In Reconstructing Womanhood, Hazel Carby showed us that reading lost histories required the deconstruction of liberal institutions and ideologies that had worked to render them illegible. My contribution takes up this dimension of Carby's work as I discuss the place of the autobiographical genre in reckoning with histories of slavery and empire, beginning with The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself (1789), and concluding with Carby's own autobiography-in-progress, “Child of Empire: Racializing Subjects in Post World War II Britain.”

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