Venus or Louisa or Mimah or Rose: Marronage and Lurking as Relation

Friday Seminar
SJ Zhang, University of Chicago
Oct 6, 2023 at - | Location: McNeil Center for Early American Studies, 3355 Woodland Walk/Zoom

SJ Zhang

SJ Zhang is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago. Professor Zhang’s current project, Going Maroon and Other Forms of Family, considers how reproduction and carceral forces shaped the decisions and triggered the archives of four women who went maroon in North America and the Caribbean between 1781 and 1820. Zhang is also working on a project concerning the woman called “Tituba, the Indian,” accused in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-93. In this work, she examines Tituba’s testimony, racialization and subsequent scholarly and creative representations of her life from the 17th century through the present. Zhang’s work is published in Representations, Women & Performance, Transition, and Caribbean Literature in Transition, Volume 1: 1800-1920, with articles forthcoming in Small Axe and History of the Present.


The McNeil Center sponsors a seminar that meets on Friday afternoons approximately twice a month between September and May, with the paper for each session circulated in advance. Over two hundred people attend at least once a year, with an average attendance of 40 to 50 at meetings held at various sites in the Delaware Valley. While most of the regular attendees are graduate students and faculty from institutions in the Philadelphia area, participants come from as far afield as Long Island, New York City, Princeton, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington. 

The McNeil Center will utilize a hybrid format for seminars in which participants may gather together at the McNeil Center building (or occasionally at an MCEAS Consortium institution host in the Philadelphia area) or attend via Zoom. For regular updates about our seminars, please join our mailing list. Please email us at mceas@sas.upenn.edu with any questions.