An invention of the Industrial Revolution, the accordion provided the less affluent with an inexpensive, loud, portable, and durable "one-man-orchestra" capable of producing melody, harmony, and bass all at once. Imported from Europe into the Americas, the accordion with its distinctive sound became a part of the aural landscape for millions of people but proved to be divisive: while the accordion formed an integral part of working-class musical expression, bourgeois commentators often derided it as vulgar and tasteless.
This rich collection considers the accordion and its myriad forms, from the concertina, button accordion, and piano accordion familiar in European and North American music to the exotic-sounding South American bandoneón and the sanfoninha. Capturing the instrument's spread and adaptation to many different cultures in North and South America, contributors illuminate how the accordion factored into power struggles over aesthetic values between elites and working-class people who often were members of immigrant and/or marginalized ethnic communities. Specific histories and cultural contexts discussed include the accordion in Brazil, Argentine tango, accordion traditions in Colombia, cross-border accordion culture between Mexico and Texas, Cajun and Creole identity, working-class culture near Lake Superior, the virtuoso Italian-American and Klezmer accordions, Native American dance music, and American avant-garde.
Contributors are María Susana Azzi, Egberto Bermúdez, Mark DeWitt, Joshua Horowitz, Sydney Hutchinson, Marion Jacobson, James P. Leary, Megwen Loveless, Richard March, Cathy Ragland, Helena Simonett, Jared Snyder, Janet L. Sturman, and Christine F. Zinni.
Acoustic Properties: Radio, Narrative, and the New Neighborhood of the Americas discovers the prehistory of wireless culture. It examines both the coevolution of radio and the novel in Argentina, Cuba, and the United States from the early 1930s to the late 1960s, and the various populist political climates in which the emerging medium of radio became the chosen means to produce the voice of the people.
Based on original archival research in Buenos Aires, Havana, Paris, and the United States, the book develops a literary media theory that understands sound as a transmedial phenomenon and radio as a transnational medium. Analyzing the construction of new social and political relations in the wake of the United States’ 1930s Good Neighbor Policy, Acoustic Properties challenges standard narratives of hemispheric influence through new readings of Richard Wright’s cinematic work in Argentina, Severo Sarduy’s radio plays in France, and novels by John Dos Passos, Manuel Puig, Raymond Chandler, and Carson McCullers. Alongside these writers, the book also explores Che Guevara and Fidel Castro’s Radio Rebelde, FDR’s fireside chats, Félix Caignet’s invention of the radionovela in Cuba, Evita Perón’s populist melodramas in Argentina, Orson Welles’s experimental New Deal radio, Cuban and U.S. “radio wars,” and the 1960s African American activist Robert F. Williams’s proto–black power Radio Free Dixie.
From the doldrums of the Great Depression to the tumult of the Cuban Revolution, Acoustic Properties illuminates how novelists in the radio age converted writing into a practice of listening, transforming realism as they struggled to channel and shape popular power.
In her groundbreaking Affective Intellectuals and the Space of Catastrophe in the Americas, Judith Sierra-Rivera studies five different contexts of crisis: natural disasters in Mexico, forced displacements between Central America and the United States, a whitewashed transition to democracy in Chile, colonialism and wars in Puerto Rico, and racism and patriarchy in Cuba. All of these scenarios share the common ground of the neoliberal space of catastrophe, which also generates new groups and forms of resistance. Affective Intellectuals argues that a new kind of intellectual emerges from these contemporary configurations to speak and act guided by the stories and desires of those who have been systematically pushed out of the public sphere: indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, immigrants, LGBTQ sexualities, and inhabitants of poverty.
Pursuing this argument, Sierra-Rivera examines print, radio, and web materials by authors whose emotional discourses have also had a measurable impact on the formation of communities that demand their full political inclusion in society. This book therefore fills a significant gap in the study of the relationship between materiality (space and bodies), emotions, and the political imagination. Affective Intellectuals demonstrates that writers and intellectuals themselves are vital in reshaping their communities and fighting for social justice in the Hemispheric Americas.
Indigenous people and African descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean have long been affected by a social hierarchy established by elites, through which some groups were racialized and others were normalized. Far from being “racial paradises” populated by an amalgamated “cosmic race” of mulattos and mestizos, Latin America and the Caribbean have long been sites of shifting exploitative strategies and ideologies, ranging from scientific racism and eugenics to the more sophisticated official denial of racism and ethnic difference. This book, among the first to focus on African descendants in the region, brings together diverse reflections from scholars, activists, and funding agency representatives working to end racism and promote human rights in the Americas. By focusing on the ways racism inhibits agency among African descendants and the ways African-descendant groups position themselves in order to overcome obstacles, this interdisciplinary book provides a multi-faceted analysis of one of the gravest contemporary problems in the Americas.
Insisting on the critical value of Latin American histories for recasting theories of postcolonialism, After Spanish Rule is the first collection of essays by Latin Americanist historians and anthropologists to engage postcolonial debates from the perspective of the Americas. These essays extend and revise the insights of postcolonial studies in diverse Latin American contexts, ranging from the narratives of eighteenth-century travelers and clerics in the region to the status of indigenous intellectuals in present-day Colombia. The editors argue that the construction of an array of singular histories at the intersection of particular colonialisms and nationalisms must become the critical project of postcolonial history-writing.
Challenging the universalizing tendencies of postcolonial theory as it has developed in the Anglophone academy, the contributors are attentive to the crucial ways in which the histories of Latin American countries—with their creole elites, hybrid middle classes, subordinated ethnic groups, and complicated historical relationships with Spain and the United States—differ from those of other former colonies in the southern hemisphere. Yet, while acknowledging such differences, the volume suggests a host of provocative, critical connections to colonial and postcolonial histories around the world.
Contributors Thomas Abercrombie Shahid Amin Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra Peter Guardino Andrés Guerrero Marixa Lasso Javier Morillo-Alicea Joanne Rappaport Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo Mark Thurner
AIDS Alibis tackles the cultural landscape upon which AIDS, often accompanied by poverty, drug addiction, and crime, proliferates on a global scale. Stephanie Kane layers stories of individuals and events -- from Chicago to Belize City, to cyberspace -- to illustrate the paths of HIV infection and the effects of environment, government intervention, and social mores. Linking ordinary yet kindred lives in communities around the globe, Kane challenges the assumptions underlying the use of police and courts to solve health problems.
The stories reveal the dynamics that determine how the policy decisions of white-collar health care professionals actually play out in real life. By focusing on life-changing social problems, the narratives highlight the contradictions between public health and criminal law. Look at how HIV has transformed our social consciousness, from intimate touch to institutional outreach. But, Kane argues, these changes are dwarfed by the United States's refusal to stop the war on drugs, in effect misdirecting resources and awareness.
AIDS Alibis combines empirical and interpretive methods in a path-breaking attempt to recognize the extent to which coercive institutional practices are implicated in HIV transmission patterns. Kane shows how th e virus feeds on the politics of inequality and indifference, even as it exploits the human need for intimacy and release.
In 1946 Juan Perón launched a populist challenge to the United States, recruiting an army of labor activists to serve as worker attachés at every Argentine embassy. By 1955, over five hundred would serve, representing the largest presence of blue-collar workers in the foreign service of any country in history. A meatpacking union leader taught striking workers in Chicago about rising salaries under Perón. A railroad motorist joined the revolution in Bolivia. A baker showed Soviet workers the daily caloric intake of their Argentine counterparts. As Ambassadors of the Working Class shows, the attachés' struggle against US diplomats in Latin America turned the region into a Cold War battlefield for the hearts of the working classes. In this context, Ernesto Semán reveals, for example, how the attachés' brand of transnational populism offered Fidel Castro and Che Guevara their last chance at mass politics before their embrace of revolutionary violence. Fiercely opposed by Washington, the attachés’ project foundered, but not before US policymakers used their opposition to Peronism to rehearse arguments against the New Deal's legacies.
“The Americas, Otherwise” explores the growing influence of the study of the Americas—variously referred to as Americas Studies, Transamerican Studies, Hemispheric Studies, and Interamerican Studies—on the field of comparative literature. The essays in this special issue suggest the centrality of comparative studies of the Americas to the revision of the discipline as a whole, as well as to intellectual practice in other disciplines.
These essays foreground the work of important hemispheric writers, artists, and public intellectuals such as Roberto Bolaño, Alejo Carpentier, Aimé Césaire, Gabriel García Márquez, Édouard Glissant, José Martí, Ricardo Piglia, and Leopoldo Zea. Topics include migration to the Americas from Asia, Europe, and Africa; hemispheric exceptionalisms since the establishment of the first colonies; the interdisciplinary foundations of border studies; theories of the neobaroque and their application to Latin American cultural formations; Latino critical theory; and the emergence of a southern theory inclusive of the intellectual work of often-marginalized cultures.
In Ancient Households of the Americas archaeologists investigate the fundamental role of household production in ancient, colonial, and contemporary households.
Several different cultures-Iroquois, Coosa, Anasazi, Hohokam, San Agustín, Wankarani, Formative Gulf Coast Mexico, and Formative, Classic, Colonial, and contemporary Maya-are analyzed through the lens of household archaeology in concrete, data-driven case studies. The text is divided into three sections: Section I examines the spatial and social organization and context of household production; Section II looks at the role and results of households as primary producers; and Section III investigates the role of, and interplay among, households in their greater political and socioeconomic communities.
