Dread: The Phobic Imagination in Antislavery Literature

  title={Dread: The Phobic Imagination in Antislavery Literature},
  author={Don James Mclaughlin},
  journal={J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists},
  pages={21 - 48}
  • D. Mclaughlin
  • Published 2 July 2019
  • Psychology
  • J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists
ABSTRACT:This article examines how abolitionists developed a rhetorical tradition premised on the neologisms colorphobia and Negrophobia in order to posit an affective basis for race prejudice. These concepts functioned initially as puns on hydrophobia, the historical name for rabies, named for the dread of swallowing known to accompany the disease. In other words, colorphobia harbored a precise metaphor in its etymology, picturing the slave system as a mad dog in the throes of a rabid… 
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