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Race, Colonialism, and Social Transformation in Latin America and the Caribbean

Edited by Jerome Branche

Publication Year: 2008

This collection of essays offers a comprehensive overview of colonial legacies of racial and social inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean. Rich in theoretical framework and close textual analysis, these essays offer new paradigms and approaches to both reading and resolving the opposing forces of race, class, and the power of states.

The contributors are drawn from a variety of fields, including literary criticism, anthropology, politics, and sociology. The contributors to this book abandon the traditional approaches that study racialized oppression in Latin America only from the standpoint of its impact on either Indians or people of African descent. Instead they examine colonialism's domination and legacy in terms of both the political power it wielded and the symbolic instruments of that oppression.

The volume's scope extends from the Southern Cone to the Andean region, Mexico, and the Hispanophone and Francophone Caribbean. It contests many of the traditional givens about Latin America, including governance and the nation state, the effects of globalization, the legacy of the region's criollo philosophers and men of letters, and postulations of harmonious race relations. As dictatorships give way to democracies in a variety of unprecedented ways, this book offers a necessary and needed examination of the social transformations in the region.

Published by: University Press of Florida


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

This volume represents the results of a collective effort. My first debt of gratitude therefore is to the contributors for offering the fruits of their intellectual labor and for responding so cordially to my own editorial requests and to those of the anonymous readers. ...

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pp. 1-12

In a recent work on race and ethnicity in Latin America, Peter Wade alerted readers to a “deep-seated divide” in the study of blacks and Indians in the region and suggested that bringing both groups under the same theoretical perspective would highlight valuable contrasts and similarities between them (Wade 1997, 25). ...

Part 1. Coloniality as Legacy

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Chapter 1. From Meticulous Oblivion to Unexpected Return: The Variable Fate of Indigenous People in the Uruguayan Imaginary of the Nineteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-First Centuries

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pp. 15-36

Unlike other already extinct indigenous groups, the Charrua, who once inhabited what is currently modern-day Uruguay and part of the Argentine coastline, did not perish as a result of forced labor. There was no massive or exploitative agricultural development in the territory they occupied nor was there knowledge of any gold or silver mines at the time. ...

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2. Coloring the Social Structure: Racial Politics during the Duvalierist Dictatorial Regime of 1957–87

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pp. 37-58

Haiti, like most other Caribbean societies evolved after slavery into a social structure characterized by the interconnection of socio-economic and socio-racial hierarchies. In Haiti, hierarchies of race and color (two distinct but interrelated terms), class, and gender are expressed in marked social inequalities. ...

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3. The Imagined Republic of Puerto Rican Populism in World-Historical Context: The Poetics of Plantation Fantasies and the Petit-Coloniality of Criollo Blanchitude, 1914–48

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pp. 59-90

“Negro-themed” poetry (so-called negrista poetry or poesía negroide) was one of the principal literary expressions among the “native” intelligentsia in Puerto Rico during the collapse of British supremacy within the colonialcapitalist world-system1 and the interwar period’s global hegemonic interregnum. ...

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4. Racism and Its Masks in Brazil: On Racism and the Idea of Harmony

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pp. 91-116

A recent book by Guimarães and Huntley on racism in Brazil bears a rather suggestive title—Tirando a máscara (Removing the mask). Why should studying racism, understanding it, and appreciating its dynamics, vicissitudes, framework, and strategies imply removing a mask, ...

Part 2. Facets of the Insurgent

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5. Revolutionary Spiritualities in Chiapas Today: Immanent History and the Comparative Frame in Subaltern Studies

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pp. 119-150

This chapter traces some of the signature concepts of the Zapatista insurrection of 1994 and the pacifism of Las Abejas back to native colonial pictorial articulations of the possibility of dwelling in a plurality of worlds, of the possibility of being modern and not-modern without incurring a contradiction. ...

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6. New Cartographies of the Bolivian State in the Context of the Constituent Assembly, 2006–2007

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pp. 151-192

Speaking of postcolonial studies, John Beverley, in Subalternity and Representation (1999), warns us against examining culture alone, since this ignores the relations of power, and above all the potentially antagonistic relations between the people and the state. ...

Part 3. Signifying Subalterns

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7. Savage Emergence: Toward a Decolonial Aymara Methodology for Cultural Survival

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pp. 195-221

In November 2003, following the terrible violence that took place in Bolivia, the Latin American Weekly Report published a headline article with the title “Is ‘Indigenous Fundamentalism’ the New Hemispheric Threat?”1 This piece referenced an earlier article by Andrés Oppenheimer that was posted on the Internet ...

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8. Race, Ethnicity, and Nation in Manuel Zapata Olivella’s ¡Levántate mulato!: Rethinking Identity in Latin America

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pp. 222-240

Literature is one area of human endeavor that can be appreciated for its own sake as well as for the insights it offers on cultural production, knowledge, and power. In Latin America the essay is particularly valuable in this regard, perhaps also because, as Nicolas Shumway points out, of all the genres ...

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9. Afro-centrism as an Intercultural Force in Ecuador

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pp. 241-256

It would be absurd to continue to hold on to the idea of a highly centralized and privileged Lettered City as the primordial source of thought and knowledge at this stage of the history of social relations in Latin America; in fact, the various indigenous and black movements throughout Latin America, for example, ...

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10. Creole Counterdiscourses and French Departmental Hegemony: Reclaiming “Here” from “There”

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pp. 257-278

In a classic event that underscores the paradoxes of doubleness and ambiguity that continue to define the terrain of the departmental relationship, the fiftieth anniversary of the departmentalization law of 1946 that continues to bind Guadeloupe and Martinique to mainland France, across the reaches of history, culture, and the Atlantic Ocean, ...

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pp. 279-282

Gislene Aparecida dos Santos of São Paulo, Brazil, is a member of the Graduate Board on Human Rights of the Faculty of Law at the University of São Paulo and is an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Public Policy. She was recently nominated to the Universidade de São Paulo’s Public Policy Commission on Blacks ...


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pp. 283-301

E-ISBN-13: 9780813039947
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813032641
Print-ISBN-10: 0813032644

Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 29 figures
Publication Year: 2008

OCLC Number: 746746854
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Race, Colonialism, and Social Transformation in Latin America and the Caribbean

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Latin America -- Race relations.
  • Caribbean Area -- Race relations.
  • National characteristics, Latin American.
  • National characteristics, Caribbean.
  • Social change -- Latin America.
  • Social change -- Caribbean Area.
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