In the past few decades, household archaeology has made substantial contributions to our understanding and explanation of the past through the documentation of the household as a social unit-whether small or large, rural or urban, commoner or elite. These case studies from a broad swath of the Americas make Ancient Households of the Americas extremely valuable for continuing the comparative interdisciplinary study of households.
This unique collection of essays on shamanism in Central Asia and the Indian Americas provides sound and engaging scholarship that reflects the great diversity in this fascinating field. First published in 1994, Ancient Traditions has become a vital, frequently cited reference in the ongoing study of ancient religions.
Over the centuries, shamanism has endured as an abiding topic of interest not only because of a human concern with the past but also because of a common yearning to acknowledge life lived in closer symbolic relationship to the earth. For readers interested in indigenous cultures and religions, this collection of essays clarifies much of the New Age speculation on universals in shamanism, offering solid research on specific ethnic and historical expressions.
In Ancient Traditions, prominent scholars in ethnography, anthropology, and the study of world religions bring to bear their diverse perspectives on this singularly fascinating topic. Contributors include Vladimir N. Basilov, Robert S. Carlsen, James A. Clifton, Jane S. Day, Vladimir Diachenko, Vera P. Diakonova, Peter T. Furst, Larisa R. Pavlinskaya, Martin Prechtel, Gary Seaman, Omer C. Stewart, Lawrence E. Sullivan, Robert J. Theodoratus, and Johannes Wilbert. Co-published with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
In The Archive and the Repertoire preeminent performance studies scholar Diana Taylor provides a new understanding of the vital role of performance in the Americas. From plays to official events to grassroots protests, performance, she argues, must be taken seriously as a means of storing and transmitting knowledge. Taylor reveals how the repertoire of embodied memory—conveyed in gestures, the spoken word, movement, dance, song, and other performances—offers alternative perspectives to those derived from the written archive and is particularly useful to a reconsideration of historical processes of transnational contact. The Archive and the Repertoire invites a remapping of the Americas based on traditions of embodied practice.
Examining various genres of performance including demonstrations by the children of the disappeared in Argentina, the Peruvian theatre group Yuyachkani, and televised astrological readings by Univision personality Walter Mercado, Taylor explores how the archive and the repertoire work together to make political claims, transmit traumatic memory, and forge a new sense of cultural identity. Through her consideration of performances such as Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s show Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit . . . , Taylor illuminates how scenarios of discovery and conquest haunt the Americas, trapping even those who attempt to dismantle them. Meditating on events like those of September 11, 2001 and media representations of them, she examines both the crucial role of performance in contemporary culture and her own role as witness to and participant in hemispheric dramas. The Archive and the Repertoire is a compelling demonstration of the many ways that the study of performance enables a deeper understanding of the past and present, of ourselves and others.
Over the past century, the banana industry has radically transformed Latin America and the Caribbean and become a major site of United States–Latin American interaction. Banana Wars is a history of the Americas told through the cultural, political, economic, and agricultural processes that brought bananas from the forests of Latin America and the Caribbean to the breakfast tables of the United States and Europe. The first book to examine these processes in all the western hemisphere regions where bananas are grown for sale abroad, Banana Wars advances the growing body of scholarship focusing on export commodities from historical and social scientific perspectives.
Bringing together the work of anthropologists, sociologists, economists, historians, and geographers, this collection reveals how the banana industry marshaled workers of differing nationalities, ethnicities, and languages and, in so doing, created unprecedented potential for conflict throughout Latin American and the Caribbean. The frequently abusive conditions that banana workers experienced, the contributors point out, gave rise to one of Latin America’s earliest and most militant labor movements. Responding to both the demands of workers’ organizations and the power of U.S. capital, Latin American governments were inevitably affected by banana production. Banana Wars explores how these governments sometimes asserted their sovereignty over foreign fruit companies, but more often became their willing accomplices. With several essays focusing on the operations of the extraordinarily powerful United Fruit Company, the collection also examines the strategies and reactions of the American and European corporations seeking to profit from the sale of bananas grown by people of different cultures working in varied agricultural and economic environments.
Contributors Philippe Bourgois Marcelo Bucheli Dario Euraque Cindy Forster Lawrence Grossman Mark Moberg Laura T. Raynolds Karla Slocum John Soluri Steve Striffler Allen Wells
Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora traces the production and circulation of discourses about "the Middle East" across various cultural sites, against the historical backdrop of cross-Atlantic Mahjar flows. The book highlights the fraught and ambivalent situation of Arabs/Muslims in the Americas, where they are at once celebrated and demonized, integrated and marginalized, simultaneously invisible and spectacularly visible. The essays cover such themes as Arab hip-hop's transnational imaginary; gender/sexuality and the Muslim digital diaspora; patriotic drama and the media's War on Terror; the global negotiation of the Prophet Mohammad cartoons controversy; the Latin American paradoxes of Turcophobia/Turcophilia; the ambiguities of the bellydancing fad; French and American commodification of Rumi spirituality; the reception of Iranian memoirs as cultural domestication; and the politics of translation of Turkish novels into English. Taken together, the essays analyze the hegemonic discourses that position "the Middle East" as a consumable exoticized object, while also developing complex understandings of self-representation in literature, cinema/TV, music, performance, visual culture, and digital spaces. Charting the shifting significations of differing and overlapping forms of Orientalism, the volume addresses Middle Eastern diasporic practices from a transnational perspective that brings postcolonial cultural studies methods to bear on Arab American studies, Middle Eastern studies, and Latin American studies. Between the Middle East and the Americas disentangles the conventional separation of regions, moving beyond the binarist notion of "here" and "there" to imaginatively reveal the thorough interconnectedness of cultural geographies.
Emancipation, manumission, and complex legalities surrounding slavery led to a number of women of color achieving a measure of freedom and prosperity from the 1600s through the 1800s. These black women held property in places like Suriname and New Orleans, headed households in Brazil, enjoyed religious freedom in Peru, and created new selves and new lives across the Caribbean. Beyond Bondage outlines the restricted spheres within which free women of color, by virtue of gender and racial restrictions, carved out many kinds of existences. Although their freedom--represented by respectability, opportunity, and the acquisition of property--always remained precarious, the essayists support the surprising conclusion that women of color often sought and obtained these advantages more successfully than their male counterparts.
Tudor explains how many African peoples came to think of themselves as descendants of the ancient tribes of Israel. Pursuing medieval and modern race narratives over a millennium in which Jews were cast as black and black Africans were cast as Jews, he reveals a complex interaction between religious and racial labels and their political uses.
Few Americans identify slavery with the cultivation of rice, yet rice was a major plantation crop during the first three centuries of settlement in the Americas. Rice accompanied African slaves across the Middle Passage throughout the New World to Brazil, the Caribbean, and the southern United States. By the middle of the eighteenth century, rice plantations in South Carolina and the black slaves who worked them had created one of the most profitable economies in the world.
Black Rice tells the story of the true provenance of rice in the Americas. It establishes, through agricultural and historical evidence, the vital significance of rice in West African society for a millennium before Europeans arrived and the slave trade began. The standard belief that Europeans introduced rice to West Africa and then brought the knowledge of its cultivation to the Americas is a fundamental fallacy, one which succeeds in effacing the origins of the crop and the role of Africans and African-American slaves in transferring the seed, the cultivation skills, and the cultural practices necessary for establishing it in the New World.
In this vivid interpretation of rice and slaves in the Atlantic world, Judith Carney reveals how racism has shaped our historical memory and neglected this critical African contribution to the making of the Americas.
A literary study of three important black women writers, this book examines the "inter-American" characteristics in the work of Marshall, Morrison, and Jones, including detailed discussions of Morrison's Song of Solomon and Tar Baby, Jones's Corregidora and Song of Anninho, and Marshall's The Chose Place, The Timeless People.
Coser defines the inter-American characteristics in these authors' novels as a connection based on a common African heritage and a shared legacy of colonialism and racism. These three authors redefine the boundaries between the Americas, bridging the "extended Caribbean" that stretches from the U.S. Atlantic coast to Brazil. Their work reinterprets ethnic and sexual identity. Issues of race, class, and nationality overlap. History and identity are reinvented.
To explore the collective forms of resistance and cultural processes in Brazil, the Caribbean, and the United States, Coser also makes provocative connections between the visibility of black women writers and the popularity of male Latin American novelists like Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel Garcia Marquéz.
Students and health practitioners traveling abroad seek insightful, culturally relevant background material to orient them to the environment in which they will be living and working. No single book currently provides this contextual background and global health perspective. These essays emphasize building partnerships and were written by United States medical and dental professionals, in collaboration with social scientists and Latin American medical personnel. The authors provide the historical, political, and cultural background for contemporary health care challenges, especially related to poverty. Combining personal insights with broader discussion of country contexts, this volume serves as an essential guide for anyone—from medical professionals to undergraduate students—heading to Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean to do health care–related work.
Zita Nunes argues that the prevailing narratives of identity formation throughout the Americas share a dependence on metaphors of incorporation and, often, of cannibalism. From the position of the incorporating body, the construction of a national and racial identity through a process of assimilation presupposes a remainder, a residue.
Nunes addresses works by writers and artists who explore what is left behind in the formation of national identities and speak to the limits of the contemporary discourse of democracy. Cannibal Democracy tracks its central metaphor’s circulation through the work of writers such as Mário de Andrade, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Toni Morrison and journalists of the black press, as well as work by visual artists including Magdalena Campos-Pons and Keith Piper, and reveals how exclusion-understood in terms of what is left out-can be fruitfully understood in terms of what is left over from a process of unification or incorporation.
