In Brazil, a New Rendering of a Literary Giant Makes Waves

Posted in Articles, Biography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism on 2019-07-16 01:44Z by Steven

In Brazil, a New Rendering of a Literary Giant Makes Waves

The New York Times
2019-06-14

Shannon Sims

A widely known image of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, left, that appears on his books, compared with the one that has gone viral on Brazilian social media in recent months, right.
A widely known image of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, left, that appears on his books, compared with the one that has gone viral on Brazilian social media in recent months, right.
Left: Academia Brasileira de Letras

Machado de Assis Real, developed by a Brazilian university and an ad agency, shows the 19th-century writer in color, challenging some long-held ideas about him in the process.

RECIFE, Brazil — Throughout elementary and middle school, Ricardo Pavan Martins remembers reading Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, one of Brazil’s most famous writers.

So the 29-year-old, who lives in Bauru, was shocked to see a new image of Machado that has gone viral in the country. It shows him with chocolate-brown skin, considerably darker than how he appears in the black-and-white photograph that appears on virtually all of his books and hangs prominently in the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

“I always imagined him as white because this is the default image of most writers,” Martins said. “I am certain that if the skin color of an author so important was at the very least discussed during my experience at school, my black friends would have felt more represented.”

Among Brazilian writers, Machado, who lived from 1839 to 1908, inhabits a unique position. “Dom Casmurro,” his 1899 masterpiece about cuckoldry and jealousy, is required reading at some schools around the country. His name has been lent to streets and subway stops across Brazil. Susan Sontag called him “the greatest writer ever produced in Latin America,” and others have compared him to Flaubert, Kafka, Henry James and Alice Munro.

[“The Collected Stories of Machado de Assis,” one of the Times critics’ top books of 2018, “reveals the arc of Machado’s career, from the straightforward love stories to the cerebral and unpredictable later works.” ]

The traditional historical photo of him shows a man whose skin is nearly as light as his crisp white dress shirt. But a new project, developed by the São Paulo office of the advertising agency Grey and São Paulo’s University Zumbi dos Palmares, a predominantly black university, re-creates that photo in a way that the project’s leaders say more accurately reflects what Machado looked like.

Machado was known to be the descendant of freed slaves, but the new rendering, which shows him as a black man, has shaken Brazilians, prompting some to reconsider how they previously read his work and angering others who feel his legacy had been whitewashed…

…It isn’t clear how or why Machado’s image was lightened. Machado scholars like G. Reginald Daniel, a sociology professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said that in 19th-century Brazil, Machado’s publishers “would have totally wanted him white to sell. For people to see this great author as of African descent would have been very troubling for many.”…

“He was celebrated during a period of Brazilian society where to be recognized and valued you had to be white,” Matos said. “He would have never been taken seriously, and never achieved commercial success, if people had known his true racial identity. He would have been a failure if he had been known as black.”

But some of those most familiar with Machado’s life are ambivalent about the push to identify him as black. Daniel, who wrote a book exploring Machado’s mixed-race identity, said that while he commended the efforts to “re-racialize” him, “the real Machado de Assis was not a black man but mixed. Portraying him otherwise misses the duality and in-between experience he had as a biracial man.”…

Read entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Machado de Assis: 26 Stories

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2019-07-16 01:32Z by Steven

Machado de Assis: 26 Stories

W. W. Norton
July 2019
320 pages
5.5 x 8.3 in
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-63149-598-4

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839-1908)

Translated by: Robin Patterson and Margaret Jull Costa

Foreword by: Michael Wood

This “watershed collection” (Wall Street Journal) now appears in an essential selected paperback edition, with twenty-six of Machado’s finest stories.

Widely acclaimed as “the greatest writer ever produced in Latin America” (Susan Sontag), as well as “another Kafka” (Allen Ginsberg), Machado de Assis (1839–1908) was famous in his time for his psychologically probing tales of fin-de-siècle Rio de Janeiro—a world populated with dissolute plutocrats, grasping parvenus, and struggling spinsters. In this original paperback, Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson, “the accomplished duo” (Wall Street Journal) behind the “landmark . . . heroically translated” volume (The New Yorker) of the Collected Stories of Machado de Assis, include twenty-six chronologically ordered stories from the seven story collections published during Machado’s life—featuring all-time favorites such as the celebrated novella “The Alienist”; the tragicomic “parable of bureaucracy, madness, and power” (Los Angeles Review of Books), “Midnight Mass”; “The Cane”; and “Father Against Mother.” Ultimately, Machado de Assis: 26 Stories affirms Machado’s status as a literary giant who must finally be fully integrated into the world literary canon.

