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Caribbean plantations and the forces that shaped them--slavery, sugar, capitalism, and the tropical, sometimes deadly environment--have been studied extensively. This volume brings together alternate stories of sites that fall outside the large cash-crop estates. Employing innovative research tools and integrating data from Dominica, St. Lucia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Barbados, Nevis, Montserrat, and the British Virgin Islands, the contributors investigate the oft-overlooked interstitial spaces where enslaved Africans sought to maintain their own identities inside and outside the fixed borders of colonialism. Despite grueling work regimes and social and economic restrictions, people held in bondage carved out places of their own at the margins of slavery's reach. These essays reveal a complex world within and between sprawling plantations--a world of caves, gullies, provision grounds, field houses, fields, and the areas beyond them, where the enslaved networked, interacted, and exchanged goods and information. The volume also explores the lives of poor whites, Afro-descendant members of military garrisons, and free people of color, demonstrating that binary models of black slaves and white planters do not fully encompass the diversity of Caribbean identities before and after emancipation. Together, the analyses of marginal spaces and postemancipation communities provide a more nuanced understanding of the experiences of those who lived in the historic Caribbean, and who created, nurtured, and ultimately cut the roots of empire. A volume in the Florida Museum of Natural History: Ripley P. Bullen Series
This work resituates the Spanish Caribbean as an extension of the Luso-African Atlantic world from the late sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth century, when the union of the Spanish and Portuguese crowns facilitated a surge in the transatlantic slave trade. After the catastrophic decline of Amerindian populations on the islands, two major African provenance zones, first Upper Guinea and then Angola, contributed forced migrant populations with distinct experiences to the Caribbean. They played a dynamic role in the social formation of early Spanish colonial society in the fortified port cities of Cartagena de Indias, Havana, Santo Domingo, and Panama City and their semirural hinterlands. David Wheat is the first scholar to establish this early phase of the "Africanization" of the Spanish Caribbean two centuries before the rise of large-scale sugar plantations. With African migrants and their descendants comprising demographic majorities in core areas of Spanish settlement, Luso-Africans, Afro-Iberians, Latinized Africans, and free people of color acted more as colonists or settlers than as plantation slaves. These ethnically mixed and economically diversified societies constituted a region of overlapping Iberian and African worlds, while they made possible Spain's colonization of the Caribbean.
Borderline Citizens explores the intersection of U.S. colonial power and Puerto Rican migration. Robert C. McGreevey examines a series of confrontations in the early decades of the twentieth century between colonial migrants seeking work and citizenship in the metropole and various groups--employers, colonial officials, court officers, and labor leaders--policing the borders of the U.S. economy and polity. Borderline Citizens deftly shows the dynamic and contested meaning of American citizenship. At a time when colonial officials sought to limit citizenship through the definition of Puerto Rico as a U.S. territory, Puerto Ricans tested the boundaries of colonial law when they migrated to California, Arizona, New York, and other states on the mainland. The conflicts and legal challenges created when Puerto Ricans migrated to the U.S. mainland thus serve, McGreevey argues, as essential, if overlooked, evidence crucial to understanding U.S. empire and citizenship. McGreevey demonstrates the value of an imperial approach to the history of migration. Drawing attention to the legal claims migrants made on the mainland, he highlights the agency of Puerto Rican migrants and the efficacy of their efforts to find an economic, political, and legal home in the United States. At the same time, Borderline Citizens demonstrates how colonial institutions shaped migration streams through a series of changing colonial legal categories that tracked alongside corporate and government demands for labor mobility. McGreevey describes a history shaped as much by the force of U.S. power overseas as by the claims of colonial migrants within the United States.
By tracing the largely forgotten eighteenth-century migration of elite mixed-race individuals from Jamaica to Great Britain, Children of Uncertain Fortune reinterprets the evolution of British racial ideologies as a matter of negotiating family membership. Using wills, legal petitions, family correspondences, and inheritance lawsuits, Daniel Livesay is the first scholar to follow the hundreds of children born to white planters and Caribbean women of color who crossed the ocean for educational opportunities, professional apprenticeships, marriage prospects, or refuge from colonial prejudices. The presence of these elite children of color in Britain pushed popular opinion in the British Atlantic world toward narrower conceptions of race and kinship. Members of Parliament, colonial assemblymen, merchant kings, and cultural arbiters--the very people who decided Britain's colonial policies, debated abolition, passed marital laws, and arbitrated inheritance disputes--rubbed shoulders with these mixed-race Caribbean migrants in parlors and sitting rooms. Upper-class Britons also resented colonial transplants and coveted their inheritances; family intimacy gave way to racial exclusion. By the early nineteenth century, relatives had become strangers.