Nunes shows that while this remainder can be deferred into the future-lurking as a threat to the desired stability of the present-the residue haunts discourses of national unity, undermining the ideologies of democracy that claim to resolve issues of race.
Zita Nunes is associate professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Although Juicy Fruit® gum was introduced to North Americans in 1893, Native Americans in Mesoamerica were chewing gum thousands of years earlier. And although in the last decade “biographies” have been devoted to salt, spices, chocolate, coffee, and other staples of modern life, until now there has never been a full history of chewing gum.
Chicle is a history in four acts, all of them focused on the sticky white substance that seeps from the sapodilla tree when its bark is cut. First, Jennifer Mathews recounts the story of chicle and its earliest-known adherents, the Maya and Aztecs. Second, with the assistance of botanist Gillian Schultz, Mathews examines the sapodilla tree itself, an extraordinarily hardy plant that is native only to Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. Third, Mathews presents the fascinating story of the chicle and chewing gum industry over the last hundred plus years, a tale (like so many twentieth-century tales) of greed, growth, and collapse. In closing, Mathews considers the plight of the chicleros, the “extractors” who often work by themselves tapping trees deep in the forests, and how they have emerged as icons of local pop culture—portrayed as fearless, hard-drinking brawlers, people to be respected as well as feared.
Before Dentyne® and Chiclets®, before bubble gum comic strips and the Doublemint® twins, there was gum, oozing from jungle trees like melting candle wax under the slash of a machete. Chicle tells us everything that happened next. It is a spellbinding story.
This volume resulted from a collaborative research project into responses of Protestant and Catholic religious communities in the Americas to the challenges of globalization. Contributors from the fields of religion, anthropology, political science, and sociology draw on fieldwork in Peru, El Salvador, and the United States to show the interplay of economic globalization, migration, and growing religious pluralism in Latin America.
Organized around three central themes-family, youth, and community; democratization, citizenship, and political participation; and immigration and transnationalism-the book argues that, at the local level, religion helps people, especially women and youths, solidify their identities and confront the challenges of the modern world. Religious communities are seen as both peaceful venues for people to articulate their needs, and forums for building participatory democracies in the Americas. Finally, the contributors examine how religion enfranchises poor women, youths, and people displaced by war or economic change and, at the same time, drives social movements that seek to strengthen family and community bonds disrupted by migration and political violence.
Latin American fiction won great acclaim in the United States during the 1960s, when many North American writers and critics felt that our national writing had reached a low ebb. In this study of experimental fiction from both Americas, Johnny Payne argues that the North American reception of the "boom" in Latin American fiction distorted the historical grounding of this writing, erroneously presenting it as mainly an exotic "magical realism." He offers new readings that detail the specific, historical relation between experimental fiction and various authors' careful, deliberate deformations and reformations of the political rhetoric of the modern state.
Payne juxtaposes writers from Argentina and Uruguay with North American authors, setting up suggestive parallels between the diverse but convergent practices of writers on both continents. He considers Nelson Marra in conjunction with Donald Barthelme and Gordon Lish; Teresa Porzecanski with Harry Mathews; Ricardo Piglia with John Barth; Silvia Schmid and Manuel Puig with Fanny Howe and Lydia Davis; and Jorge Luis Borges and Luisa Valenzuela with William Burroughs and Kathy Acker.
With this innovative, dual-continent approach, Conquest of the New Word will be of great interest to everyone working in Latin American literature, women's studies, translation studies, creative writing, and cultural theory.
The current image of the Spanish conquest of America and of the conquistadores who carried it out is one of destruction and oppression. One conquistador does not fit that image, however. A life-changing adventure led Cabeza de Vaca to seek a different kind of conquest, one that would be just and humane, true to Spanish religion and law, but one that safeguarded liberty and justice for the Indians of the New World. His use of the skills learned from his experiences with the Indians of North America did not always help him in understanding and managing the Indians of South America, and too many of the Spanish settlers in the Rio de la Plata Province found that his policies threatened their own interests and relations with the Indians. Eventually many of those Spaniards joined a conspiracy that removed him from power and returned him to Spain in chains.
That Cabeza de Vaca was overthrown is not surprising. His ideas and policies opposed the self-interest of most of the first Spaniards who had come to America. What is amazing is that he was able to inspire and hold support among many others in America, who remained loyal to him during his time in prison and after his return to Spain.
Suggesting that better understanding of conflicts between Anglo and Latin America can come from the study of their contrasting popular fictions, the author compares the traditional attachment in Latin America to government by a strong man—a caudillo—to the diametrically opposed expansionist frontier ideology of the United States—the cowboy—who makes space safe for Anglo colonization.
We all know the story of the slave trade—the infamous Middle Passage, the horrifying conditions on slave ships, the millions that died on the journey, and the auctions that awaited the slaves upon their arrival in the Americas. But much of the writing on the subject has focused on the European traders and the arrival of slaves in North America. In Crossings, eminent historian James Walvin covers these established territories while also traveling back to the story’s origins in Africa and south to Brazil, an often forgotten part of the triangular trade, in an effort to explore the broad sweep of slavery across the Atlantic.
Reconstructing the transatlantic slave trade from an extensive archive of new research, Walvin seeks to understand and describe how the trade began in Africa, the terrible ordeals experienced there by people sold into slavery, and the scars that remain on the continent today. Journeying across the ocean, he shows how Brazilian slavery was central to the development of the slave trade itself, as that country tested techniques and methods for trading and slavery that were successfully exported to the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas in the following centuries. Walvin also reveals the answers to vital questions that have never before been addressed, such as how a system that the Western world came to despise endured so long and how the British—who were fundamental in developing and perfecting the slave trade—became the most prominent proponents of its eradication.
The most authoritative history of the entire slave trade to date, Crossings offers a new understanding of one of the most important, and tragic, episodes in world history.
Culling the Masses questions the view that democracy and racism cannot coexist. Based on records from 22 countries 1790-2010, it offers a history of the rise and fall of racial selection in the Western Hemisphere, showing that democracies were first to select immigrants by race, and undemocratic states first to outlaw discrimination.
“Cultural agency” refers to a range of creative activities that contribute to society, including pedagogy, research, activism, and the arts. Focusing on the connections between creativity and social change in the Americas, this collection encourages scholars to become cultural agents by reflecting on exemplary cases and thereby making them available as inspirations for more constructive theory and more innovative practice. Creativity supports democracy because artistic, administrative, and interpretive experiments need margins of freedom that defy monolithic or authoritarian regimes. The ingenious ways in which people pry open dead-ends of even apparently intractable structures suggest that cultural studies as we know it has too often gotten stuck in critique. Intellectual responsibility can get beyond denunciation by acknowledging and nurturing the resourcefulness of common and uncommon agents.
Based in North and South America, scholars from fields including anthropology, performance studies, history, literature, and communications studies explore specific variations of cultural agency across Latin America. Contributors reflect, for example, on the paradoxical programming and reception of a state-controlled Cuban radio station that connects listeners at home and abroad; on the intricacies of indigenous protests in Brazil; and the formulation of cultural policies in cosmopolitan Mexico City. One contributor notes that trauma theory targets individual victims when it should address collective memory as it is worked through in performance and ritual; another examines how Mapuche leaders in Argentina perceived the pitfalls of ethnic essentialism and developed new ways to intervene in local government. Whether suggesting modes of cultural agency, tracking exemplary instances of it, or cautioning against potential missteps, the essays in this book encourage attentiveness to, and the multiplication of, the many extraordinary instantiations of cultural resourcefulness and creativity throughout Latin America and beyond.
Contributors. Arturo Arias, Claudia Briones, Néstor García Canclini, Denise Corte, Juan Carlos Godenzzi, Charles R. Hale, Ariana Hernández-Reguant, Claudio Lomnitz, Jesús Martín Barbero, J. Lorand Matory, Rosamel Millamán, Diane M. Nelson, Mary Louise Pratt, Alcida Rita Ramos, Doris Sommer, Diana Taylor, Santiago Villaveces
An in-depth exploration of the history, authentication, and modern relevance of Códice Maya de México, the oldest surviving book of the Americas.
Ancient Maya scribes recorded prophecies and astronomical observations on the pages of painted books. Although most were lost to decay or destruction, three pre-Hispanic Maya codices were known to have survived, when, in the 1960s, a fourth book that differed from the others appeared in Mexico under mysterious circumstances. After fifty years of debate over its authenticity, recent investigations using cutting-edge scientific and art historical analyses determined that Códice Maya de México (formerly known as Grolier Codex) is in fact the oldest surviving book of the Americas, predating all others by at least two hundred years.
This volume provides a multifaceted introduction to the creation, discovery, interpretation, and scientific authentication of Códice Maya de México. In addition, a full-color facsimile and a page-by-page guide to the iconography make the codex accessible to a wide audience. Additional topics include the uses and importance of sacred books in Mesoamerica, the role of astronomy in ancient Maya societies, and the codex's continued relevance to contemporary Maya communities.
This volume is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from October 18, 2022, to January 15, 2023.
Decolonizing Native Histories is an interdisciplinary collection that grapples with the racial and ethnic politics of knowledge production and indigenous activism in the Americas. It analyzes the relationship of language to power and empowerment, and advocates for collaborations between community members, scholars, and activists that prioritize the rights of Native peoples to decide how their knowledge is used. The contributors—academics and activists, indigenous and nonindigenous, from disciplines including history, anthropology, linguistics, and political science—explore the challenges of decolonization.