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Collected Stories of Machado de Assis

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2019-07-16 01:10Z by Steven

The Collected Stories of Machado de Assis

W. W. Norton
June 2018
960 pages
6.6 x 9.6 in
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-87140-496-1

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839-1908)

Translated by: Robin Patterson and Margaret Jull Costa

Foreword by: Michael Wood

New York Times Critics’ Best of the Year

A landmark event, the complete stories of Machado de Assis finally appear in English for the first time in this extraordinary new translation.

Widely acclaimed as the progenitor of twentieth-century Latin American fiction, Machado de Assis (1839–1908)—the son of a mulatto father and a washerwoman, and the grandson of freed slaves—was hailed in his lifetime as Brazil’s greatest writer. His prodigious output of novels, plays, and stories rivaled contemporaries like Chekhov, Flaubert, and Maupassant, but, shockingly, he was barely translated into English until 1963 and still lacks proper recognition today. Drawn to the master’s psychologically probing tales of fin-de-siècle Rio de Janeiro, a world populated with dissolute plutocrats, grasping parvenus, and struggling spinsters, acclaimed translators Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson have now combined Machado’s seven short-story collections into one volume, featuring seventy-six stories, a dozen appearing in English for the first time.

Born in the outskirts of Rio, Machado displayed a precocious interest in books and languages and, despite his impoverished background, miraculously became a well-known intellectual figure in Brazil’s capital by his early twenties. His daring narrative techniques and coolly ironic voice resemble those of Thomas Hardy and Henry James, but more than either of these writers, Machado engages in an open playfulness with his reader—as when his narrator toys with readers’ expectations of what makes a female heroine in “Miss Dollar,” or questions the sincerity of a slave’s concern for his dying master in “The Tale of the Cabriolet.”

Predominantly set in the late nineteenth-century aspiring world of Rio de Janeiro—a city in the midst of an intense transformation from colonial backwater to imperial metropolis—the postcolonial realism of Machado’s stories anticipates a dominant theme of twentieth-century literature. Readers witness the bourgeoisie of Rio both at play, and, occasionally, attempting to be serious, as depicted by the chief character of “The Alienist,” who makes naively grandiose claims for his Brazilian hometown at the expense of the cultural capitals of Europe. Signifiers of new wealth and social status abound through the landmarks that populate Machado’s stories, enlivening a world in the throes of transformation: from the elegant gardens of Passeio Público and the vibrant Rua do Ouvidor—the long, narrow street of fashionable shops, theaters and cafés, “the Via Dolorosa of long-suffering husbands”—to the port areas of Saúde and Gamboa, and the former Valongo slave market.

One of the greatest masters of the twentieth century, Machado reveals himself to be an obsessive collector of other people’s lives, who writes: “There are no mysteries for an author who can scrutinize every nook and cranny of the human heart.” Now, The Collected Stories of Machado de Assis brings together, for the first time in English, all of the stories contained in the seven collections published in his lifetime, from 1870 to 1906. A landmark literary event, this majestic translation reintroduces a literary giant who must finally be integrated into the world literary canon.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Chinyere K. Osuji

Posted in Anthropology, Audio, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-07-12 12:09Z by Steven

Chinyere K. Osuji

New Books Network
2019-07-11

Reighan Gillam, Host and Assistant Professor of Anthropology
University of Southern California

Chinyere K. Osuji, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race (New York: New York University Press, 2019)

The increasing presence of interracial relationships is often read as an antidote to racism or as an indicator of the decreasing significance of race. In her book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race (NYU Press, 2019), Chinyere K. Osuji examines how interracial couples push against, navigate, and often maintain racial boundaries. In-depth interviews with black-white couples in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Los Angeles demonstrate how couples negotiate racial difference with their spouses, within their families, and during public encounters. This comparative study of interracial couples in Brazil and in the United States shows just how race can be constructed differently, while racial hierarchies persist. This book would be of interest to those in fields such as racial and ethnic studies, family and kinship studies, gender studies, and Latin American studies.

