This interdisciplinary book explores human rights in the Americas from multiple perspectives and fields. Taking 1492 as a point of departure, the text explores Eurocentric historiographies of human rights and offer a more complete understanding of the genealogy of the human rights discourse and its many manifestations in the Americas.
The essays use a variety of approaches to reveal the larger contexts from which they emerge, providing a cross-sectional view of subjects, countries, methodologies and foci explicitly dedicated toward understanding historical factors and circumstances that have shaped human rights nationally and internationally within the Americas. The chapters explore diverse cultural, philosophical, political and literary expressions where human rights discourses circulate across the continent taking into consideration issues such as race, class, gender, genealogy and nationality. While acknowledging the ongoing centrality of the nation, the volume promotes a shift in the study of the Americas as a dynamic transnational space of conflict, domination, resistance, negotiation, complicity, accommodation, dialogue, and solidarity where individuals, nations, peoples, institutions, and intellectual and political movements share struggles, experiences, and imaginaries.
It will be of interest to all scholars and students of InterAmerican studies and those from all disciplines interested in Human Rights.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Human Rights in the Americas
Luz Angélica Kirschner, María Herrera-Sobek, and Francisco A. Lomelí
I Early Origins of Human Rights
1 "Human Rights in the Americas: A Stony Path"
2 "Constructing Rights and Empires in the Early Americas: The Parallel Reception Histories of Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora and Cotton Mather"
3 "Maps of Violence, Maps of Resistance, or Where is Home in the Americas?"
II Human Rights in Central America and the Caribbean
4 "The Human Rights Situation in Central America through the Lens of Literary Representation and Violence"
Xaver Daniel Hergenröther
5 "Rebellion, Repression, Reform: U.S. Marines in the Dominican Republic"
III Human Rights and Gender
6 "Black Women Writers in the Americas: The Struggle for Human Rights in the Context of Coloniality"
7 "Autobiography, Fiction, and Racial Hatred: Representation in Jamaica Kincaid’s See Now Then"
8 "The Rebirth of the Myth of the American Hero and Feminism"
IV Human Rights: Mexican Indigenous Groups and Mexican Americans (Chicanx)
9 "Dancing Resistance, Controlling Singing and Right to Name Heritage: Mexican Indigenous Autonomy, P’urepecha, Practices, and United Nations"
10 "Carey McWilliams’s Activism and the Democratic Human Rights Tradition"
María José Canelo
11 "The Ontogenesis of Fear in Héctor Tobar’s, The Barbarian Nurseries"
V Human Rights: Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Latinas/os, and Latinas/os
12 "Brazilian Quilombos: Castaínho and Its Struggle for Human Rights"
Wellington Marinho de Lira
13 "Capá Prieto and the Decolonial Afro-Latin(a/o) American Imagination"
Luz Angélica Kirschner
14 "‘We Got Latin Soul’: Transbarrio Dialogues and Afro-Latin Identity Formation in New York’s Puerto Rican Community during the Age of Black Power (1966-1972)"
VI Human Rights, Animals Rights, and Posthuman Rights
15 "From Racism to Speciesism: The Question of the Freedom of the Other in the Works of J. M. Coetzee and Jure Detela"
Marjetka Golež Kauĉiĉ
16 "To Be or Not To Be Human: The Plasticity of Posthuman Rights"
Nicole Sparling Barco
María Herrera-Sobek is Professor Emerita from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she worked from 1997-2019.
Francisco A. Lomelí is Professor Emeritus from the University of California at Santa Barbara and has worked and taught in both the Spanish & Portuguese and Chicana/o Studies since 1978.
Luz Angélica Kirschner is an Assistant Professor in the School of American and Global Studies at South Dakota State University.