"Artfully combines personal narrative, ethnographic insight, and an artisan's treatise on material culture and production techniques to bring quotidian Caribbean ceramic wares to life as material expressions of cultural adaptation and markers of the region's socio-economic history."--Michael R. McDonald, author of Food Culture in Central America"Weaves a complex history that links the Caribbean with Africa, Europe, the Americas, and India and draws together threads from indigenous cultures to the impact of the slave trade, indentured workers, colonial rulers, postcolonial politics, and global tourism."--Moira Vincentelli, author of Women Potters: Transforming Traditions"In the field of indigenous ceramics, cross-regional research is becoming increasingly important for potters, students, and scholars alike. Fay establishes a solid base for both further regional research and global comparative work."--Elizabeth Perrill, author of Zulu Pottery"Provides a historical and social context for the heritage of traditional ceramics in the contemporary Caribbean and at the same time grounds it in the everyday practice of potters."--Mark W. Hauser, author of An Archaeology of Black Markets: Local Ceramics and Economies in Eighteenth-Century JamaicaBeautifully illustrated with richly detailed photographs, this volume traces the living heritage of locally made pottery in the English-speaking Caribbean. Patricia Fay combines her own expertise in making ceramics with two decades of interviews, visits, and participant-observation in the region, providing a perspective that is technically informed and anthropologically rigorous. Through the analysis of ceramic methods, Fay reveals that the traditional skills of local potters in the Caribbean are inherited from diverse points of origin in Africa, Europe, India, and the Americas. At the heart of the book is an in-depth discussion of the women potters of Choiseul, Saint Lucia, whose self-sufficient Creole lifestyle emerged in the nineteenth century following the emancipation of plantation slaves. Using methods inherited from Africa, today's potters adapt heritage practice for new contexts. In Nevis, Antigua, and Jamaica, related pottery traditions reveal skill sets derived from multiple West and Central African influences, and in the case of Jamaica, launched ceramics as a contemporary art form. In Barbados, colonial wheel and kiln technologies imported from England are evident in the many productive clay studios on the island. In Trinidad, Hindu ritual vessels are a key feature of a ceramic tradition that arrived with indentured labor from India, and in Guyana potters in both village and urban settings preserve indigenous Amerindian culture.Fay emphasizes the integral role relationships between mothers and daughters play in the transmission of skills from generation to generation. Since most pottery produced is intended for domestic use as cooking pots, serving vessels, and for water storage, women have been key to sustaining these traditions. But Fay's work also shows that these pots have value beyond their everyday usefulness. In the process of forming and firing, the diverse cultural heritage of the Caribbean becomes manifest, exemplifying the continuing encounter between old and new, local and global, and traditional and contemporary. A volume in the series Latin American and Caribbean Arts and Culture, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Latin America's long history of showing how racism can co-exist with racial mixture and conviviality offers useful ammunition for strengthening anti-racist stances. This volume asks whether cultural production has a particular role to play within discourses and practices of anti-racism in Latin America and the Caribbean. The contributors analyse music, performance, education, language, film and art in diverse national contexts across the region. The book also places Latin American and Caribbean racial formations within a broader global context and sets out the premise that the region provides valuable opportunities for thinking about anti-racism when recent political events have made ever more fragile the claims that, at least in Europe and the United States, we exist in a 'post-racial' world.
Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat is one of the most recognized writers today. Her debut novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, was an Oprah Book Club selection, and works such as Krik? Krak! and Brother, I'm Dying have earned her a MacArthur "genius" grant and National Book Award nominations. Yet despite international acclaim and the relevance of her writings to postcolonial, feminist, Caribbean, African diaspora, Haitian, literary, and global studies, Danticat's work has not been the subject of a full-length interpretive literary analysis until now. In Edwidge Danticat: The Haitian Diasporic Imaginary, Nadège T. Clitandre offers a comprehensive analysis of Danticat's exploration of the dialogic relationship between nation and diaspora. Clitandre argues that Danticat--moving between novels, short stories, and essays--articulates a diasporic consciousness that acts as a form of social, political, and cultural transformation at the local and global level. Using the echo trope to approach Danticat's narratives and subjects, Clitandre effectively navigates between the reality of diaspora and imaginative opportunities that diasporas produce. Ultimately, Clitandre calls for a reconstitution of nation through a diasporic imaginary that informs the way people who have experienced displacement view the world and imagine a more diverse, interconnected, and just future.
