Lecture by Professor Kimberly Cleveland at Emory University

Dr. Kimberly Cleveland, Associate Professor of Art History, Georgia State University, and author of Black Women Slaves Who Nourished a Nation: Artistic Renderings of Wet Nurses in Brazil, will be giving a lecture on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at Noon at Emory University. This book is part of the Cambria Studies in Slavery Series, headed by Professor Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University).

Slave Studies

#lutopelomuseunacional: The Museo Nacional de Brasil and how it preserved African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil

The loss of the Museo Nacional de Brasil (National Museum of Brazil) is simply devastating. As The New York Times noted “some items in the collection are irreplaceable to science, as well as the country’s national memory.”

Long before the tragic fire, Mariza de Carvalho Soares, a Brazilian historian and researcher at the CNPq/MCT (Brazilian national endowment agency), who has also been the curator of the African collection at the Museu Nacional de Brasil since 2012, underscored the importance of the museum to Brazil’s national memory because its artifacts lent “urgent voices to the need to deconstruct the memory of Africa in Brazil, a memory still trapped in the rusted chains of slavery and colonial domination.”

The following are excerpts from her chapter “Collectionism and Colonialism: The Africana Collection at Brazil’s National Museum (Rio de Janeiro)” in the book African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World edited by Ana Lucia Araujo, which help preserve the memory of this beloved institution.

#lutopelomuseunacional

“In Brazil, few museums are known to possess substantial African holdings and give them prominence. … Among the recognized institutions, the collection held at the National Museum is indisputably the oldest and one of the most significant. Its entire ethnographic collection, containing some 40,000 objects, is presently managed by the Ethnology and Ethnography Sector of the Anthropology Department (MN/DA/SEE). Most of its holdings are related to the indigenous populations of Brazil. Yet, it also includes around 700 artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa, gathered under the name National Museum Africana.” (p.19)

“The most significant acquisitions of African artifacts were made during the administrations of Ladislau Netto and Roquette Pinto. Later on, Heloísa Torres gave more emphasis and resources to artifacts representing the legacy of the African presence in Brazil. But these three vibrant researchers shared a common interest not just in anthropology but also in the dynamism of cultural manifestations that transcended the sharply defined models of Western postslave society. They gave importance and prestige to the most diverse forms African-derived objects.

Africana contains important individual pieces, but what stands out in the collection are sets of related objects that, for their antiquity or rarity, deserve special attention. The great majority of the pieces were obtained through private donation, or exchange with other museums, whereas some other items were purchased. In the Sector of Ethnology and Ethnography (hereafter SEE) registry, African artifacts are listed in sequence numbers with their date of acquisition, along with all the other artifacts in the ethnographic archive. The oldest artifacts that have been identified and historically contextualized are the group of presents sent by King Adandozan of Dahomey to Prince Dom João in 1810, including the aforementioned throne. Other objects described by Graham would be equally important, but these were apparently lost.

A notable set of artifacts obtained by purchase is the group of weapons acquired in 1902, during the administration of João Baptista de Lacerda (museum director 1895–1915). It was likely Lacerda’s initiative to purchase the weapons from private collector Alfred Mocquery, who had been sent by the Paris Museum to South America as well as Africa, especially Madagascar.” (p.24)

“Among the various donated artifacts are the set of more than twenty presents from the king of Dahomey, as well as a drum with a zebra-skin head given by a certain Jorge Villares. Little is known about Villares, but it was recorded upon the drum’s entry in 1923 that he claimed the “King of Uganda” had offered him the item to be delivered to the National Museum.” (p.25)

“There are also many objects labeled as African but acquired in Brazil, which are difficult to identify properly. Such is the case of cloths purchased by Heloísa Torres in Bahia, registered as African. One of them, acquired in 1953, belonged to the wife of a Mr. Tibúrcio, member of the Brotherhood of Rosário, a Catholic lay organization for African descendants in the coastal city of Salvador. Another group of objects had been apprehended by the court police from a so-called ‘fortune-telling house,’ as the headquarters of Afro-Brazilian religious groups were known in imperial, nineteenth-century Rio de Janeiro. The police would regularly invade these ‘cult houses’ in search of what they considered suspicious and confiscate objects at hand as proof of the practice of witchcraft. In one such case, a list of apprehended items was sent to the National Museum bearing the title ‘List of diverse objects encountered in fortune-telling houses, rendered by the police, whose chief was the distinguished Mr. Serafim Muniz Barreto, to the court.’ Among the listed objects were some items that would have come from Africa alongside others made in Brazil by Africans and African descendants in their religious and quotidian pursuits.

