Vénus Noire: Black Women and Colonial Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century France

by Robin Mitchell


Even though there were relatively few people of color in postrevolutionary France, images of and discussions about Black women in particular appeared repeatedly in a variety of French cultural sectors and social milieus. In Vénus Noire, Robin Mitchell shows how these literary and visual depictions of Black women helped to shape the country’s postrevolutionary national identity, particularly in response to the trauma of the French defeat in the Haitian Revolution.

Vénus Noire explores the ramifications of this defeat in examining visual and literary representations of three Black women who achieved fame in the years that followed.

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