Where Do We Go from Here? The Implications of Textual Migrations

Monique-Adelle Callahan

in Between the Lines

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199743063
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895021 | DOI:

Series: Imagining the Americas

Where Do We Go from Here? The Implications of Textual Migrations

Show Summary Details


This chapter ultimately maintains that any comparative project runs the risk of reinforcing the very boundaries it claims to deconstruct. Afrodescendente literature does not stand in opposition to “other” literatures, but rather represents variant attempts to use language poetically to reconstruct history and, in doing so, to impose a vision of how the future should be. Frances Harper, Cristina Ayala, and Frances Harper’s engagement with language goes beyond specific formal or thematic considerations, ultimately placing language itself under the microscope. In doing so, these poets help us to see how poetics play a role in the construction of historical memory. During the critical years leading up to the turn of the twentieth century, the project of nation building called on the resources of intellectuals and poets alike. Frances Harper, Cristina Ayala and Auta de Souza’s poetry actively destabilized myths about afrodescendente peoples. Their poetry also provided a foundation for a viable tradition of afrodescendente poetry by women and demonstrated the influence of poetry on the process of nation-building and the construction of gender and race at the turn of the century.

Keywords: Minerva; Cuba; Brazil; United States; afrodescendente; hemispheric; Afro-Brazilian; African American; poetry; transnational

Chapter.  4655 words. 

Subjects: Literature

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.