These wide-ranging case studies consider how language, the law, and the archive have historically served as instruments of colonialism and how they can be creatively transformed in constructing autonomy. The collection highlights points of commonality and solidarity across geographical, cultural, and linguistic boundaries and also reflects deep distinctions between North and South. Decolonizing Native Histories looks at Native histories and narratives in an internationally comparative context, with the hope that international collaboration and understanding of local histories will foster new possibilities for indigenous mobilization and an increasingly decolonized future.
Acclaimed art historian Shifra Goldman here provides the first overview of the social history of modern and contemporary Latin American and Latino art. Long needed in the field of art history, this collection of thirty-three essays focuses on Latin American artists throughout Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the United States.
Goldman's extensive introduction provides an up-to-date chronology of modern Latin American art; a history of "social art history" in the United States; and synopses of recent theoretical and historical writings by major scholars from Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, and the United States. In her essays, Goldman discusses a vast array of topics including: the influence of the Mexican muralists on the American continent; the political and artistic significance of poster art and printmaking in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and among Chicanos; the role of women artists such as Guatemalan painter Isabel Ruiz; and the increasingly important role of politics and multinational businesses in the art world of the 1970s and 1980s. She explores the reception of Latin American and Latino art in the United States, focusing on major historical exhibits as well as on exhibits by artists such as Chilean Alfredo Jaar and Argentinian Leandro Katz. Finally, she examines the significance of nationalist and ethnic themes in Latin American and Latino art.
Written in a straightforward style equally accessible to specialists, students, and general audiences, this book will become essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the importance of Latin American art and the complex dynamic shaping it.
Asians have settled in every country in the Western Hemisphere; some are recent arrivals, other descendents of immigrants who arrived centuries ago. Bringing together essays by thirteen scholars from the humanities and social sciences, Displacements and Diasporas explores this genuinely transnational Asian American experience-one that crosses the Pacific and traverses the Americas from Canada to Brazil, from New York to the Caribbean.
With an emphasis on anthropological and historical contexts, the essays show how the experiences of Asians across the Americas have been shaped by the social dynamics and politics of settlement locations as much as by transnational connections and the economic forces of globalization. Contributors bring new insights to the unique situations of Asian communities previously overlooked by scholars, such as Vietnamese Canadians and the Lao living in Rhode Island. Other topics include Chinese laborers and merchants in Latin America and the Caribbean, Japanese immigrants and their descendants in Brazil, Afro-Amerasians in America, and the politics of second-generation Indian American youth culture.
Together the essays provide a valuable comparative portrait of Asians across the Americas. Engaging issues of diaspora, transnational social practice and community building, gender, identity, institutionalized racism, and deterritoriality, this volume presents fresh perspectives on displacement, opening the topic up to a wider, more interdisciplinary terrain of inquiry and teaching.
Contributions from anthropology, history, political science, literature, the natural sciences, religion, and philosophy provide a comprehensive overview of the diverse influences America had on Europe. Topics covered include the impact of early botanical and geographic studies on Europe and on the scientific revolution, the structure of indigenous and colonial cultures, and the ideology and ethics of conquest and enslavement. Together, these essays constitute a reevaluation of the images held by the first colonists via new ways of understanding some of the main figures, processes, and events of that era.
Analyzing more than 150 historical maps, this book traces the Jesuits’ significant contributions to mapping and mapmaking from their arrival in the New World.
In 1540, in the wake of the tumult brought on by the Protestant Reformation, Saint Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. The Society’s goal was to revitalize the faith of Catholics and to evangelize to non-Catholics through charity, education, and missionary work. By the end of the century, Jesuit missionaries were sent all over the world, including to South America. In addition to performing missionary and humanitarian work, Jesuits also served as cartographers and explorers under the auspices of the Spanish, Portuguese, and French crowns as they ventured into remote areas to find and evangelize to native populations.
In Encounters in the New World, Mirela Altic analyzes more than 150 of their maps, most of which have never previously been published. She traces the Jesuit contribution to mapping and mapmaking from their arrival in the New World into the post-suppression period, placing it in the context of their worldwide undertakings in the fields of science and art. Altic’s analysis also shows the incorporation of indigenous knowledge into the Jesuit maps, effectively making them an expression of cross-cultural communication—even as they were tools of colonial expansion. This ambiguity, she reveals, reflects the complex relationship between missions, knowledge, and empire. Far more than just a physical survey of unknown space, Jesuit mapping of the New World was in fact the most important link to enable an exchange of ideas and cultural concepts between the Old World and the New.
Festive Devils of the Americas
Edited by Milla Cozart Riggio, Angela Marino, and Paolo Vignolo Seagull Books, 2015 Library of Congress GT4801.F47 2015
The devil is a defiant, nefarious figure, the emblem of evil, and harbinger of the damned. However, the festive devil—the devil that dances—turns the most hideous acts into playful transgressions. Festive Devils of the Americas is the first volume to present a transnational and performance-centered approach to this fascinating, feared, and revered character of fiestas, street festivals, and carnivals in North, Central, and South America. As produced and performed in both rural and urban communities and among neighborhood groups and councils, festive devils challenge the principles of colonialism and nation-states reliant on the straight and narrow opposition between good and evil, black and white, and us and them.
Each section of this volume opens with regional maps ranging from the Andes, Afro-Atlantic, and Caribbean, to Central and North America. However, festive devils defy geographical as well as moral boundaries. From Brazil’s Candomblé to New Mexico’s dance halls, festive devils and their stories sustain and transform ancestral memory, recast historical narratives, and present political, social, and cultural alternatives in many guises. Within economic, political, and religious cross-currents, these paradoxical figures affirm the spirit of community within the framework of subversion and inversion found at the heart of the festival world.
This special issue challenges historians to think about food and labor by considering how not only producing but acquiring, preparing, eating, and enjoying food are central to working-class life and capitalist transformation. Its essays bring labor history into closer conversation with the interdisciplinary perspectives of food studies to explore how broadly and deeply food experiences and working lives shape one another. Contributors trace this relationship through a series of case studies from across the Americas, including discussions of Native American life during the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, African American food workers in the early twentieth century, Puerto Rican sugarcane workers under US imperialism, and the politics of fair trade.
Susan Levine is Professor of History and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program. Steve Striffler is the Doris Zemurray Stone Chair in Latin American Studies and Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Orleans. He is the author of In the Shadows of State and Capital: The United Fruit Company, Popular Struggle, and Agrarian Restructuring in Ecuador, 1900–1995, also published by Duke University Press.
Contributors: William Bauer, Sarah Besky, Sandy Brown, Rachel Herrmann, Felicia Kornbluh, Susan Levine, Sarah Lyon, Vanessa May, April Merleaux, Liesl Orenic, Sara Ries, Steve Striffler
Tamar Herzog asks how territorial borders were established in the early modern period and challenges the standard view that national boundaries are settled by military conflicts and treaties. Claims and control on both sides of the Atlantic were subject to negotiation, as neighbors and outsiders carved out and defended new frontiers of possession.
Wherever cattle have been raised on a large scale horsemen have been there to handle them; and wherever these horsemen have existed they have left an indelible mark upon the history of the land. Frequently they have been ignorant, violent, and brutal. Always they have been vigorous and individualistic. They have taken their herds into frontier areas, opened new country, fought and driven off earlier inhabitants, participated in revolutions, battled among themselves, and generally lived lives which, colorful and somewhat frightening to their contemporaries, have become robust legends to those who followed them.
Edward Larocque Tinker portrays the life of these people in the two Americas, the conditions which created them, and those that ultimately destroyed or transformed them.
"Ever since I was a small boy, when my parents returned from Mexico bringing me a charro outfit complete with saddle and bridle, Latin America has beckoned with the finger of romance," Mr. Tinker recalls. "As soon as I was old enough, I made many trips to Mexico and, in the days of Porfirio Díaz, learned to know it from the border to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. During the Revolution I was with General Álvaro Obregón when he was a Teniente Coronel in his Sonora Campaign, and, although I was only a lawyer on a holiday, took care of his wounded in the battel of San Joaquín. Later, in Pancho Villa's train, I was present at Celaya when he was defeated by Obregón.
"Always an ardent horseman, I worked many a roundup with the vaqueros of Sonora and Chihuahua, and with the cowboys of our Southwest. . . .
"I saw the similarity between the American cowboy, the Argentine Gaucho, and the Vaquero of Mexico. They all received their gear and technique of cattle handling from Spain, and developed the same independence, courage, and hardihood. I thought if these qualities were better known they might serve as a bridge to closer understanding throughout the Americas."
From his study of the lives of these horsemen, Tinker proceeds to an examination of the literature that evolved among and then about them.
The first and largest part of the book deals with the gaucho of Argentina and Uruguay. The second and third sections examine the charro of Mexico and the cowboy of the United States.
Imagining Asia in the Americas
Zelideth María Rivas and Debbie Lee-DiStefano Rutgers University Press, 2016 Library of Congress DS33.4.A45I47 2016 | Dewey Decimal 303.4825097
For centuries, Asian immigrants have been making vital contributions to the cultures of North and South America. Yet in many of these countries, Asians are commonly viewed as undifferentiated racial “others,” lumped together as chinos regardless of whether they have Chinese ancestry. How might this struggle for recognition in their adopted homelands affect the ways that Asians in the Americas imagine community and cultural identity?