Opening a window on a dynamic realm far beyond imperial courts, anatomical theaters, and learned societies, Pablo F. Gomez examines the strategies that Caribbean people used to create authoritative, experientially based knowledge about the human body and the natural world during the long seventeenth century. Gomez treats the early modern intellectual culture of these mostly black and free Caribbean communities on its own merits and not only as it relates to well-known frameworks for the study of science and medicine. Drawing on an array of governmental and ecclesiastical sources--notably Inquisition records--Gomez highlights more than one hundred black ritual practitioners regarded as masters of healing practices and as social and spiritual leaders. He shows how they developed evidence-based healing principles based on sensorial experience rather than on dogma. He elucidates how they nourished ideas about the universality of human bodies, which contributed to the rise of empirical testing of disease origins and cures. Both colonial authorities and Caribbean people of all conditions viewed this experiential knowledge as powerful and competitive. In some ways, it served to respond to the ills of slavery. Even more crucial, however, it demonstrates how the black Atlantic helped creatively to fashion the early modern world.
Arguing that the accomplishments of Jamaican activist Marcus Garvey and his followers have been marginalized in narratives of the black freedom struggle, this volume builds on decades of overlooked research to reveal the profound impact of Garvey's post-World War I black nationalist philosophy around the globe and across the twentieth century.These essays point to the breadth of Garveyism's spread and its reception in communities across the African diaspora, examining the influence of Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Africa, Australia, North America, and the Caribbean. They highlight the underrecognized work of many Garveyite women and show how the UNIA played a key role in shaping labor unions, political organizations, churches, and schools. In addition, contributors describe the importance of grassroots efforts for expanding the global movement--the UNIA trained leaders to organize local centers of power, whose political activism outside the movement helped Garvey's message escape its organizational bounds during the 1920s. They trace the imprint of the movement on long-term developments such as decolonization in Africa and the Caribbean, the pan-Aboriginal fight for land rights in Australia, the civil rights and Black Power movements in the United States, and the radical pan-African movement.Rejecting the idea that Garveyism was a brief and misguided phenomenon, this volume exposes its scope, significance, and endurance. Together, contributors assert that Garvey initiated the most important mass movement in the history of the African diaspora, and they urge readers to rethink the emergence of modern black politics with Garveyism at the center.
Over fifty years after Jamaican and Trinidadian independence, Imagining Caribbean womanhood examines the links between beauty and politics in the Anglophone Caribbean, providing a first cultural history of Caribbean beauty competitions, spanning from Kingston to London. It traces the origins and transformation of female beauty contests in the British Caribbean from 1929 to 1970, through the development of cultural nationalism, race-conscious politics and decolonisation. The beauty contest, a seemingly marginal phenomenon, is used to illuminate the persistence of racial supremacy, the advance of consumer culture and the negotiation of race and nation through the idealised performance of cultured, modern beauty. Modern Caribbean femininity was intended to be politically functional but also commercially viable and subtly eroticised. The lively discussion surrounding beauty competitions, examined in this book, reveals that femininity was used to shape ideas about Caribbean modernity, citizenship, and political and economic freedom. This cultural history of Caribbean beauty competitions will be of value to scholarship on beauty, Caribbean studies, postcolonial studies, gender studies, 'race' and racism studies and studies of the body.
In Search of the Sacred Book studies the artistic incorporation of religious concepts such as prophecy, eternity, and the afterlife in the contemporary Latin American novel. It departs from sociopolitical readings by noting the continued relevance of religion in Latin American life and culture, despite modernity's powerful secularizing influence. Analyzing Jorge Luis Borges's secularized "narrative theology" in his essays and short stories, the book follows the development of the Latin American novel from the early twentieth century until today by examining the attempts of major novelists, from María Luisa Bombal, Alejo Carpentier, and Juan Rulfo, to Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and José Lezama Lima, to "sacralize" the novel by incorporating traits present in the sacred texts of many religions. It concludes with a view of the "desacralization" of the novel by more recent authors, from Elena Poniatowska and Fernando Vallejo to Roberto Bolaño.
