Trajectories of Empire
Transhispanic Reflections on the African Diaspora
The book’s chapters explore what Blackness means in the so-called racial democracies of Brazil and Cuba today. Among the historical narratives and themes it covers are the role of medical science in the objectification and nullification of Black female personhood during slavery in nineteenth-century Brazil; the protocols of portraiture in the colonial period that, in including enslaved individuals, pictorially highlight and freeze their supposed inferiority vis-à-vis their owners; and those aspects of discourse that promote colonial capture and oppression in terms of evangelization and the saving of souls, or simply create the discursive template as early as the fifteenth century, for their continued alienation and marginalization across generations.
Trajectories of Empire’s contributions come from the fields of literary criticism, visual culture, history, anthropology, popular culture (rap), and cultural studies. As the product of an interdisciplinary collective, this book will be of interest to scholars in Iberian or Hispanic studies, Africana studies, postcolonial studies, and transatlantic studies, as well as the general public.
Jerome C. Branche
Part I: The Iberian Scenario
Chapter 1: Tracing the "Fragmentary Facts" of a Foundational Slave Voyage
Elizabeth R. Wright
Chapter 2: Christianos nigros: Afro-Iberian Confraternities' Social and Cultural Roles
Miguel A. Valerio
Chapter 3: In Search of the Black Swordsman: Race and Martial Arts Discourse in Early Modern Iberia
Manuel Olmedo Gobante
Chapter 4: On Enslaving and Impalement: The "Life" and Death of Chicaba, Black Woman Saint in Empire
Jerome C. Branche
Part II: Continuing Expansionism and the Circum-Atlantic
Chapter 5: Facing the Enslaved: Explorations for a Transatlantic Archive
Chapter 6: A Postcard from Wakanda to the King of Spain: The Portrait of the Mulatos de Esmeraldas (1599)
Chapter 7: A Transhistorical and Translocal View of the Luso-Brazilian Imperial/Colonial World through the Poetry of Gregório de Matos (1636–1695) to Domingos Caldas Barbosa (1740–1800)
Lúcia Helena Costigan
Chapter 8: Silences and the Corporeal: The Enslaved Body in (Historical) Pain
Part III: Afro-Latin America: Black Marginality in the New Century
Chapter 9: Racial Dynamics and Tensions in Twenty-First Century Post-Revolutionary Cuba
Chapter 10: Senzalas e Quilombos Modernos: Evoking the Legacy of Slavery in Brazilian Hip Hop
Chapter 11: Honoring the Bones beneath Us: Conjuring Black Heritage in the Performances of "Intervenções Urbanas" in the Gamboa Neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro
Maria Andrea dos Santos Soares
"The scholarship demonstrated in this book is highly impressive. This is the case (without exception) of all the essays collected in the volume. . . . Both individually and together, then, these essays constitute a comprehensive analytical coverage of relevant scholarship on the Afro-Iberian diaspora."
—Conrad James, author of Filial Crisis and Erotic Politics in Black Cuban Literature: Daughters, Sons and Lovers
"Ultimately this study leaves us with a heightened awareness of how to understand and deconstruct more recent celebrations of and anxieties about Black people and their heritage and how to respond to the forces of incorporation, appropriation, and re-marginalization."
—Leo Garofalo, author of Drinking, Divines, and Markets: Marking Race and Ethnicity in Colonial Peru