The essays in Imagining Asia in the Americas investigate the myriad ways that Asians throughout the Americas use language, literature, religion, commerce, and other cultural practices to establish a sense of community, commemorate their countries of origin, and anticipate the possibilities presented by life in a new land. Focusing on a variety of locations across South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States, the book’s contributors reveal the rich diversity of Asian American identities. Yet taken together, they provide an illuminating portrait of how immigrants negotiate between their native and adopted cultures.
Drawing from a rich array of source materials, including texts in Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Gujarati that have never before been translated into English, this collection represents a groundbreaking work of scholarship. Through its unique comparative approach, Imagining Asia in the Americas opens up a conversation between various Asian communities within the Americas and beyond.
Issei Buddhism in the Americas
Edited by Duncan Ryuken Williams and Tomoe Moriya University of Illinois Press, 2010 Library of Congress BQ724.I87 2010 | Dewey Decimal 294.39280869121
Rich in primary sources and featuring contributions from scholars on both sides of the Pacific, Issei Buddhism in the Americas upends boundaries and categories that have tied Buddhism to Asia and illuminates the social and spiritual role that the religion has played in the Americas.
While Buddhists in Japan had long described the migration of the religion as traveling from India, across Asia, and ending in Japan, this collection details the movement of Buddhism across the Pacific to the Americas. Leading the way were pioneering, first-generation Issei priests and their followers who established temples, shared Buddhist teachings, and converted non-Buddhists in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The book explores these pioneering efforts in the context of Japanese diasporic communities and immigration history and the early history of Buddhism in the Americas. The result is a dramatic exploration of the history of Asian immigrant religion that encompasses such topics as Japanese language instruction in Hawaiian schools, the Japanese Canadian community in British Columbia, the roles of Buddhist song culture, Tenriyko ministers in America, and Zen Buddhism in Brazil.
Contributors are Michihiro Ama, Noriko Asato, Masako Iino, Tomoe Moriya, Lori Pierce, Cristina Rocha, Keiko Wells, Duncan Ryûken Williams, and Akihiro Yamakura.
Opinions of specialized labor courts differ, but labor justice undoubtedly represented a decisive moment in worker 's history. When and how did these courts take shape? Why did their originators consider them necessary? Leon Fink and Juan Manuel Palacio present essays that address these essential questions. Ranging from Canada and the United States to Chile and Argentina, the authors search for common factors in the appearance of labor courts while recognizing the specific character of the creative process in each nation. Their transnational and comparative approach advances a global perspective on the various mechanisms for regulating industrial relations and resolving labor conflicts. The result is the first country-by-country study of its kind, one that addresses a defining shift in law in the first half of the twentieth century. Contributors: Rossana Barragán Romano, Angela de Castro Gomes, David Díaz-Arias, Leon Fink, Frank Luce, Diego Ortúzar, Germán Palacio, Juan Manuel Palacio, William Suarez-Potts, Fernando Teixeira da Silva, Victor Uribe-Urán, Angela Vergara, and Ronny J. Viales-Hurtado.
Landscape is a powerful factor in the operation of memory because of the associations narrators make between the local landscape and the events of the stories they tell. Ancestors and mythological events often become fixed in a specific landscape and act as timeless reference points.
In conventional anthropological literature, "landscape" is the term applied to the meaning local people bestow on their cultural and physical surroundings. In this work, the authors explore the cultural and physical landscapes an individual or cultural group has constructed to define the origins or beginnings of that cultural group as revealed through shared or traditional memory. The cultural landscapes of origins in diverse sites throughout the Americas are investigated through multidisciplinary research, not only to reveal the belief system and mythologies but also to place these origin beliefs in context and relationship to each other. In a continual interaction between the past, present, and future, time is subordinate to place, and history, as defined in Western academic terms, does not exist.
Legacies of Space and Intangible Heritage is an interdisciplinary exploration of the intersections between the study and management of physical sites and the reproduction of intangible cultural legacies. The volume provides nine case studies that explore different ways in which place is mediated by social, political, and ecological processes that have deep historical roots and that continue to affect the politics of heritage management.
Spaces of human habitation are both historical records of the past and key elements in reproducing the knowledge and values that define lives in the present. Practices, knowledge, and skills that communities recognize as part of their culture—and that a range of legal statutes define as protected intangible heritages—are threatened by increased migration, the displacement of indigenous peoples, and limits on access to culturally or historically significant sites. This volume addresses how different physical environments contribute to the reproduction of cultural forms even in the wake of these processes of displacement and change. Case studies from North and South America reveal a pattern of abandonment and reestablishment of settlements and show how collective memory drives people back to culturally meaningful sites.
This tendency for communities to return to the sites that shaped their collective histories, along with the growing importance granted to intangible heritage, challenges archaeologists and other heritage workers to find new ways of incorporating the cultural legacies that link societies to place into the work of research and stewardship. By examining the politics of cultural continuity through the lenses of archaeology and ethnohistory, Legacies of Space and Intangible Heritage demonstrates this complex relationship between a people’s heritage and the landscape that affects the making of "place."
Contributors: Rani Alexander, Hannah Becker, Minette Church, Bonnie Clark, Chip Colwell, Winifred Creamer, Emiliana Cruz, T. J. Ferguson, Julio Hoil Gutierrez, Jonathan Haas, Saul Hedquist, Maren Hopkins, Stuart B. Koyiyumptewa, Christine Kray, Henry Marcelo Castillo, Anna Roosevelt, Jason Yaeger, Keiko Yoneda
From anti-Reagan riots in West Berlin to pictures of revolutionary Nicaragua, it is impossible to examine global social protest movements of the 1970s and ’80s without addressing how these movements imagined the Americas. By examining historical representations of the United States and Latin America among Western European protesters and how these symbols were utilized by these movements, this book offers a fresh and compelling look at protest in the second half of the twentieth century. Contributions focus primarily on the anti-Euromissile peace protests and the solidarity movement with Latin America to shed light both on how European protestors built networks with the Americas and how American activists conceived of Europe and European protest. Looking east to west, north to south, this book reveals that we cannot understand the groundswell of 1980s protest movements in Europe without unraveling European representations of the Americas.
Mapping Nature across the Americas
Edited by Kathleen A. Brosnan & James R. Akerman University of Chicago Press, 2021 Library of Congress GA401.M36 2021 | Dewey Decimal 526.097
Maps are inherently unnatural. Projecting three-dimensional realities onto two-dimensional surfaces, they are abstractions that capture someone’s idea of what matters within a particular place; they require selections and omissions. These very characteristics, however, give maps their importance for understanding how humans have interacted with the natural world, and give historical maps, especially, the power to provide rich insights into the relationship between humans and nature over time. That is just what is achieved in Mapping Nature across the Americas. Illustrated throughout, the essays in this book argue for greater analysis of historical maps in the field of environmental history, and for greater attention within the field of the history of cartography to the cultural constructions of nature contained within maps. This volume thus provides the first in-depth and interdisciplinary investigation of the relationship between maps and environmental knowledge in the Americas—including, for example, stories of indigenous cartography in Mexico, the allegorical presence of palm trees in maps of Argentina, the systemic mapping of US forests, and the scientific platting of Canada’s remote lands.
A Mother who nurtures, empathizes, and heals . . . a Warrior who defends, empowers, and resists oppression. . . the Virgin Mary plays many roles for the peoples of Spain and Spanish-speaking America. Devotion to the Virgin inspired and sustained medieval and Renaissance Spaniards as they liberated Spain from the Moors and set about the conquest of the New World. Devotion to the Virgin still inspires and sustains millions of believers today throughout the Americas. This wide-ranging and highly readable book explores the veneration of the Virgin Mary in Spain and the Americas from the colonial period to the present. Linda Hall begins the story in Spain and follows it through the conquest and colonization of the New World, with a special focus on Mexico and the Andean highlands in Peru and Bolivia, where Marian devotion became combined with indigenous beliefs and rituals. Moving into the nineteenth century, Hall looks at national cults of the Virgin in Mexico, Bolivia, and Argentina, which were tied to independence movements. In the twentieth century, she examines how Eva Perón linked herself with Mary in the popular imagination; visits contemporary festivals with significant Marian content in Spain, Peru, and Mexico; and considers how Latinos/as in the United States draw on Marian devotion to maintain familial and cultural ties.
Death threatens migrants physically during perilous border crossings between Central and North America, but many also experience legal, social, and economic mortality. Rooted in histories of colonialism and conquest, exclusionary policies and practices deliberately take aim at racialized, dispossessed people in transit. Once in the new land, migrants endure a web of systems across every facet of their world—work, home, healthcare, culture, justice—that strips them of their personhood, denies them resources, and creates additional obstacles that deprive them of their ability to live fully.
As laws and policies create ripe conditions for the further extraction of money, resources, and labor power from the dispossessed, the contributors to this vibrant anthology, Migration and Mortality, examine restrictive immigration policies and the broader capitalist systems of exploitation and inequality while highlighting the power of migrants’ collective resistance and resilience.
The case studies in this timely collection explore border deaths, detention economies, asylum seeking, as well as the public health and mental health of migrants. Ultimately, these examples of oppression and survival contribute to understanding broader movements for life and justice in the Americas.
