Race and Transatlantic Identities provides a rich overview of the complex relationship between the construction of race and transatlantic identity as expressed in a variety of cultural forms, refracted through different disciplinary and critical perspectives, and manifested at different historical moments. Spanning a period from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, the contributions provide a panorama of the wealth and variety of contemporary approaches to grappling with notions of race in a transatlantic context, raising questions about the permanence and fixity of racial boundaries. The volume, which focuses on the cultural sites where individuals construct and express their racial identities in the context of those boundaries, also explores strategies through which those boundaries are defined and redefined. The collection conducts this inquiry by juxtaposing essays on literature, history, visual arts, material culture, music, and dance in ways that encourage the reader to engage with concepts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. The articles in this book were originally published in the Journal of Transatlantic Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Blurring boundaries: race and transatlantic identities in culture and society Elizabeth T. Kenney, Sirpa Salenius and Whitney Womack Smith
1. The vitriolic blood of a Negro: the development of racial identity and Creole elitism in New Spain and Spanish Louisiana, 1763-1803 Andrew N. Wegmann
2. ‘I am the only woman!’: the racial dimensions of patriarchy and the containment of white women in James Hakewill’s A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica . . . (1825) Charmaine A. Nelson
3. Fictional space and taxonomies of race in the Bahamas: mapping American identity in the early Republic Elizabeth Kenney
4. Two heads of the same drum? Musical narratives within a transatlantic religion Amanda Villepastour
5. ‘A sound that is missing’: writing Africa in the Anglophone Caribbean John McLeod
6. Troubling the white supremacy–black inferiority paradigm: Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown in Europe Sirpa Salenius
7. ‘Blind Tom’ abroad: race, disability, and transatlantic representations of Thomas Wiggins Whitney Womack Smith
8. Discursive encounters: dance, inscription, and modern identities in interwar Paris Tayana L. Hardin
9. Black dagoes? Italian immigrants’ racial status in the United States: an ecological view Stefano Luconi
10. Reading ‘things’ in Italian-America Lori Merish
Elizabeth T. Kenney is Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at Salem State University, MA, USA. She researches New England women and transatlantic cultural exchanges.
Sirpa Salenius is a Senior Lecturer in English Studies at the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland. Her research examines gender, race, and identity in the transatlantic context.
Whitney Womack Smith is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Writing at Miami University of Ohio, USA. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century transatlantic women’s writing, especially issues of class, race, and authorship.