In this media history of the Caribbean, Alejandra Bronfman traces how technology, culture, and politics developed in a region that was "wired" earlier and more widely than many other parts of the Americas. Haiti, Cuba, and Jamaica acquired radio and broadcasting in the early stages of the global expansion of telecommunications technologies. Imperial histories helped forge these material connections through which the United States, Great Britain, and the islands created a virtual laboratory for experiments in audiopolitics and listening practices. As radio became an established medium worldwide, it burgeoned in the Caribbean because the region was a hub for intense foreign and domestic commercial and military activities. Attending to everyday life, infrastructure, and sounded histories during the waxing of an American empire and the waning of British influence in the Caribbean, Bronfman does not allow the notion of empire to stand solely for domination. By the time of the Cold War, broadcasting had become a ubiquitous phenomenon that rendered sound and voice central to political mobilization in the Caribbean nations throwing off what remained of their imperial tethers.
Jump Up! Caribbean Carnival Music in New York City is the first comprehensive history of Trinidadian calypso and steelband music in the diaspora. Carnival, transplanted from Trinidad to Harlem in the 1930s and to Brooklyn in the late 1960s, provides the cultural context for the study. Blendingoral history, archival research, and ethnography, Jump Up! examines how members of New York's diverse Anglophile-Caribbean communities forged transnational identities through the self-conscious embrace and transformation of select Carnival music styles and performances. The work fills a significantvoid in our understanding of how Caribbean Carnival music - specifically calypso, soca (soul/calypso), and steelband - evolved in the second half of the twentieth century as it flowed between its Island homeland and its bourgeoning New York migrant community. Jump Up! addresses the issues of music,migration, and identity head on, exploring the complex cycling of musical practices and the back-and-forth movement of singers, musicians, arrangers, producers, and cultural entrepreneurs between New York's diasporic communities and the Caribbean.
Florida Book Awards, Bronze Medal for General NonfictionInternational Latino Book Awards, First Place, Best History Book (English)"A splendid work of historical craftsmanship. In tone and content it offers a generally balanced survey of Cuban history through the end of the seventeenth century and in this regard it promises to offer a very usable introductory text. The writing is accessible and thoughtful, organized around an informative and engaging narrative."--Louis A. Pérez Jr., author of On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture"A commendable and important achievement."--Jason M. Yaremko, author of Indigenous Passages to Cuba, 1515-1900Scholarly and popular attention tends to focus heavily on Cuba's recent history: its notoriety as the world's largest exporter of sugar and the Western hemisphere's first socialist nation. Key to the New World fills the gap in our knowledge of the island before 1700, examining Cuba's formative centuries in depth.Luis Martínez-Fernández presents a holistic portrait of the island nation, interrelating its geography, economy, society, politics, and culture. He weaves these threads into a narrative that begins with the first arrival of indigenous people 10,000 years ago. He explores the conquest and establishment of colonial rule and how the island's geographic uniqueness made it an ideal launching pad for Spanish conquests into Central America, Mexico, and Florida. While considering the role of Cuba and the Caribbean as a theater for European power struggles, Martínez-Fernández also focuses intimately on the people who both influenced and were influenced by these larger, impersonal forces. In these often-overlooked centuries, Martínez-Fernández finds the roots of many of Cuba's enduring economic, political, social, and cultural complexities. The result is a sweeping history, a seminal text that makes clear that to fully grasp revolutionary or contemporary Cuba we must first understand what came before.