Listen to the interview (00:52:56) here. Download the interview here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sensual Not Beautiful: The Mulata as Erotic Spectacle

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Women on 2019-07-11 17:46Z by Steven

Sensual Not Beautiful: The Mulata as Erotic Spectacle

ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America
Spring 2017 (Black is Beautiful)

Jasmine Mitchell, Assistant Professor of American Studies and Media Studies
State University of New York, Old Westbury

iconic dancer
The iconic mulata female body is portrayed in Brazil as glistening brown. Photo courtesy of Jasmine Mitchell.

While white actresses and models still dominate beauty and fashion magazines in Brazil, on my last few visits to Brazil, I’ve noticed that actresses of African descent such as Camila Pitanga and Taís Araújo have also graced the covers. Since 2009, both actresses have also starred in telenovelas. Miss Brazil 2016 is the first black winner since Deise Nunes’s crowning in 1986. The 2016 competition had the largest number of black candidates in its history. The dominant conceptualizations of beauty in Brazil are shifting. Erika Moura, the Mulata Globeleza of 2017, did not appear as a bodypainted nude Rio de Janeiro samba dancer, but instead performed in various costumes and dance styles representing a breadth of Brazilian regional cultures.

It’s certainly not been this way for very long. In 2001, on my first trip to Brazil, I yearned to find a refuge, a place where my background as a mixed-race black woman from the United States was neither exotic nor fetishized. Relying on Brazil’s reputed celebration of racial mixing, I believed that it would become my racial paradise in which brown was beautiful and I would find a resistance to the exclusivity of white U.S. beauty norms.

Instead, I became familiar with a Brazilian saying, “Branca para casar, mulata para fornicar, negra para trabalhar (white women for marriage, mulata women for sex, black women for work).”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Being More ‘Open:’ Black Women Negotiate Dating and Marrying White Men

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2019-07-11 17:23Z by Steven

Being More ‘Open:’ Black Women Negotiate Dating and Marrying White Men

Chinyere Osuji, PhD
2019-07-10

Chinyere K. Osuji, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden

When I was studying at Harvard in the early 2000s, I had a black professor who had built part of his career gas-lighting anti-black discrimination in favor of 1990s-style black cultural inferiority tropes. My grad school girlfriends and I awkwardly giggled over “the sex parts” of his book on black upward mobility. He cited statistics saying that black women did not perform oral sex as often as white women, making them less desirable sexual partners. Sexual incompatibility on this sex act was part of the motor driving black men to date interracially more than black women. I was struck by how he ignored scholarship showing how white women are lauded as the essence of beauty, domesticity, and ideal womanhood. Instead, in a reversal of the Jezebel stereotype, he explained this race-gender imbalance as due to black women being prudes. I remember that when we stopped laughing, we speculated on which black woman might have hurt him and whether this was scholarly revenge porn against black women. We also questioned how his much paler wife felt about this discussion.

Over a decade later, I noticed the increasing popularity of a similar dynamic: “Black women need to be more open!”

How many black women have heard this in reference to our dating and marriage prospects?…

…In my book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race, I conducted over 100 interviews with people in black-white couples in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro. I had the privilege of listening to men and women across racial pairings share the monotony, excitement, struggles, and joys of being married to a person on the other side of the ethnoracial hierarchy. Almost all couples seemed content in their relationships. Several were parents navigating how to raise children who were comfortable with the black, white, multiracial, and multi-ethnic sides of their extended families.

