Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Carol Marsh-Lockett - Chair

Second Advisor

Elizabeth West

Third Advisor

Kameelah Martin Samuel


This study examines the slave narratives The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave, Related by Herself and The Bondwoman’s Narrative to determine the way in which these texts depict the economics of labor in slave society. Taking into account the specific socio-historical contexts in which these narratives were written, this study analyzes the way in which the representations of labor in these narratives interrogate slavery and address issues relating to the social relations and power dynamics of their respective societies. Emphasis is given to the way in which the gender complexities of slavery merge with the dynamics of labor thereby underscoring some of the peculiarities of the female slave experience.