Masters and the Slaves: Plantation Relations and Mestizaje in American Imaginaries (New Directions in Latino American Culture Series)

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The Masters and the Slaves theorizes the interface of plantation relations with nationalist projects throughout the Americas. In readings that cover a wide range of genres--from essays and scientific writing to poetry, memoirs and the visual arts--this work investigates the post-slavery discourses of Brazil, the United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti and Martinique. Indebted to Orlando Patterson's Slavery and Social Death (1982) and Paul Gilroy's The Black Atlantic (1993), these essays fill a void in studies of plantation power relations for their comparative, interdisciplinary approach and their investment in reading slavery through the gaze of contemporary theory, with particularly strong ties to psychoanalytic and gender studies interrogations of desire and performativity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Superb scholarship..a landmark work, an essencial source of knowledge for those who venture into the history, culture, and social life of the Afro-Atlantic world."--Antonio Benitez-Rojo, Amherst College

"The Masters and the Slaves redresses the stunning and disappointing dearth of studies of cultural theory in the Americas that are willing to look critically at the ideological uses of mestizaje as normative in the formation of the hemisphere’s racial democracies. Focused on but by no means limited to Brazilian cultural theory, the essays in this volume help to resituate discussions of slavery’s racial and social legacies in a much “deeper” south than is found even in the more recent comparative studies of literature in the Americas. Together they make a compelling case for rethinking the theoretical meanings and uses of mestizaje in American histories." -- George Handley, Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, Brigham Young University

"This is an excellent anthology. Containing provocative and theoretically sharp essays, it is an incisive and timely contribution to a growing and increasingly important field – the comparative analysis of slave and race relations in southern and northern Americas and the Caribbean. Critically deploying the varied ideological and political functions of “mestizaje,” The Masters and the Slaves provides a powerful critique of the exclusionary white-black racial binary that tends to dominate U.S.-centered discourse on slavery."--Abdul JanMohamed, English Department, University of California at Berkeley

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond is Assistant Professor of Literatures of the Americas, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.

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Table of Contents

• The Sugar Daddy: Gilberto Freyre and the White Man's Love for Blacks--Cesar Braga-Pinto
• Writing Brazilian Culture--Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
• Authority's Double Shadow: Thomas Jefferson and the Architecture of Illegitimacy--Helena Holgersson
• Fixing History: Race, Nation, and the Symbolics of Servitude in Haitian Noirisme --Valerie Kaussen *Fanon as 'Metrocolonial' Flaneur in the Caribbean Post-Plantation/Algerian Colonial City--Nalini Natarajan
• From the Tropics: Cultural Subjectivity and Politics in Gilberto Greyre--Jossiana Arroyo
• Hybridity and Mestizaje: Syncretism or Subversive Complicity--Ramón Grosfoguel *Giants of Three Colors: A Writer and an Artist Imagine Racial Mixture in 1940s Brazil--Luiza Franco Moreira *Messianic Melancholic Imagination: Imagine Community with the Dead -- Shreerekha Subramanian

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