“Digital Literature Review” Issue 3: Freak Shows & Human Zoos

The Digital Literature Review is back, and we are eager to receive your submissions for our upcoming issue on Freak Shows and Human Zoos! Last year we researched slavery, but this year we’ve been studying the cultural significance and lasting impact of freak shows and other forms of human exhibits in our society and culture as a whole.


This year in preparation, we’ve been reading a wide variety of articles and narratives about both exhibits themselves and the people in charge of the shows. Some of our texts have included The Elephant Man, Venus, Geek Love, and the 1932 cult classic film Freaks.


We’ve redesigned our Facebook, Twitter, and blog to fit this year’s theme. Feel free to explore all of these pages to see all of our new posts focusing on human exhibits, show managers, and present-day conceptualizations and incarnations of the freak show!


If you’re an undergraduate interested in our research, look over our call for papers and submit your related work to our journal. If you’d rather not write an essay, you can submit a shorter post for possible publication here on our blog. Email us at dlr@bsu.edu with any submissions or questions.


We’re very excited to delve deeper into this topic, and we hope you enjoy the content we post as we work to  expand the conversation surrounding freak shows and human zoos.

“Digital Literature Review” Issue 2: Slavery Now

After a successful year of researching ghosts and haunting, it’s time to introduce our theme for the new edition of the Digital Literature Review. Our research topic has transitioned into studying the cultural significance and complications of contemporary discourses about slave systems, both past and present.

Some of the research we have conducted has included studying historical slave narratives such as Solomon Northup’s 12 Years a Slave. We also delved into contemporary slave narratives, such as those featured in Jesse Sage and Liora Kasten’s Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery. In addition to our readings, we are studying the following films about slavery: 12 Years a Slave, Sankofa, and Django Unchained.

books mashup

Some of the books we’ve read in class.

In accordance with our new theme, we have redesigned our Twitter, Facebook, and this blog. We encourage you to explore our social media pages as we have already begun to post related news articles and other resources that are connected to contemporary slavery. Stay engaged with us as we explore modern slavery more in depth over the upcoming months. You can expect weekly blog posts from students in our class, daily shares on Facebook and Twitter, and updates on how our publication is going.

If you are an undergraduate who is personally interested in our research, feel free to read over our call for papers and submit to our journal. You can also write for our blog if you’d rather not submit an essay. Please email dlr@bsu.edu with any submissions or questions.

We hope that you will enjoy the future content we share on our various media outlets and become part of the conversation surrounding contemporary slavery.

“Beloved” Mind Map

Today’s post will deviate just a bit from our usual set because we felt that this would be an excellent time to share with you the process that our classes and discussions go through.

The following includes pictures taken by Wendy Faunce, featuring me, Mackenzie Fluharty, and the “Mind Map” I had made on the board during class time as we had our final discussion of the novel Beloved by Toni Morrison, along with my explanation for each part pictured. The discussion began after the class read a few excerpts from Avery Gordon’s chapter on Beloved in her book Ghostly Matters.

NOTE:  This post is made upon the assumption that readers have some kind of understanding of Beloved. 

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