With his Letter of 1493 to the court of Spain, Christopher Columbus heralded his first voyage to the present-day Americas, creating visions that seduced the European imagination and birthing a fascination with those "new" lands and their inhabitants that continues today. Columbus's epistolary announcement travelled from country to country in a late-medieval media event -- and the rest, as has been observed, is history. The Letter has long been the object of speculation concerning its authorship and intention: British historian Cecil Jane questions whether Columbus could read and write prior to the first voyage while Demetrio Ramos argues that King Ferdinand and a minister composed the Letter and had it printed in the Spanish folio. The Letter has figured in studies of Spanish Imperialism and of Discovery and Colonial period history, but it also offers insights into Columbus's passions and motives as he reinvents himself and retails his vision of Peter Martyr's Novus orbis to men and women for whom Columbus was as unknown as the places he claimed to have visited. The central feature of the book is its annotated variorum edition of the Spanish Letter, together with an annotated English translation and word and name glossaries. A list of terms from early print-period and manuscript cultures supports those critical discussions. In the context of her text-based reading, the author addresses earlier critical perspectives on the Letter, explores foundational questions about its composition, publication and aims, and proposes a theory of authorship grounded in text, linguistics, discourse, and culture. This book was awarded the Bibliographical Society of America's St. Louis Mercantile Library First Place Prize in American Bibliography, 2016. *** John Neal Hoover, Executive Director of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association, described "The Mythical Indies and Columbus's Apocalyptic Letter" as having achieved "magisterial depth" in its subject, and he said that it would likely "not be supplanted for another century, if ever." --Minutes of the Annual Meeting: Report of the Mercantile Library Prize, The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 111.4 (December 2017): 551 (Subject: History, Bibliography)
William M. Denevan writes that, "The discovery of America was followed by possibly the greatest demographic disaster in the history of the world." Research by some scholars provides population estimates of the pre-contact Americas to be as high as 112 million in 1492, while others estimate the population to have been as low as eight million. In any case, the native population declined to less than six million by 1650.
In this collection of essays, historians, anthropologists, and geographers discuss the discrepancies in the population estimates and the evidence for the post-European decline. Woodrow Borah, Angel Rosenblat, William T. Sanders, and others touch on such topics as the Indian slave trade, diseases, military action, and the disruption of the social systems of the native peoples. Offering varying points of view, the contributors critically analyze major hemispheric and regional data and estimates for pre- and post-European contact.
This revised edition features a new introduction by Denevan reviewing recent literature and providing a new hemispheric estimate of 54 million, a foreword by W. George Lovell of Queen's University, and a comprehensive updating of the already extensive bibliography. Research in this subject is accelerating, with contributions from many disciplines. The discussions and essays presented here can serve both as an overview of past estimates, conflicts, and methods and as indicators of new approaches and perspectives to this timely subject.
The paleoecological history of the Americas is as complex as the region is broad: stretching from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, the New World features some of the most extraordinary vegetation on the planet. But until now it has lacked a complete natural history. Alan Graham remedies that with A Natural History of the New World. With plants as his scientific muse, Graham traces the evolution of ecosystems, beginning in the Late Cretaceous period (about 100 million years ago) and ending in the present, charting their responses to changes in geology and climate.
By highlighting plant communities’ roles in the environmental history of the Americas, Graham offers an overdue balance to natural histories that focus exclusively on animals. Plants are important in evolution’s splendid drama. Not only are they conspicuous and conveniently stationary components of the Earth’s ecosystems, but their extensive fossil record allows for a thorough reconstruction of the planet’s paleoenvironments. What’s more, plants provide oxygen, function as food and fuel, and provide habitat and shelter; in short, theirs is a history that can speak to many other areas of evolution.
A Natural History of the New World is an ambitious and unprecedented synthesis written by one of the world’s leading scholars of botany and geology.
Nature and Antiquities examines the relation between the natural sciences, anthropology, and archaeology in the Americas in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Taking the reader across the Americas from the Southern Cone to Canada, across the Andes, the Brazilian Amazon, Mesoamerica, and the United States, the book explores the early history of archaeology from a Pan-American perspective.
The volume breaks new ground by entreating archaeologists to acknowledge the importance of ways of knowing that resulted from the study of nature in the history of archaeology. Some of the contributions to this volume trace the part conventions, practices, and concepts from natural history and the natural sciences played in the history and making of the discipline. Others set out to uncover, reassemble, or adjust our vision of collections that research historians of archaeology have disregarded or misrepresented—because their nineteenth-century makers would refuse to comply with today’s disciplinary borders and study natural specimens and antiquities in conjunction, under the rubric of the territorial, the curious or the universal. Other contributions trace the sociopolitical implications of studying nature in conjunction with “indigenous peoples” in the Americas—inquiring into what it meant and entailed to comprehend the inhabitants of the American continent in and through a state of nature.
“If you want to know who you are and where you come from, follow the maíz.” That was the advice given to author Roberto Cintli Rodriguez when he was investigating the origins and migrations of Mexican peoples in the Four Corners region of the United States.
Follow it he did, and his book Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother changes the way we look at Mexican Americans. Not so much peoples created as a result of war or invasion, they are people of the corn, connected through a seven-thousand-year old maíz culture to other Indigenous inhabitants of the continent. Using corn as the framework for discussing broader issues of knowledge production and history of belonging, the author looks at how corn was included in codices and Mayan texts, how it was discussed by elders, and how it is represented in theater and stories as a way of illustrating that Mexicans and Mexican Americans share a common culture.
Rodriguez brings together scholarly and traditional (elder) knowledge about the long history of maíz/corn cultivation and culture, its roots in Mesoamerica, and its living relationship to Indigenous peoples throughout the continent, including Mexicans and Central Americans now living in the United States. The author argues that, given the restrictive immigration policies and popular resentment toward migrants, a continued connection to maíz culture challenges the social exclusion and discrimination that frames migrants as outsiders and gives them a sense of belonging not encapsulated in the idea of citizenship. The “hidden transcripts” of corn in everyday culture—art, song, stories, dance, and cuisine (maíz-based foods like the tortilla)—have nurtured, even across centuries of colonialism, the living maíz culture of ancient knowledge.
Ancient American palaces still captivate those who stand before them. Even in their fallen and ruined condition, the palaces project such power that, according to the editors of this new collection, it must have been deliberately drawn into their formal designs, spatial layouts, and choice of locations. Such messages separated palaces from other elite architecture and reinforced the power and privilege of those residing in them. Indeed, as Christie and Sarro write, “the relation between political power and architecture is a pervasive and intriguing theme in the Americas.” Given the variety of cultures, time periods, and geographical locations examined within, the editors of this book have grouped the articles into four sections. The first looks at palaces in cultures where they have not previously been identified, including the Huaca of Moche Site, the Wari of Peru, and Chaco Canyon in the U.S. Southwest. The second section discusses palaces as “stage sets” that express power, such as those found among the Maya, among the Coast Salish of the Pacific Northwest, and at El Tajín on the Mexican Gulf Coast. The third part of the volume presents cases in which differences in elite residences imply differences in social status, with examples from Pasado de la Amada, the Valley of Oaxaca, Teotihuacan, and the Aztecs. The final section compares architectural strategies between cultures; the models here are Farfán, Peru, under both the Chimú and the Inka, and the separate states of the Maya and the Inka.Such scope, and the quality of the scholarship, make Palaces and Power in the Americas a must-have work on the subject.
This book explores the ways in which dress has been influential in the political agendas and self-representations of politicians in a variety of regimes, from democratic to authoritarian. Arguing that dress is part of 'hard core' politics, the book - now in paperback - shows how dress has been crucial to the constructions of nationhood and national identities in both Asia and the Americas. Since dress has been a marker of identity and status, chapters engage with the gendering of the politics of dress, discussing how women have become bearers and wearers of 'national tradition' and how men's and women's dress reflect their political positions in the nation-state. It examines the magical power of cloth, the meanings of batik and design, the holy status of uncut cloth vs. cut cloth, and the quaint combination of non-Western with Western attire. This collection of pioneering essays fills a vacuum in the largely Eurocentric field of dress studies, demanding that attention be paid to Asia and the Americas as major sites of vestimentary creativity.
In Tutti Fratelli, Pope Francis has called again for a “culture of encounter,” But how should his theology, pastoral practice, and social message be understood and applied in the Church of the Americas, a single but complex reality that extends from South to North? This volume offers analyses from experts looking back to the Argentine pontiff’s first fateful encuentros in the Americas as a help for understanding the present reality of the Church in the Western Hemisphere. The group includes theologians, historians, and political scientists, and the unique contribution of the volume lies in the panoramic perspective offered by the book as a whole.
The initial essays set the stage for the volume as a whole, offering rich insight into Argentine and Latin American history, the world from which the Pope came and to which he returned in 2015, as well as surveying the impact of the Latin American “theology of the people” on the Pope’s visit to the U.S.
Additional essays address theological, historical, and pastoral engagements that cut across several of the visits. The final group of essays is dedicated to the visits themselves and is arranged in the order that they occurred. Pope Francis and the Search for God in América is offered to all the members of the Church in América, South and North, old and young, with the hope that it will spur even more thought, reflection, prayer, and service.
