Class of 2022
Hometown: Kissimmee, FL
Major: International Comparative Studies
Mellon Project: Afro-Brazilian Women's Interventions: Re-Writing and Responding to Brazil's History
Contemporary Afro-Brazilian women writers are creating works that serve as archives of recovery for Black history in Brazil. I arrived at my research topic after taking a Portuguese literature course. I became curious about the ways Afro-Brazilian women writers are re-writing the history of the nation that often erased their stories from the archives. Previous scholarship shows historical instances in which the Brazilian government ordered the destruction of documented slave narratives in the Portuguese Inquisition’s archives. I propose there is a legacy sanitization of Black Brazilian history which is being resisted by Afro-Brazilian women writers. I showcase the works of Afro-Brazilian women who are writing outside of the Brazilian literary canon. I explain how the re-historicization of Black women’s history in Brazil must be done from the margins of academia. I am currently working on diversifying my literary archive with works from different Afro-Brazilian women such as Conceição Evaristo, Marilene Felinto and Eliza Luncinda. I chose these writers because they play with temporality by juxtaposing their lived experiences as Black women with historical moments in Brazil. I plan to engage these literary texts as historical texts since both history and fictional literature contain narrative, storytelling and myths. In my current chapter draft of my research paper, I argue that Brazil’s national identity and racial stratification is a problem of narration, rooted in the construction of myths such as racial democracy.
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