This book reveals how migrants shape the politics of their countries of origin, drawing on research from Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador and their diasporas, the three largest in Latin America. Luis Jiménez discusses the political changes that result when migrants return to their native countries in person and also when they send back new ideas and funds--social and economic "remittances"--through transnational networks. Using a combination of rich quantitative analysis and eye-opening interviews, Jiménez finds that migrants have influenced areas such as political participation, number of parties, electoral competitiveness, and presidential election results. Interviews with authorities in Mexico reveal that migrants have inspired a demand for increased government accountability. Surveys from Colombia show that neighborhoods that have seen high degrees of migration are more likely to participate in local politics and also vote for a wider range of parties at the national level. In Ecuador, he observes that migration is linked to more competitive local elections as well as less support for representatives whose policies censor the media. Jiménez also draws attention to government services that would not exist without the influence of migrants. Looking at the demographics of these migrating populations along with the size and density of their social networks, Jiménez identifies the circumstances in which other diasporas--such as those of south Asian and African countries--have the most potential to impact the politics of their homelands.
By 2025, Latin America's population of observant Christians will be the largest in the world. Nonetheless, studies examining the exponential growth of global Christianity tend to overlook this region, focusing instead on Africa and Asia. Research on Christianity in Latin America provides acore point of departure for understanding the growth and development of Christianity in the "Global South."In The Oxford Handbook of Latin American Christianity an interdisciplinary contingent of scholars examines Latin American Christianity in all of its manifestations from the colonial to the contemporary period. The essays here provide an accessible background to understanding Christianity in LatinAmerica. Spanning the era from indigenous and African-descendant people's conversion to and transformation of Catholicism during the colonial period through the advent of Liberation Theology in the 1960s and conversion to Pentecostalism and Charismatic Catholicism, The Oxford Handbook of LatinAmerican Christianity is the most complete introduction to the history and trajectory of this important area of modern Christianity.
Latin America is one of the most violent regions in the world. It has suffered waves of repressive authoritarian rule, organized armed insurgency and civil war, violent protest, and ballooning rates of criminal violence. But is violence hard-wired into Latin America? This is a critical reassessment of the ways in which violence in Latin America is addressed and understood. Previous approaches have relied on structural perspectives, attributing the problem of violence to Latin America's colonial past or its conflictual contemporary politics. Bringing together scholars and practitioners, this volume argues that violence is often rooted more in contingent outcomes than in deeply embedded structures. Addressing topics ranging from the root sources of violence in Haiti to kidnapping in Colombia, from the role of property rights in patterns of violence to the challenges of peacebuilding, The Politics of Violence in Latin America is an essential step towards understanding the causes and contexts of violence-and changing the mechanisms that produce it.
Bringing Latin American popular art out of the margins and into the center of serious scholarship, this book rethinks the cultural canon and recovers previously undervalued cultural forms as art. Juan Ramos uses "decolonial aesthetics," a theory that frees the idea of art from Eurocentric forms of expression and philosophies of the beautiful, to examine the long decade of the 1960s in Latin America--a time of cultural production that has not been studied extensively from a decolonial perspective. Ramos looks at examples of "antipoetry," unconventional verse that challenges canonical poets and often addresses urgent social concerns. He analyzes the militant popular songs of nueva canción by musicians such as Mercedes Sosa and Violeta Parra. He discusses films that use visually shocking images and melodramatic effects to tell the stories of Latin American nations. He asserts that these different art forms should not be studied in isolation but rather brought together as a network of contributions to decolonial art. These art forms, he argues, appeal to an aesthetic that involves all the senses. Instead of being outdated byproducts of their historical moments, they continue to influence Latin American cultural production today.
A Short History of U.S. Interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean presents a concise account of the full sweep of U.S. military invasions and interventions in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean from 1800 up to the present day. Engages in debates about the economic, military, political, and cultural motives that shaped U.S. interventions in Cuba, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, and elsewhere Deals with incidents that range from the taking of Florida to the Mexican War, the War of 1898, the Veracruz incident of 1914, the Bay of Pigs, and the 1989 invasion of Panama Features also the responses of Latin American countries to U.S. involvement Features unique coverage of 19th century interventions as well as 20th century incidents, and includes a series of helpful maps and illustrations
In Simon Gikandi's view, Caribbean literature and postcolonial literature more generally negotiate an uneasy relationship with the concepts of modernism and modernity--a relationship in which the Caribbean writer, unable to escape a history encoded by Europe, accepts the challenge of rewriting it. Drawing on contemporary deconstructionist theory, Gikandi looks at how such Caribbean writers as George Lamming, Samuel Selvon, Alejo Carpentier, C. L. R. James, Paule Marshall, Merle Hodge, Zee Edgell, and Michelle Cliff have attempted to confront European modernism.