“Sites of Terror” and Affective Geographies on Thomas Thistlewood’s Breadnut Island Pen


  • Jennifer Reed University of Virginia


Slavery, Jamaica, Mapping, Sexual Violence, Affective Geographies


As architectural historian Louis Nelson points out, “sites of terror,” like the whipping post, or the scenes of rapes, don't survive physically, nor do they appear on plantation plans. My project uses Thistlewood's detailed diaries to locate these “sites” where they do survive, in text, and to retroactively locate them and to demonstrate how Thistlewood’s self-reported acts of brutality correlate with the division of space and relationships of proximity, marking physical, personal violence on the landscape. In doing so, I show the relationship between domestic planning in the colonies and the emotional structures of empire.

Author Biography

Jennifer Reed, University of Virginia

PhD from Department of English, University of Virginia, May 2015


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