Some objects in the museum’s new forthcoming permanent exhibition deserve particular attention. Each of them provides a pathway into the central issue of the role of museums as spaces of engagement with the importance of Africa in the universe of education and research in Brazil. They lend urgent voices to the need to deconstruct the memory of Africa in Brazil, a memory still trapped in the rusted chains of slavery and colonial domination.” (p.26)

This is followed by a section titled “Confronting Memory and History: Three Examples of Africana Artifacts,” which details the following:

  1. The Keaka Mask (1928)
  2. Weapons from the Zambezi River: Herero, Namaqua, and Zulu (1880–1902)
  3. The Gifts from King Adandozan to Dom João (1811)

Mariza de Carvalho Soares concludes her chapter noting the following:

“The violent methods (or in the best of cases, compulsory circumstances) that provided nearly all the objects that today constitute the Africana collection, as well as the African holdings of so many other Brazilian museums, should be brought to the fore and reconsidered. Each of these institutions has the obligation to administer with care and justice the preservation of this heritage, the material legacy of processes that came about at the cost of the blood and suffering of so many Africans. At the same time, the potential of these collections must be channeled into new meanings, marshaling the unjust past into public policies that today foster better understanding of both the history of African peoples and of the diverse connections between Brazil and Africa in the past, present, and future. The most important move at this juncture is to examine these artifacts from a new analytical perspective, to open the study of so-called ethnographic collections to the scrutiny of history. The new parameters that will help define a richer history of Africa can first be applied locally, in the sense of a newly critical gaze on the colonial practices that have too long reigned in the interior of museums themselves.” (p.37)

Araujo Heritage Book Cover

African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World was published in 2015. A 25% discount is available for the hardcover version (enter coupon code SAVE25 at checkout). There are also e-book versions starting from $8.99.

Book Details

Title African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World
Editor Ana Lucia Araujo
Book ISBN 9781604978926
Pages 428 (includes illustrations)

Mariza de Carvalho Soares is a Brazilian historian working on slavery, the African diaspora, and African history. She is a researcher at the CNPq/MCT (Brazilian national endowment agency). Since 2012, she has been the curator of the African collection at Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and director of the research project Africana do Museu Nacional (2013–2015) funded by FAPERJ (Rio de Janeiro state endowment agency). In recent years, she has been a research fellow at Vanderbilt University, Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. She is the author of numerous chapters and articles and the author and editor of several books, including People of Faith: Slavery and African Catholics in Eighteenth-Century Rio de Janeiro (2011), which received the Roberto Reis Book Award from the Brazilian Studies Association.

Ana Lucia Araujo is a Professor of History at Howard University. In addition to having published several single-authored monographs and edited volumes, Professor Araujo has edited special issues of the journals Luso-Brazilian Review and Journal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage and published articles in several journals, including Slavery and Abolition, the Luso-Brazilian Review, Ethnologie Française, Ethnologies, Varia História, Lusotopie, Tempo, and the Canadian Journal of Latin America and Caribbean Studies. Professor Araujo is the general editor of the Cambria Press book series Slavery: Past and Present.

Ana Lucia Araujo

Cambria Press Publication Review: African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World

cambria-press

Congratulations to Professor Ana Lucia Araujo on yet another outstanding review of her book African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World!

The Journal of Lusophone Studies praised the book for being “a much needed transatlantic study on Africa and Brazil has finally come alive… in this formidable volume … the ten chapters offer a compendium of well researched work” and recommends it as a “welcome addition to the bibliography on Afro-Brazilian and South Atlantic studies. It will surely provoke further studies.”

This book is part of the Cambria Studies in Slavery: Past and Present series, headed by Dr. Ana Lucia Araujo.

Stay posted by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter!

Cambria Press Publication Review: Transatlantic Memories of Slavery

Congratulations to Professors  Elisa Bordin and Anna Scacchi on the glowing review of their book, Transatlantic Memories of Slavery: Reimagining the Past, Changing the Future, by the European Journal of American Studies.

Scacchi Bordin Book Cover

The following are excerpts from the book review.

