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The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination

Elizabeth Christine Russ

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780195377156
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199869480 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377156.001.0001

Series: Imagining The Americas

The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination

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The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination examines the persistent presence of the plantation in trans-American literatures of the last century. This book understands the plantation to be, not primarily a physical location, but rather an insidious ideological and psychological trope through which intersecting histories of the New World are told and retold. The permutations of this imagined (as opposed to real) site illuminate long-standing issues of concern in Latin American and transnational American studies. The book’s comparative analyses engage in debates over gender, race, and nation by emphasizing a series of differences: for example, between modern and postmodern imaginaries, the United States and Spanish America, and continental and island plantation societies. Moreover, it considers these debates from a culturally and ethnically diverse, woman-centered perspective that dialogues with influential male voices. In doing so, it reveals understudied aspects of how the language used to imagine plantation communities has been gendered, racialized, and eroticized in ways that oppose the domination of an ever-shifting “North” while also reproducing the subordinate place of female experiences and literary imaginings within the Americas. It argues not only for a reconsideration of the relationship between the U.S. South and the Spanish Caribbean—and the place of female writers within the traditions of these regions—but also for a reevaluation of our critical understanding of these traditions as a whole.

Keywords: plantation; north; south; race; gender; erotics; nation; community; modern; postmodern

Book.  272 pages. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination

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Modern Plantation Imaginaries in The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination

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Race and Romance in the Americas in The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination

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Women, Nation, and the “Problematic of Space” in The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination

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Postmodern Plantation Imaginaries in The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination

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New World Silences, New World Songs in The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination

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Redressing the Big House in The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination

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Conclusion in The Plantation in the Postslavery Imagination

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