Interview with Ana Lucia Araujo about Cambria Slavery Studies Series

The following is a recent interview with Professor Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University) about slavery studies. Professor Araujo is the general editor of the Cambria Slavery Studies Series.

Ana Lucia Araujo

Question: Congratulations on being nominated as a member of the International Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Slave Route Project! Could you please take us back a little and tell us how your interest in studies in slavery began?

Ana Lucia Araujo: My interest in slavery is related to the fact that my home country Brazil imported the largest number of enslaved Africans in the Americas. Today more than 50 % of the Brazilian population is of African descent. Brazil is marked by this huge African presence in all social and cultural spheres. When I left Brazil about twenty years ago I started working on European travelogues of the nineteenth century, and slave life emerged as the most important topic addressed in these travel accounts. I decided then to study memory of slavery in order to understand how slavery shaped Brazilian society and left so many scars, especially visible through its racial inequalities. Today my work is much more transnational, but Brazil is at the origin of my interest in slavery studies.

Question: You have said previously that “slavery is not dead; it’s not even past.” Could you please elaborate on this in the context of why studies in slavery is all the more important today and for future generations?

Ana Lucia Araujo: On a daily basis there is news in various languages about Atlantic slavery—news about the creation of monuments, the discovery of a slave cemetery, the unveiling of an exhibition on slavery. We have never seen before such a growing interest in all aspects associated with Atlantic slavery in the Americas. There are also a growing number of studies on slavery in Africa and the Muslim slave trade. This interest is certainly associated with current racial inequalities, racism, and white supremacy that in all former slave societies affect people of African descent. This is why is slavery is not dead,—its legacies are very much alive, and this is also why studying slavery is so important in helping us understand the present.

Question: Could you please tell us about the different directions you believe that studies in slavery needs to take and the kinds of works you seek for the Cambria Slavery Studies series?

Ana Lucia Araujo: Today slavery studies are more international than they used to be. I am looking for works that conceive of slavery as an institution shaped by transnational forces. The various scholars on our diverse editorial board cover many geographical regions and themes, thus comparative works are very welcome. Monographs focusing on memory of slavery either in the Americas, Africa, or Europe will also be great contributions to the series. Works on visual representations of slavery either in painting, engraving, and film are also very welcome. We are also looking forward to receiving proposals of monographs focusing on slavery and religion and women and slavery. Cambria produces very beautiful books and its team does a tremendous job in featuring visual materials such as photographs, engravings, and paintings.

Question: What about today’s human trafficking problem? Would a study of this contemporary problem be something that you would welcome for the series? If so, what are some examples of the kind of book projects you would like to see?

Ana Lucia Araujo: It is important to specify that human trafficking today emerges in a very different context than that of the Atlantic slave trade; and unlike the Atlantic slave trade, human trafficking is illegal and its victims come from different parts of the globe. Therefore, despite the use of the term slavery to refer to a variety of regimes that include forced work and despite the temptation of equate present-day slavery and Atlantic slavery, these are two different phenomena. That distinction made, human trafficking is a huge human rights issue that requires specialized scholarship. We are looking forward to receiving works focusing on human trafficking; two members of our editorial board, Joel Quirk (Professor, University of Witswatersand, South Africa) and Benjamin Lawrance (University of Arizona, United States), are specialists in this field.

Question: For those who do not specialize in slavery studies, could you please elaborate on why and how they could incorporate slavery studies into their curriculum? For example, how would a professor in film studies do this?

Ana Lucia Araujo: Scholars who are not specialists in slavery can incorporate slavery studies to their courses by exploring primary documents such as slave narratives, through the exploration of museums and monuments. A recent book published in the series, Transatlantic Memories of Slavery: Reimagining the Past, Changing the Future, for example, explores these dimensions by examining the representations of slavery in the famous film Django Unchained.

Learn more about the Cambria Slavery Studies Series and see also books by Professor Araujo:

Submit a proposal to Cambria Press

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Cambria Press Publication Review: The Rimbaud of Leeds

Congratulations to Dr Christine Regan on the outstanding review of her book The Rimbaud of Leeds: The Political Character of Tony Harrison’s Poetry by the journal English – Journal of the English Association. The journal review commends the book for being:

Meticulously researched … an unusually astute and impressively well informed guide to the poetry. Even those well versed in Harrison’s work will, I suspect, depart this volume with new insights and new knowledge in hand … In the age of Trump and Brexit, there is a certain pathos to seeing this one time member of the ‘white working class’ prove so inclined to side with postcolonial peoples in their struggles with the architects of the post-war order. … Regan’s work offers many new and valuable insights.

Cambria Press publication review

Title: The Rimbaud of Leeds: The Political Character of Tony Harrison’s Poetry
Author: Christine Regan
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979275
290 pp.  |   2016   |   Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979275.cfm

Cambria Press Publication Review – A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia

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Cambria Press Publication Review for A New Strategy for Complex Warfare

Congratulations to Colonel Thomas Drohan (PhD, Princeton University), Head of the Department of Military & Strategic Studies at the United States Air Force (USAF) Academy, on the outstanding review by the journal Parameters of his book, A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia.

This book, which is part of the new Cambria Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security Studies (RCSS) Series (general editor: Dr. Geoffrey R. H. Burn), was published by Cambria Press in 2016 and launched at the ISA and AAS conferences.

The review notes that “in placing weapons-centric strategic changes front and center, policymakers are putting the cart before the horse. Thankfully Drohan, a scholar with a doctorate from Princeton who now heads the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the US Air Force Academy after years of his own military service, is in a unique position to bridge this gap between academic theorists and policy practitioners, a task he successfully accomplishes.”