In Postcolonial Grief Jinah Kim explores the relationship of mourning to transpacific subjectivities, aesthetics, and decolonial politics since World War II. Kim argues that Asian diasporic subjectivity exists in relation to afterlives because the deaths of those killed by U.S. imperialism and militarism in the Pacific remain unresolved and unaddressed. Kim shows how primarily U.S.-based Korean and Japanese diasporic writers, artists, and filmmakers negotiate the necropolitics of Asia and how their creative refusal to heal from imperial violence may generate transformative antiracist and decolonial politics. She contests prevalent interpretations of melancholia by engaging with Frantz Fanon's and Hisaye Yamamoto's decolonial writings; uncovering the noir genre's relationship to the U.S. war in Korea; discussing the emergence of silenced colonial histories during the 1992 Los Angeles riots; and analyzing the 1996 hostage takeover of the Japanese ambassador's home in Peru. Kim highlights how the aesthetic and creative work of the Japanese and Korean diasporas offers new insights into twenty-first-century concerns surrounding the state's erasure of military violence and colonialism and the difficult work of remembering histories of war across the transpacific.
The inaugural issue of Labor offers an example of what readers can expect to find on a regular basis—full coverage of new trends in labor history. It features an extensive interview with retired Yale University professor David Montgomery, the acclaimed “dean” of the new labor history since the 1970s. One article plumbs management and labor archives as well as oral histories to reconstruct the patterns of abuse encountered by women on automobile shop floors from 1930 to 1970. Drawing on fieldwork in a southern California domestic service placement agency, a contributor documents the commodification of gender and ethnic stereotypes in the international maid trade. Another essay begins a two-part series on the history of U.S. labor and international solidarity; still another explores the recent desecration of the memorial to victims of the Ludlow Massacre.
Contributors. James R. Barrett, Joshua Brown, Leon Fink, Dana Frank, John French, James Green, Julie Greene, Gregory Kealey, Kristen Hill Maher, Steve Meyer
Commons—lands, waters, and resources that are not legally owned and controlled by a single private entity, such as ocean and coastal areas, the atmosphere, public lands, freshwater aquifers, and migratory species—are an increasingly contentious issue in resource management and international affairs.
Protecting the Commons provides an important analytical framework for understanding commons issues and for designing policies to deal with them. The product of a symposium convened by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) to mark the 30th anniversary of Garrett Hardin's seminal essay “The Tragedy of the Commons” the book brings together leading scholars and researchers on commons issues to offer both conceptual background and analysis of the evolving scientific understanding on commons resources. The book:
gives a concise update on commons use and scholarship
offers eleven case studies of commons, examined through the lens provided by leading commons theorist Elinor Ostrom
provides a review of tools such as Geographic Information Systems that are useful for decision-making
examines environmental justice issues relevant to commons
Contributors include Alpina Begossi, William Blomquist, Joanna Burger, Tim Clark, Clark Gibson, Michael Gelobter, Michael Gochfeld, Bonnie McCay, Pamela Matson, Richard Norgaard, Elinor Ostrom, David Policansky, Jeffrey Richey, Jose Sarukhan, and Edella Schlager.
Protecting the Commons represents a landmark study of commons issues that offers analysis and background from economic, legal, social, political, geological, and biological perspectives. It will be essential reading for anyone concerned with commons and commons resources, including students and scholars of environmental policy and economics, public health, international affairs, and related fields.
The events of September 11, 2001, combined with a pattern of increased crime and violence in the 1980s and mid-1990s in the Americas, has crystallized the need to reform government policies and police procedures to combat these threats. Public Security and Police Reform in the Americas examines the problems of security and how they are addressed in Latin America and the United States. Bailey and Dammert detail the wide variation in police tactics and efforts by individual nations to assess their effectiveness and ethical accountability. Policies on this issue can take the form of authoritarianism, which threatens the democratic process itself, or can, instead, work to “demilitarize” the police force. Bailey and Dammert argue that although attempts to apply generic models such as the successful “zero tolerance” created in the United States to the emerging democracies of Latin America—where institutional and economic instabilities exist—may be inappropriate, it is both possible and profitable to consider these issues from a common framework across national boundaries. Public Security and Police Reform in the Americas lays the foundation for a greater understanding of policies between nations by examining their successes and failures and opens a dialogue about the common goal of public security.
National borders and transnational forces have been central in defining the meaning of race in the Americas. Race and Transnationalism in the Americas examines the ways that race and its categorization have functioned as organizing frameworks for cultural, political, and social inclusion—and exclusion—in the Americas. Because racial categories are invariably generated through reference to the “other,” the national community has been a point of departure for understanding race as a concept. Yet this book argues that transnational forces have fundamentally shaped visions of racial difference and ideas of race and national belonging throughout the Americas, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Examining immigration exclusion, indigenous efforts toward decolonization, government efforts to colonize, sport, drugs, music, populism, and film, the authors examine the power and limits of the transnational flow of ideas, people, and capital. Spanning North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, the volume seeks to engage in broad debates about race, citizenship, and national belonging in the Americas.
In The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development, María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo boldly argues that crucial twentieth-century revolutionary challenges to colonialism and capitalism in the Americas have failed to resist—and in fact have been constitutively related to—the very developmentalist narratives that have justified and naturalized postwar capitalism. Saldaña-Portillo brings the critique of development discourse to bear on such exemplars of revolutionary and resistant political thought and practice as Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Malcolm X, the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, and the Guatemalan guerrilla resistance. She suggests that for each of these, developmentalist constructions frame the struggle as a heroic movement from unconsciousness to consciousness, from a childlike backwardness toward a disciplined and self-aware maturity.
Reading governmental reports, memos, and policies, Saldaña-Portillo traces the arc of development narratives from its beginnings in the 1944 Bretton Woods conference through its apex during Robert S. McNamara's reign at the World Bank (1968–1981). She compares these narratives with models of subjectivity and agency embedded in the autobiographical texts of three revolutionary icons of the 1960s and 1970s—those of Che Guevara, Guatemalan insurgent Mario Payeras, and Malcolm X—and the agricultural policy of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Saldaña-Portillo highlights a shared paradigm of a masculinist transformation of the individual requiring the "transcendence" of ethnic particularity for the good of the nation. While she argues that this model of progress often alienated the very communities targeted by the revolutionaries, she shows how contemporary insurgents such as Rigoberta Menchú, the Zapatista movement, and queer Aztlán have taken up the radicalism of their predecessors to retheorize revolutionary subjectivity for the twenty-first century.
Located at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, the School of the Americas (soa) is a U.S. Army center that has trained more than sixty thousand soldiers and police, mostly from Latin America, in counterinsurgency and combat-related skills since it was founded in 1946. So widely documented is the participation of the School’s graduates in torture, murder, and political repression throughout Latin America that in 2001 the School officially changed its name to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Lesley Gill goes behind the façade and presents a comprehensive portrait of the School of the Americas. Talking to a retired Colombian general accused by international human rights organizations of terrible crimes, sitting in on classes, accompanying soa students and their families to an upscale local mall, listening to coca farmers in Colombia and Bolivia, conversing with anti-soa activists in the cramped office of the School of the Americas Watch—Gill exposes the School’s institutionalization of state-sponsored violence, the havoc it has wrought in Latin America, and the strategies used by activists seeking to curtail it.
Based on her unprecedented level of access to the School of the Americas, Gill describes the School’s mission and training methods and reveals how its students, alumni, and officers perceive themselves in relation to the dirty wars that have raged across Latin America. Assessing the School’s role in U.S. empire-building, she shows how Latin America’s brightest and most ambitious military officers are indoctrinated into a stark good-versus-evil worldview, seduced by consumer society and the “American dream,” and enlisted as proxies in Washington’s war against drugs and “subversion.”
Histories of racial segregation and its impacts have been the focus of urban research for over a century, and yet the role of space, place, and land in these narratives has been largely overlooked. How have land use policies and land access shaped the experience of place? What markings have made evident the lived experience of segregation and its impacts? And how have individuals and communities resisted segregation in their own efforts to make place? With a focus on the Americas, the essays in this volume move across time and space to ask questions about place-making and community building. They explore landscapes and their hidden struggles between segregation and resistance. Drawing upon the collective work of the “Segregation and Resistance in America’s Urban Landscapes” symposium organized by Dumbarton Oaks in 2020, these histories of segregation and resistance consider how cultural and spatial practices of separation, identity, response, and revolt are shaped by place and, in turn, inform practices of place-making.
Multidisciplinary essays examinig the historical and cultural history of the Sephardic experience in the Americas, from pre-expulsion Spain to the modern era, as recounted by some of the most outstanding interpreters of the field.
Showcasing the dynamism of contemporary Korean diasporic theater, this anthology features seven plays by second-generation Korean diasporic writers from the United States, Canada, and Chile. By bringing the plays together in this collection, Esther Kim Lee highlights the themes and styles that have enlivened Korean diasporic theater in the Americas since the 1990s. Some of the plays are set in urban Koreatowns. One takes place in the middle of Texas, while another unfolds entirely in a character's mind. Ethnic identity is not as central as it was in the work of previous generations of Asian diasporic playwrights. In these plays, experiences of diaspora and displacement are likely to be part of broader stories, such as the difficulties faced by a young mother trying to balance family and career. Running through these stories are themes of assimilation, authenticity, family, memory, trauma, and gender-related expectations of success. Lee's introduction includes a brief history of the Korean Peninsula in the twentieth century and of South Korean immigration to the Americas, along with an overview of Asian American theater and the place of Korean American theater within it. Each play is preceded by a brief biography of the playwright and a summary of the play's production history.