One thing that struck me about the black women whom I interviewed was how several of them complained about their white husbands who “just didn’t get it.” As people on the top of gender, racial, and often class hierarchies, these white men often could not make sense of the privileges they accrued in a society that fought very hard to occlude them. The work often fell on their black wives to teach them how they navigated the world as white middle class men. A few white husbands were “woke” to these dynamics. When I interviewed them individually, we laughed about their couple tactic of wives “tagging” them for interactions with customer service representatives and other outsiders. This strategy ensured that they used their race and gender privileges for the good of the family. Still, black women in other relationships described the emotional labor of explaining intersections of disadvantage to their oblivious white husbands…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Sociologist’s Book Highlights Experiences of Interracial Couples and the Meanings They Give to Race and Ethnicity

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-06-11 00:16Z by Steven

Sociologist’s Book Highlights Experiences of Interracial Couples and the Meanings They Give to Race and Ethnicity

Rutgers-Camden News Now
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
2019-06-10

Tom McLaughlin, Media Relations Specialist


Throughout her book, Osuji uses her findings to challenge the notion that society should rely on interracial couples and their multiracial children to end racism.

While people in American society often talk about race mixture as an antidote to the country’s racial problems, interracial couples remain stigmatized, according to a new book by a Rutgers University–Camden sociologist.

“The idea is that, the more people who are interracially marrying, then we will have more multiracial children and magically there won’t be racial inequality or racism anymore,” says Chinyere Osuji, an assistant professor of sociology at Rutgers University–Camden.

That’s not the case, says the Rutgers–Camden researcher.

According to Osuji, looking at interracial couples in Brazil – a country historically known for its racial diversity – shows how racism can coexist with race mixture. She explains that, although the country does have a substantial multiracial population, interracial couples are very much still stigmatized and race mixing is segregated by class – more likely to occur “in poor communities, where brown and black people live.”

These are just a few of the illuminating findings in Osjui’s groundbreaking new book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Love and the Meaning of Race (NYU Press, 2019)…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Prism of Race: The Politics and Ideology of Affirmative Action in Brazil

Posted in Books, Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2019-05-26 02:04Z by Steven

The Prism of Race: The Politics and Ideology of Affirmative Action in Brazil

University of Michigan Press
2018
272 pages
2 tables
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-472-13084-9
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-472-12389-6
DOI: 10.3998/mpub.9736376

David Lehmann, Emeritus Reader in Social Science
Cambridge University

Foreword by:

Antonio Sergio Guimarães, Senior Professor of Sociology
University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Brazil has developed a distinctive response to the injustices inflicted by the country’s race relations regime. Despite the mixed racial background of most Brazilians, the state recognizes people’s racial classification according to a simple official scheme in which those self-assigned as black, together with “brown” and “indigenous” (preto-pardo-indigena), can qualify for specially allocated resources, most controversially quota places at public universities. Although this quota system has been somewhat successful, many other issues that disproportionately affect the country’s black population remain unresolved, and systemic policies to reduce structural inequality remain off the agenda.

In The Prism of Race, David Lehmann explores, theoretically and practically, issues of race, the state, social movements, and civil society, and then goes beyond these themes to ask whether Brazilian politics will forever circumvent the severe problems facing the society by co-optation and by tinkering with unjust structures. Lehmann disrupts the paradigm of current scholarly thought on Brazil, placing affirmative action disputes in their political and class context, bringing back the concept of state corporatism, and questioning the strength and independence of Brazilian civil society.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. After Durban
  • 3. Classification Wars
  • 4. Race, Class, and Education in the Search for Social Justice
  • 5. The Movimento Negro between State, Civil Society, and Market
  • 6. The Campaign and Theories of Social Movements
  • Appendix A: Selected Indicators on the Growth of the Brazilian Higher Education System (2003–2014)
  • Appendix B: Interviews Carried Out between 2008 and 2014
  • Glossary
  • Footnotes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Tags: , , , ,

Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2019-05-01 22:11Z by Steven

Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism

Berghahn Books
April 2019
346 pages
15 illus., bibliog., index
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78920-113-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-78920-114-7

Edited by:

Warwick Anderson, Janet Dora Hine Professor of Politics, Governance and Ethics
Department of History; Charles Perkins Centre
University of Sydney

Ricardo Roque, Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences
University of Lisbon

Ricardo Ventura Santos, Senior Researcher at Fundação Oswaldo Cruz; Professor
Department of Anthropology
National Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism

Modern perceptions of race across much of the Global South are indebted to the Brazilian social scientist Gilberto Freyre, who in works such as The Masters and the Slaves claimed that Portuguese colonialism produced exceptionally benign and tolerant race relations. This volume radically reinterprets Freyre’s Luso-tropicalist arguments and critically engages with the historical complexity of racial concepts and practices in the Portuguese-speaking world. Encompassing Brazil as well as Portuguese-speaking societies in Africa, Asia, and even Portugal itself, it places an interdisciplinary group of scholars in conversation to challenge the conventional understanding of twentieth-century racialization, proffering new insights into such controversial topics as human plasticity, racial amalgamation, and the tropes and proxies of whiteness.

Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Luso-tropicalism and Its Discontents / Warwick Anderson, Ricardo Roque and Ricardo Ventura Santos
  • PART I: PICTURING AND READING FREYRE
    • Chapter 1. Gilberto Freyre’s view of miscegenation and its circulation in the Portuguese Empire (1930s-1960s) / Cláudia Castelo
    • Chapter 2. Gilberto Freyre: Racial Populism and Ethnic Nationalism / Jerry Dávila
    • Chapter 3. Anthropology and Pan-Africanism at the Margins of the Portuguese Empire: Trajectories of Kamba Simango / Lorenzo Macagno
  • PART II: IMAGINING A MIXED-RACE NATION
    • Chapter 4. Eugenics, Genetics and Anthropology in Brazil: The Masters and the Slaves, Racial Miscegenation and its Discontents / Robert Wegner and Vanderlei Sebastião de Souza
    • Chapter 5. Gilberto Freyre and the UNESCO Research Project on Race Relations in Brazil / Marcos Chor Maio
    • Chapter 6. An Immense Mosaic”: Race-Mixing and the Creation of the Genetic Nation in 1960s Brazil / Rosanna Dent and Ricardo Ventura Santos
  • PART III: THE COLONIAL SCIENCES OF RACE
    • Chapter 7. The Racial Science of Patriotic Primitives: Mendes Correia in ‘Portuguese Timor’ / Ricardo Roque
    • Chapter 8. Re-Assessing Portuguese Exceptionalism: Racial Concepts and Colonial Policies toward the Bushmen in Southern Angola, 1880s-1970s / Samuël Coghe
    • Chapter 9. “Anthropo-Biology”, Racial Miscegenation and Body Normality: Comparing Bio-Typological Studies in Brazil and Portugal, 1930-1940 / Ana Carolina Vimieiro Gomes
  • PART IV: PORTUGUESENESS IN THE TROPICS
    • Chapter 10. Luso-Tropicalism Debunked, Again: Race, Racism, and Racialism in Three Portuguese-Speaking Societies / Cristiana Bastos
    • Chapter 11. Being (Goan) Modern in Zanzibar: Mobility, Relationality and the Stitching of Race / Pamila Gupta
  • Afterword I / Nélia Dias
  • Afterword II / Peter Wade
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2019-05-01 22:08Z by Steven

Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race

New York University Press
May 2019
320 pages
16 black and white illustrations
152.40 x 228.60 mm
Cloth ISBN: 9781479878611
Paper ISBN: 9781479831456

Chinyere K. Osuji, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden

How interracial couples in Brazil and the US navigate racial boundaries

How do people understand and navigate being married to a person of a different race? Based on individual interviews with forty-seven black-white couples in two large, multicultural cities—Los Angeles and Rio de JaneiroBoundaries of Love explores how partners in these relationships ultimately reproduce, negotiate, and challenge the “us” versus “them” mentality of ethno-racial boundaries.

By centering marriage, Chinyere Osuji reveals the family as a primary site for understanding the social construction of race. She challenges the naive but widespread belief that interracial couples and their children provide an antidote to racism in the twenty-first century, instead highlighting the complexities and contradictions of these relationships. Featuring black husbands with white wives as well as black wives with white husbands, Boundaries of Love sheds light on the role of gender in navigating life married to a person of a different color.

Osuji compares black-white couples in Brazil and the United States, the two most populous post–slavery societies in the Western hemisphere. These settings, she argues, reveal the impact of contemporary race mixture on racial hierarchies and racial ideologies, both old and new.

Tags: , , , , , ,