chapter forms a case study of memory/amnesia around slavery in Glasgow and proposes that a number of high profile events in the year 2014 may prove to be a turning point in this regard. The first section peels back the overlapping layers of Atlantic, British, Scottish and Glaswegian amnesia which have prolonged the silence around slavery. The second section identifies that all twelve statues in the city’s central George Square have a connection to slavery or abolition. Borrowing from Michael Rothberg’s ‘Multi-directional Memory’ approach, it reads the statues ‘against the grain’ to demonstrate how slavery can be integrated into Glasgow’s public memory of commerce, science, militarism, politics and literature. This recovery of the memory of slavery in Glasgow comes at a dynamic period in Scotland’s history and has the potential to transform its sense of cultural history the better to forge its political future.

Keywords:   Glasgow, Scotland, Slavery, Amnesia, George Square, Statues, John Moore, James Oswald, Lord Clyde, Colin Campbell, James Watt

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