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Free People of Color in Cuba and the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World
Michele Reid-Vazquez reveals the untold story of the strategies of negotiation used by free blacks in the aftermath of the “Year of the Lash”—a wave of repression in Cuba that had great implications for the Atlantic World in the next two decades.
At dawn on June 29, 1844, a firing squad in Havana executed ten accused ringleaders of the Conspiracy of La Escalera, an alleged plot to abolish slavery and colonial rule in Cuba. The condemned men represented prominent members of Cuba’s free community of African descent, including the acclaimed poet Plácido (Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés). In an effort to foster a white majority and curtail black rebellion, Spanish colonial authorities also banished, imprisoned, and exiled hundreds of free blacks, dismantled the militia of color, and accelerated white immigration projects.
Scholars have debated the existence of the Conspiracy of La Escalera for over a century, yet little is known about how those targeted by the violence responded. Drawing on archival material from Cuba, Mexico, Spain, and the United States, Reid-Vazquez provides a critical window into understanding how free people of color challenged colonial policies of terror and pursued justice on their own terms using formal and extralegal methods. Whether rooted in Cuba or cast into the Atlantic World, free men and women of African descent stretched and broke colonial expectations of their codes of conduct locally and in exile. Their actions underscored how black agency, albeit fragmented, worked to destabilize repression’s impact.
A Soldier's Diary and the Erasure of Palestine's Ottoman Past
Year of the Locust captures in page-turning detail the end of the Ottoman world and a pivotal moment in Palestinian history. In the diaries of Ihsan Hasan al-Turjman (1893–1917), the first ordinary recruit to describe World War I from the Arab side, we follow the misadventures of an Ottoman soldier stationed in Jerusalem. There he occupied himself by dreaming about his future and using family connections to avoid being sent to the Suez. His diaries draw a unique picture of daily life in the besieged city, bringing into sharp focus its communitarian alleys and obliterated neighborhoods, the ongoing political debates, and, most vividly, the voices from its streets—soldiers, peddlers, prostitutes, and vagabonds. Salim Tamari’s indispensable introduction places the diary in its local, regional, and imperial contexts while deftly revising conventional wisdom on the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire.
The year is 1984. The ruthless dictatorship envisioned by Orwell has not come to pass. Or has it? Under the presidency of former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan, the war for America’s soul has begun—a struggle of conscience and idealism versus idolatry and political tyranny. Democracy is fading, and two young liberals in Washington are determined to restore it, no matter the cost.
In her second collection of poems, Lee Ann Roripaugh probes themes of mixed-race female identities, evoking the molting processes of snakes and insects who shed their skins and shells as an ongoing metaphor for transformation of self. Intertwining contemporary renditions of traditional Japanese myths and fairy tales with poems that explore the landscape of childhood and early adolescence, she blurs the boundaries between myth and memory, between real and imagined selves. This collection explores cultural, psychological, and physical liminalities and exposes the diasporic arc cast by first-generation Asian American mothers and their second-generation daughters, revealing a desire for metamorphosis of self through time, geography, culture, and myth.
Vol. 54 (2008) through current issue
The Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature is dedicated to the publication of theoretically informed research in literary studies with a comparative, intercultural, or interdisciplinary emphasis. We invite articles on the comparative study of the arts, film studies with connections to literature, international literary relations, literary pedagogy, and the theory and practice of translation, as well as on the study of genres and modes, themes and motifs, periods and movements. Manuscripts (generally of twenty to thirty-five double-spaced pages) should be submitted in accordance with the current MLA Style Manual, including parenthetical documentation and a list of works cited. The author’s name should not appear with the title or on headers, and endnote references to the author should be in the third person. Please enclose two copies of the essay, along with return postage. If the submission is accepted, the author will be asked to provide an electronic version (e.g., a PC-formatted disk or attachment). Submissions will be promptly acknowledged, and the review process normally takes approximately four to six months.
Vol. 1 (1935) through current issue
Founded in 1935, the APCG has a rich history of promoting geographical education and research. Its Yearbook includes abstracts of papers from its annual meetings, a selection of full-length peer-reviewed articles, and book reviews. Since 1952 the APCG has also been the Pacific Coast Regional Division (including Hawai'i) of the Association of American Geographers. Individual subscription is by membership in the APCG.
The poems in Manuel Paul López's The Yearning Feed, winner of the 2013 Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry, are embedded in the San Diego/Imperial Valley regions, communities located along the U.S.-Mexico border. López, an Imperial Valley native, considers La Frontera, or the border, as magical, worthy of Macondo-like comparisons, where contradictions are firmly rooted and ironies play out on a daily basis. These poems synthesize López’s knowledge of modern and contemporary literature with a border-child vernacular sensibility to produce a work that illustrates the ongoing geographical and literary historical clash of cultures.
Laura Holloway-Langford and Late Victorian Spirituality
This biography of an unconventional woman in late 19th-century America is a study of a search for individual autonomy and spiritual growth. Laura Holloway-Langford, a "rebel girl" from Tennessee, moved to New York City, where she supported her family as a journalist. She soon became famous as the author of Ladies of the White House, which secured her financial independence. Promoted to associate editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, she gave readings and lectures and became involved in progressive women's causes, the temperance movement, and theosophy—even traveling to Europe to meet Madame Blavatsky, the movement's leader, and writing for the theosophist newspaper The Word. In the early 1870s, she began a correspondence with Eldress Anna White of the Mount Lebanon, New York, Shaker community, with whom she shared belief in pacifism, feminism, vegetarianism, and cremation. Attracted by the simplicity of Shaker life, she eventually bought a farm from the Canaan Shakers, where she lived and continued to write until her death in 1930. In tracing the life of this spiritual seeker, Diane Sasson underscores the significant role played by cultural mediators like Holloway-Langford in bringing new religious ideas to the American public and contributing to a growing interest in eastern religions and alternative approaches to health and spirituality that would alter the cultural landscape of the nation.
France and the Legacy of the Great War
The Great War that engulfed Europe between 1914 and 1918 was a catastrophe for France. French soil was the site of most of the fighting on the Western Front. French dead were more than 1.3 million, the permanently disabled another 1.1 million, overwhelmingly men in their twenties and thirties. The decade and a half before the war had been years of plenty, a time of increasing prosperity and confidence remembered as the Belle Epoque or the good old days. The two decades that followed its end were years of want, loss, misery, and fear. In 1914, France went to war convinced of victory. In 1939, France went to war dreading defeat.