Faculty Work-in-Progress—“Domestic Horrors in the Age of Revolution: Acid Throwing in Leonora Sansay’s Secret History; or, The Horrors of St. Domingo

In recent years, Europe and Asia have seen a surge in acid attacks that have increased public awareness of the highly gendered, racial and political elements of this particularly gruesome crime. Acid attacks, or acid throwing, however, has a long history—though it is one that isn’t well documented. Caitlin Kelly, a lecturer in SAGES and the Department of English, will give a talk exploring a reference to acid throwing in Leonora Sansay’s 1808 novel Secret History; or, the Horrors of St. Domingo, a subject that is considered to have been overlooked by scholars. 

Kelly’s lecture, titled “Domestic Horrors in the Age of Revolution: Acid Throwing in Leonora Sansay’s Secret History; or, The Horrors of St. Domingo, is part of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities’ Faculty Work-in Progress series and will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Clark Hall, Room 206. 

Following the trade routes from France to Philadelphia to the Caribbean, Kelly will trace acid throughout the Atlantic world during the Age of Revolutions, offering an interpretation of the novel that gives new significance to Sansay’s contributions to our understanding of the Haitian Revolution, literary history, and women’s lives during the period.

A pre-lecture reception will begin at 4:15 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. Register online for the lecture.