Två gräl. Slavhandel, kvinnokamp och moraliskt gnissel i Fredrika Bremers Grannarne


  • Sam Holmqvist Genusvetenskap, Institutionen för kultur och lärande Södertörns högskola



kvinnorörelsen, abolitionism, transatlantisk slavhandel, slaveri, orientalism, feministisk historia, 1800-talet, Fredrika Bremer


This article examines Fredrika Bremer’s novel The Neighbours (Grannarne, 1837), and in particular two scenes in which respectively the transatlantic slave trade and Islam are debated. Together, these two quarrels form a feminist, nationalist argument against slavery, using an image of a misogynistic Orient as backdrop. The Neighbours present an unusually explicit discussion about the transatlantic slave trade, while at the same time simultaneously acknowledging and trivializing it. The economic system of slavery is tied to the transatlantic slave trade in The Neighbours, as the reader learns that a man that has become rich from trade with West Indian colonies has also been kidnapping people and selling them into slavery. The contemporary failure to acknowledge the connection between colonial trade and the transatlantic slave trade is implicitly critiqued in the novel through presenting the reader with two versions of his past; one official, censored, version and one that is kept a secret.