“With great courage, sharp intuition and professional dedication they have tackled some of the most controversial issues of historical revision and imaginative projection linked to the slave trade all over the world. While stressing the central role of slavery in the affirmation of Euro-American modern capitalistic society, they give space to the dignity and validity of long time ignored acts of memory produced in different fields by people of African descent. The importance attributed by them to these narratives in both written or visual form, are now shown as a dialogic and no less important counterpart to the over-publicized acts of memory written by representatives of the Euro-American hegemonic platform. Through the analysis of a large sample of writings, fiction and non-fiction, films, photographs, popular culture, the authors, a group of renown scholars and artists, question the legitimacy of the kept records, showing that the problem, as William Styron maintained, is not just how to portray the history of slavery, but how ‘to wrestle with the incomplete project of freedom.’

“What appears particularly relevant in this collection is the methodological approach, a complex, comparative, transnational gaze that rightly pulls down the ideal boundaries of nation and continent, North and South America, Brazil and West Africa, and above all French, Spanish and English Caribbean – where, it should be remembered, the slave trade registers its highest peak – allowing them to shed light on the multiple ways in which difference builds up a privileged path to artistic productions. The mechanics of how slavery affected the intercultural, inter-human, inter-linguistic exchanges between different peoples finds in this broad discussion one of the best possible readings, where the textual and the meta-textual crisscross and contaminate each other; a modern approach that ignores stale categories, narrow paradigms, prefigured evaluations.”

“The fluidity achieved between disciplines, territories, languages, anthropological characterizations is happily harmonized with a captivating style, that accrues the meaning of the research and the pleasure of reading.”

Read the entire review here.

This book is in the Cambria Studies in Slavery book series (general editor: Ana Lucia Araujo).

See this book at the #LASA2016 congress. For a 30% discount, order Transatlantic Memories of Slavery now and use the coupon code LASA2016 at www.cambriapress.com.

You can also buy this book on Amazon and get free shipping.

Stay posted for more groundbreaking books!
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LASA 2016 Highlights – New & Noteworthy in Latin American Studies

We are proud to launch Dr. Gabriela Fried Amilivia’s new book, State Terrorism and the Politics of Memory in Latin America, at the LASA congress.

Fried Book Cover

This interdisciplinary study, written in a highly accessible style, will have both specialists and nonspecialists appreciating it for how it vividly brings to life the terror inflicted by the state on its people and how it continues to affect them. Tying sociology with history, psychology, and politics, this book will not only add depth to the fields of culture and memory studies but also broaden the scope of understanding for literary works which weave in trauma of Latin American history.

“A groundbreaking study for anyone interested in crimes against humanity and their haunting transgenerational legacy.” —GABRIELE M. SCHWAB, Chancellor’s Professor, University of California, Irvine

Gabriela Fried
Watch Dr. Fried discuss the book at the LASA Congress

Dr. Fried will speak about her book
at the special LASA author session
on
Sunday morning
(May 29) at 9:45 a.m.

in the book exhibit hall at the Hilton.

Mularski Book Cover

“An interesting, enjoyable and instructive example to other nations and cultures about how the powerful get to tell everyone else what their culture is even if the evidence doesn’t support it.” Sounds and Colours

Burns Book Cover.jpg

“Innovative in its transatlantic scope, and is a valuable contribution to attempts to reconsider the role and status of the poet in globalized-—and especially neoliberal-—socioeconomic context.”  A contra corriente

Currie Thompson Book Cover
“Una recomendable monografía para aquellos que quieran profundizar en el cine y la Argentina de los dos primeros mandatos de Perón (1946–55)Thompson cita numerosas y relevantes fuentes a lo largo de todo el volumen, que servirán para apoyar sus argumentos, así como para ilustrar sus ejemplos.”Hispania

Kane Book Cover

“It is entirely revitalizing to see a work devoted to the Central American avant-garde that both grounds its focus critically and keeps its focus on both the aesthetics and politics that grounded the literary production of the vanguardia in the early 20th century. A very welcomed addition to the corpus of writings on the avant-garde, valuable to students and scholars of Central American literature,and those studying the avant-garde from any region.” A contra corriente

