Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism
This essay takes an intersectional and transnational approach to analyze how selected poetic texts by contemporary Afro-Brazilian writers Conceição Evaristo, Esmeralda Ribeiro Cristiane Sobral, Miriam Alves, and Elisa Lucinda (re)design portrayals of Afro-descendant/black female bodies. As cultural artifacts, I argue that these poetic/political constructs give evidence of Afro- Brazilian female bodies as historical: on one hand, they represent the embodiment of “otherness” as they historically differ from the standards of (white) “normalcy;” on the other hand, they carry both the silenced histories of racial and sexual exploitation and the appeal of hyper-sexualized and exoticized stereotypes. I am also interested in discussing how these writings/writers articulate notions and images connected to discourses of mestiçagem in order to rewrite black women’s bodies into new historical perspectives; how they question long-established national narratives of racial harmony; and how they build dialogues with a more diasporic understanding of black women’s cultural and political networking across the Americas. Finally, this essay explores the ways in which contemporary Afro-Brazilian literature opens to the reaffirmation of black female subjectivities from multiple cultural perspectives and identities.
Copyright © 2016 Smith College
Santos de Araújo, Flávia, "Beyond the Flesh: Contemporary Representations of the Black Female Body in Afro-Brazilian Literature" (2016). Africana Studies: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.