It commends the book because it “does much of the heavy lifting required for acquiring a proper understanding of Asian security cultures. Few works have succeeded as much as this one at succinctly explaining centuries of Asian cultural history and contextualizing that history to current security issues in the region. Members of the security community will greatly benefit from this unique perspective.”

The review also emphasizes how “Drohan does not simply provide policymakers with pages of historical detail and no guidelines for determining its relevance. He excels in explaining the implications cultural histories have for US security strategy and prescribes both philosophical and pragmatic changes practitioners should make.”

Buy A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia for only $29.95 today on Amazon.

Cambria Press Publication Review: Fearless Femininity by Women in American Theatre (1910s to 2010s)

Congratulations to Professor Lynne Greeley (University of Vermont) on the outstanding review of her book Fearless Femininity by Women in American Theatre (1910s to 2010s) in the journal Women’s History Review.

women-in-theatre

The book review praises Fearless Femininity because:

Greeley has assembled a very large ‘cast’ of female artists: their ranks include the ‘first feminists’ (p. 215) Megan Terry and Bobbi Ausubel; Martha Boesing, cofounder of the feminist Minneapolis theatre company, At the Foot of the Mountain; Spiderwoman Theater, the Indigenous all-female (and all family) company; and commercially successful representatives of ‘third-wave’ feminism, such as playwrights Eve Ensler, Rivka Solomon, and Sarah Ruhl. Greeley also discusses the work of playwrights and performers who challenge not just the masculinity of American theatre but confront its whiteness and hetero-normativity: Latina playwright Caridad Svich; African American playwright Lynn Nottage; and artists Adelina Anthony, Young Jean Lee, and Najla Said, who (respectively) work from the perspectives of Ch/Xicana, queer, Asian American,and Arab/Palestinian American theatre and performance. Greeley brings to her research a deep-rooted knowledge of both American theatre history and feminist work’s place within it. Throughout the book she stresses women’s choices, their agency and activism, in crafting female or female-identified characters, ones made in the face of an art form and profession that has historically been dominated by men.

The journal review further recommends the book because “students of American theatre history, American women’s and gender history, and the histories of American feminism will have much to learn from Greeley’s own fearless approach to her subject.”

Fearless Femininity is part of the Cambria Contemporary Global Performing Arts Series headed by Professor John Clum (Duke University).

Order this book on Amazon.

  • Hardcover: 588 pages
  • Publisher: Cambria Press (February 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160497883X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604978834

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Cambria Press Publication Review: Giving This Country A Memory

Congratulations to to Dr. Anne Brewster, Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales, on another excellent review of her book, Giving this Country a Memory: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices of Australia, in The Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia.

australian-literature

The review praises the book because it is “a respectful, very accessible and timely overview of Indigenous Australian writing … . Brewster’s adroit and engaged analysis of the novels, short stories, and poetry—the way these can be contextualized and understood within the mainstream pressures exerted upon the Aboriginal communities and the continuing fight for Indigenous sovereignty—never frames or takes over from, but rather adds on to, the Indigenous author’s voice which precedes the analysis. …the collection strikes a fine balance between the distancing effect of a scholarly approach and the respect and engagement owed to the Indigenous community. … Brewster’s well-pitched, necessary and timely initiative stands as an indispensable piece of engaged scholarship from a mainstream speaking position that contributes significantly to what Martin Nakata has called the “cultural interface” (198) between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

Read more outstanding reviews for Giving this Country a Memory: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices of Australia.

This book is part of the Cambria Australian Literature Series, headed by Dr. Susan Lever.

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Cambria Press Publication Review: Contemporary Chicana Literature

Congratulations to Professor Cristina Herrera of California State University, Fresno, on the outstanding review of her book, Contemporary Chicana Literature: (Re)Writing the Maternal Script, by the Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature.

Contemporary Literature

The book review commends Contemporary Chicana Literature because:

“In the field of mothering and motherhood studies, there is a lack of literature which specifically focuses on the mother-daughter relationship in Chicana Studies. Cristina Herrera’s Contemporary Chicana Literature: (Re)Writing the Maternal Script fills this void in literary scholarship by examining a diverse array of Chicana writers that push the boundaries of maternal relationships. The text is a welcome addition to the canon, especially since it goes beyond the limited interpretations of Chicana mother-daughter relationships, motherhood, and mothering and recognizes the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomics, and religion in shaping the relationship between Chicana mothers and daughters. With its widely interdisciplinary literary, cultural, religious, and historical sources, this book gives readers some much-needed critical perspectives and Herrera should be commended for her notable effort. … By challenging the limited models of Chicana mother-daughter relationships that frequently dictate the analysis of Chicana literature, Herrera presents a fresh paradigm to the ensuing discussion of Chicana literary scholarship. She recognizes that Chicana mothering, like society, is changing and that it is time the academy understands this broad scope. In doing so, she succeeds in rewriting Chicana mother-daughter relationships and forming a new space of reexamining representations of Chicana mothers and daughters.”

Order Contemporary Chicana Literature on Amazon today and get free shipping.

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Cambria Press Publication Review: The Construction of Femininity in a Postcolonial State

Cambria Press Review

Congratulations to Dr. Kho Ee Moi of the National Institute of Education (Singapore) on the outstanding review of her book, The Construction of Femininity in a Postcolonial State: Girls’ Education in Singapore, by the journal Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.

The book review states: “Kho examines issues of gender equality with a penetrating and critical eye. In this study, she explores the contradictions over time of the goevernment’s socialization goals and in the messages they sought to send about what it means to be a female in Singapore. … Readers interested in the role of schools in constructing ideology, as well as those interested in the development of Singapore, will find this an engaging and well-written book.”