Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Second Department

Africana Studies

Reader 1

Dr. Myriam J. A. Chancy

Reader 2

Mark Golub

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This thesis explores the work of M. NourbeSe Philip, particularly her seminal work, Zong!. In Zong!, language, once a tool for captivity, becomes a tool that transforms through its “anti-narrative lament” ( Philip works within and out of interstitial Space within English language as slave ship to build a written text that, through creating a new social Space, not only irrevocably disturbs the legal story of Gregson v. Gilbert, but also the Zong event and its historical meaning itself. This thesis argues that Zong!, through its journey into poetic, pure utterance, reverberates through the English language—English as slave ship—our written and spoken, legal and poetic use of it, and transforms an always-already broken structure, one that cages, one of anguish, into an opportunity for a language that, in recognizing humanity's immensity, is whole.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.