Beck Book Cover.jpg

Carefully researched and generously illustrated, Lauren Beck’s book offers a thorough study of primary sources, both textual and visual, on the cultural construction of the enemy in Spanish culture. … The case of Spanish culture is particularly interesting because the Spaniards have been active in the creation of stereotypes of their enemies  and at the same time they have been the object of similar processes of cultural construction by other European nations.”  Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Herrera Book Cover
Offers insightful and nuanced interpretations of selected canonical Chicana writers … focused on the interlocking structure of discriminatory discourses of classism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Indeed, her discussion of queer Chicana motherhood and patriarchal heterosexism … offers a very productive model for critically embedding queer representations of sexual and gender formation in the context of allied ‘straight’ texts.” Contemporary Women’s Writing
Falola Sanchex Redefining Book Cover.jpg
This book will push understandings of membership and identities in Africa and the African diaspora forward though unique and insightful discussions on Pan-Africanism and African freedom, British colonialism and African spaces, the politics of Brazilian baianas, linguistic and cultural Africanisms in the Caribbean, identities in postcolonial francophone literature, and much more.
Araujo Heritage Book Cover.jpg

“The memory of slavery and the slave trade has strongly influenced how history is understood. What is remembered and why are clearly identified as major historical themes of analysis in this valuable collection.” Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Scacchi Bordin Book Cover.jpg

“With great courage, sharp intuition and professional dedication the editors have tackled some of the most controversial issues of historical revision and imaginative projection linked to the slave trade all over the world … Praise be to them for gathering such a relevant instrument of research, and for opening new perspectives in the field.” European Journal of American Studies

Integrating research from the various fields of humanities and social sciences is more important than ever, which is why Cambria series are interdisciplinary. Click on each series link to see the books in the series.

Cambria Studies in Latin American Literatures and Cultures
(General Editor: Román de la Campa, University of Pennsylvania)

Cambria Studies in Slavery: Past and Present
(General Editor: Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University) 

Cambria Studies in Contemporary Global Performing Arts
(General Editor: John Clum, Duke University)

Essential Books on Slavery on Amazon Kindle

Here are a few outstanding Cambria Press books you can get (or give) on Amazon Kindle:

African Heritage Slavery

African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World

by Ana Lucia Araujo (ed) $29.99

“The memory of slavery and the slave trade has strongly influenced how history is understood. What is remembered and why are clearly identified as major historical themes of analysis in this valuable collection.” —Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

slavery

Transatlantic Memories of Slavery: Remembering the Past,
Changing the Future

by Elisa Bordin and Anna Scacchi (eds) $29.99

This study addresses the memory of slavery from a transnational perspective.  The inclusion of Brazil and the French, English, and Spanish Caribbean alongside the United States and Europe, and the variety of investigative approaches—ranging from cinema, popular culture and visual culture studies to anthropology and literary studies—expand the current understanding of the slave past and how it is reimagined today. Transatlantic Memories of Slaveryis an important book for those interested in African American, American, and Latin American studies and working across literature, cinema, visual arts, and public culture. It will also be useful to public official and civil servants interested in the question of slavery and its present memory.

Africa Heritage Slavery

Slavery, Migrations, and Transformations:
Connecting Old and New Diasporas to the Homeland

by Elisa Bordin and Anna Scacchi (eds) $29.99

This book is a timely and much-needed exploration of the intricate nature of culture and life in the African diaspora. It examines identities, collectivities, and relationships with Africa and Africans. It helps fill a gap in the field by illuminating the complex experiences of blackness in a manner that motivates readers to grapple with the nuances diaspora studies and African issues on a global stage.

See also the Cambria Studies in Slavery Series, headed by Ana Lucia Araujo
(Howard University).

Like Cambria Press on Facebook, subscribe to the Cambria Press Youtube channel, follow Cambria Press on Twitter, and Google+1Cambria Press .

Visit the Cambria Press website.

Ida B. Wells Birthday Tribute: Black Women as Custodians of History

Ida B. Wells
Black Women as Custodians of History: Birthday Tribute to Ida B. Wells

Cambria Press Book Highlight in honor of Ida B. Wells’s Birthday

“Like W. E. B. Du Bois, black activist and journalist Ida B. Wells also chose to become an interpreter of facts in her writings about lynching at the turn of the twentieth century [… and] called African Americans to write and distribute accurate histories that would counteract the false depictions created by white-owned presses, dispersing this message through her work in the antilynching movement.”   – Paula Sanmartín, Black Women as Custodians of History: Unsung Rebel (M)Others in African American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing

*This book is part of the Cambria Studies in Slavery Series headed by Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University).

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Visit the Cambria Press website.