Indigenous sign-systems, such as pictographs, petroglyphs, hieroglyphs, and khipu, are usually understood as relics from an inaccessible past. That is far from the truth, however, as Edgar Garcia makes clear in Signs of the Americas. Rather than being dead languages, these sign-systems have always been living, evolving signifiers, responsive to their circumstances and able to continuously redefine themselves and the nature of the world.
Garcia tells the story of the present life of these sign-systems, examining the contemporary impact they have had on poetry, prose, visual art, legal philosophy, political activism, and environmental thinking. In doing so, he brings together a wide range of indigenous and non-indigenous authors and artists of the Americas, from Aztec priests and Amazonian shamans to Simon Ortiz, Gerald Vizenor, Jaime de Angulo, Charles Olson, Cy Twombly, Gloria Anzaldúa, William Burroughs, Louise Erdrich, Cecilia Vicuña, and many others. From these sources, Garcia depicts the culture of a modern, interconnected hemisphere, revealing that while these “signs of the Americas” have suffered expropriation, misuse, and mistranslation, they have also created their own systems of knowing and being. These indigenous systems help us to rethink categories of race, gender, nationalism, and history. Producing a new way of thinking about our interconnected hemisphere, this ambitious, energizing book redefines what constitutes a “world” in world literature.
This book represents the culmination of a lifetime of research in the spoken Spanish dialects of the Americas by one of the foremost experts in this field. Based on more than sixty years of residence, travel, research, and teaching among Spanish-speaking people, Canfield's study of the phonological phenomena that have created dialects of Spanish in the Americas makes use of historical treatises, contemporary accounts, and the author's own observations. Bibliographies for each area and a main bibliography of some three hundred pertinent books and articles make this book valuable both as a text and as a reference work.
A unique and important study, Stepping Forward examines the experiences of nineteenth- and twentieth-century black women in Africa and African diaspora communities from a variety of perspectives in a number of different settings.
This wide-ranging collection designed for classroom use explores the broad themes that have shaped black women’s goals, options, and responses: religion, education, political activism, migration, and cultural transformation. Essays by leading scholars in the field examine the lives of black women in the United States and the Caribbean Basin; in the white settler societies of Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa; and in the black settler societies of Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Among the contributors to this volume are historians, political scientists, and scholars of literature, music, and law. What emerges from their work is an image of black women’s agency, self-reliance, and resiliency. Despite cultural differences and geographical variations, black women have provided foundations on which black communities have not only survived, but also thrived. Stepping Forward is a valuable addition to our understanding of women’s roles in these diverse communities.
The Garifuna are a Central American, Afro-Indigenous people descended from shipwrecked West Africans and local Indigenous groups on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. For over two centuries, the Garifuna have experienced oppression, exile, and continued diaspora that has stretched their communities to Honduras, Belize, and beyond. However, little has been written about the experiences of the Garifuna in Nicaragua, a community of about 5,000 who live primarily on the Caribbean coast of the country.
In Surviving the Americas, Serena Cosgrove, José Idiáquez, Leonard Joseph Bent, and Andrew Gorvetzian shed light on what it means to be Garifuna today, particularly in Nicaragua. Their research includes over nine months of fieldwork in Garifuna communities in the Pearl Lagoon on the southern Caribbean coast of Nicaragua and in New York City. The resulting ethnography illustrates the unique social issues of the Nicaraguan Garifuna and how their culture, traditions, and reverence for their ancestors continues to persist.
Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas is the first publication to bring together scholarship, critical essays, and documentation of collaborative community-based art making by researchers from across the American hemisphere. The comprehensive volume is a compendium of texts, analysis, and research documents from the Talking to Action research and exhibition platform, part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. While the field of social practice has had an increasingly high profile within contemporary art discourse, this book documents artists who have been under-recognized because they do not show in traditional gallery or museum contexts and are often studied by specialists in other disciplines, particularly within the Latin American context. Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas addresses the absence of a publication documenting scholarly exchange between research sites throughout the hemisphere and is intended for those interested in community-based practices operating within the intersection of art, activism, and the social sciences.
More than 600 women and girls have been murdered and more than 1,000 have disappeared in the Mexican state of Chihuahua since 1993. Violence against women has increased throughout Mexico and in other countries, including Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Law enforcement officials have often failed or refused to undertake investigations and prosecutions, creating a climate of impunity for perpetrators and denying truth and justice to survivors of violence and victims’ relatives. Terrorizing Women is an impassioned yet rigorously analytical response to the escalation in violence against women in Latin America during the past two decades. It is part of a feminist effort to categorize violence rooted in gendered power structures as a violation of human rights. The analytical framework of feminicide is crucial to that effort, as the editors explain in their introduction. They define feminicide as gender-based violence that implicates both the state (directly or indirectly) and individual perpetrators. It is structural violence rooted in social, political, economic, and cultural inequalities.
Terrorizing Women brings together essays by feminist and human rights activists, attorneys, and scholars from Latin America and the United States, as well as testimonios by relatives of women who were disappeared or murdered. In addition to investigating egregious violations of women’s human rights, the contributors consider feminicide in relation to neoliberal economic policies, the violent legacies of military regimes, and the sexual fetishization of women’s bodies. They suggest strategies for confronting feminicide; propose legal, political, and social routes for redressing injustices; and track alternative remedies generated by the communities affected by gender-based violence. In a photo essay portraying the justice movement in Chihuahua, relatives of disappeared and murdered women bear witness to feminicide and demand accountability.
Contributors: Pascha Bueno-Hansen, Adriana Carmona López, Ana Carcedo Cabañas, Jennifer Casey, Lucha Castro Rodríguez , Angélica Cházaro, Rebecca Coplan, Héctor Domínguez-Ruvalcaba, Marta Fontenla, Alma Gomez Caballero, Christina Iturralde, Marcela Lagarde y de los Ríos, Julia Estela Monárrez Fragoso, Hilda Morales Trujillo, Mercedes Olivera, Patricia Ravelo Blancas, Katherine Ruhl, Montserrat Sagot, Rita Laura Segato, Alicia Schmidt Camacho, William Paul Simmons, Deborah M. Weissman, Melissa W. Wright
Weaving strands of Chicana and Mexicana subjectivities, Toward a Latina Feminism of the Americas explores political and theoretical agendas, particularly those that undermine the patriarchy, across a diverse range of Latina authors. Within this range, calls for a coalition are clear, but questions surrounding the process of these revolutionary dialogues provide important lines of inquiry. Examining the works of authors such as Sandra Cisneros, Laura Esquivel, Carmen Boullosa, and Helena María Viramontes, Anna Sandoval considers resistance to traditional cultural symbols and contemporary efforts to counteract negative representations of womanhood in literature and society. Offering a new perspective on the oppositional nature of Latina writers, Sandoval emphasizes the ways in which national literatures have privileged male authors, whose viewpoint is generally distinct from that of women—a point of departure rarely acknowledged in postcolonial theory. Applying her observations to the disciplinary, historical, and spatial facets of literary production, Sandoval interrogates the boundaries of the Latina experience. Building on the dialogues begun with such works as Sonia Saldivar-Hull’s Feminism on the Border and Ellen McCracken’s New Latina Narrative, this is a concise yet ambitious comparative approach to the historical and cultural connections (as well as disparities) found in Chicana and Mexicana literature.
Translation has facilitated colonialism from the fifteenth century to the present day. Epistemicide, which involves destroying, marginalizing, or banishing Indigenous, subaltern, and counter-hegemonic knowledges, is one result. In the Americas, it is a racializing process. But in the hands of subaltern translators and interpreters, translation has also been used as a decolonial method.
The book gives an account of translation-as-epistemicide in the Americas, drawing on a range of examples from the early colonial period to the War on Terror. The first chapters demonstrate four distinct operations of epistemicide: the commensuration of worlds, the epistemic marginalization of subaltern translators and the knowledge they produce, the criminalization of translators and interpreters, and translation as piracy or extractivism. The second part of the book outlines decolonial translation strategies, including an epistemic posture the author calls “bewilderment.”
Translation and Epistemicide tracks how through the centuries translation practices have enabled colonialism and resulted in epistemicide, or the destruction of Indigenous and subaltern knowledge.
Traveler, There Is No Road offers a compelling and complex vision of the decolonial imagination in the United States from 1931 to 1943 and beyond. By examining the ways in which the war of interpretation that accompanied the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) circulated through Spanish and English language theatre and performance in the United States, Lisa Jackson-Schebetta demonstrates that these works offered alternative histories that challenged the racial, gender, and national orthodoxies of modernity and coloniality. Jackson-Schebetta shows how performance in the US used histories of American empires, Islamic legacies, and African and Atlantic trades to fight against not only fascism and imperialism in the 1930s and 1940s, but modernity and coloniality itself.
This book offers a unique perspective on 1930s theatre and performance, encompassing the theatrical work of the Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Spanish diasporas in the United States, as well as the better-known Anglophone communities. Jackson-Schebetta situates well-known figures, such as Langston Hughes and Clifford Odets, alongside lesser-known ones, such as Erasmo Vando, Franca de Armiño, and Manuel Aparicio. The milicianas, female soldiers of the Spanish Republic, stride on stage alongside the male fighters of the Lincoln Brigade. They and many others used the multiple visions of Spain forged during the civil war to foment decolonial practices across the pasts, presents, and futures of the Americas. Traveler conclusively demonstrates that theatre and performance scholars must position US performances within the Americas writ broadly, and in doing so they must recognize the centrality of the hemisphere’s longest-lived colonial power, Spain.