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American History in Transition

From Religion to Science


Yoshinari Yamaguchi

In American History in Transition, Yoshinari Yamaguchi provides fresh insights into early efforts in American history writing, ranging from Jeremy Belknap’s Massachusetts Historical Society to Emma Willard’s geographic history and Francis Parkman’s history of deep time to Henry Adams’s thermodynamic history. Although not a well-organized set of professional researchers, these historians shared the same concern: the problems of temporalization and secularization in history writing.
As the time-honored framework of sacred history was gradually outdated, American historians at that time turned to individual facts as possible evidence for a new generalization, and tried different “scientific” theories to give coherency to their writings. History writing was in its transitional phase, shifting from religion to science, deduction to induction, and static to dynamic worldview.

Knowledge of the Pragmatici

Legal and Moral Theological Literature and the Formation of Early Modern Ibero-America


Edited by Thomas Duve and Otto Danwerth

Knowledge of the pragmatici sheds new light on pragmatic normative literature (mainly from the religious sphere), a genre crucial for the formation of normative orders in early modern Ibero-America. Long underrated by legal historical scholarship, these media – manuals for confessors, catechisms, and moral theological literature – selected and localised normative knowledge for the colonial worlds and thus shaped the language of normativity.

The eleven chapters of this book explore the circulation and the uses of pragmatic normative texts in the Iberian peninsula, in New Spain, Peru, New Granada and Brazil. The book reveals the functions and intellectual achievements of pragmatic literature, which condensed normative knowledge, drawing on medieval scholarly practices of ‘epitomisation’, and links the genre with early modern legal culture.

Contributors are: Manuela Bragagnolo, Agustín Casagrande, Otto Danwerth, Thomas Duve, José Luis Egío, Renzo Honores, Gustavo César Machado Cabral, Pilar Mejía, Christoph H. F. Meyer, Osvaldo Moutin, and David Rex Galindo.

Reading(s) / Across / Borders

Studies in Anglophone Borders Criticism


Edited by Ciaran Ross

This collection emphasizes a cross-disciplinary approach to the relevance of borders and bordering as a spatial paradigm in Anglophone studies. It sets out to provide a critical counter-narrative to the 1990s globalization argument of a “borderless” world by insisting on the significant roles borders play. The essays range in subject matter from geography, history, British and American literature to painting and Reggae music and map out different conceptualisations of the border: place, line, process, contact zones, etc. The volume’s cross-border “narrative” serves as a point of communication between the local and the global, between Europe and America, between different literary and artistic genres, thus challenging the divides of geography and literature, between “real” territorial borders and their “fictional” counterparts.

Global Healing

Literature, Advocacy, Care


Karen Laura Thornber

In Global Healing: Literature, Advocacy, Care, Karen Laura Thornber analyzes how narratives from diverse communities globally engage with a broad variety of diseases and other serious health conditions and advocate for empathic, compassionate, and respectful care that facilitates healing and enables wellbeing.

The three parts of this book discuss writings from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania that implore societies to shatter the devastating social stigmas which prevent billions from accessing effective care; to increase the availability of quality person-focused healthcare; and to prioritize partnerships that facilitate healing and enable wellbeing for both patients and loved ones.

Thornber’s Global Healing remaps the contours of comparative literature, world literature, the medical humanities, and the health humanities.

Empirical Form and Religious Function

Apparition Narratives of the Early English Enlightenment


Michael Dopffel

Empirical Form and Religious Function provides a fresh perspective on the rise of empirical apparition narratives in the Anglophone world of the Early Enlightenment era.
Drawing on both well-established and previously unknown narrative sources, Michael Dopffel here offers a fundamental reappraisal of one of the defining literary genres of the 17th and 18th century. Intricately connected to the evolving discourses of natural philosophy, Protestant religion and popular literature, the narratives portrayed in this work form a hybrid genre whose interpretations and literary functions retain the ambiguity of the apparitions. Simultaneously an empirically approachable phenomena and a religious experience, witnesses and writers translated the spiritual characteristics of apparitions into distinct literary forms, profoundly shaping modern conceptions of ghosts, whether factual or fictional, ever since.


Ryan R. Gladwin

Although the 19th century is often called the great century of Protestant mission, the 20th century was Latin America’s great century of Protestant growth, expansion, and diversification. It was the century that gave rise to vast societal changes, the realization of systemic poverty, the exponential growth of Pentecostalism, and the emergence of Latin American Protestant Theology (LAPT). Ryan R. Gladwin provides a cogent introduction to LAPT for students and scholars alike. The text offers a lucid analysis of the landscape of LAPT through an in-depth historical-theological engagement of the three dominant theological streams (Liberal, Evangelical, and Pentecostal) and how these streams understand themselves through the primary lens of ‘mission.’ The text also notes the contributions as well as deficiencies of these streams in the hope to signal a possible path towards an integral, transformative, contextual, and decolonial theological voice.

Denver’s Chinatown 1875-1900

Gone But Not Forgotten


Jingyi Song

Denver’s Chinatown 1875-1900: Gone But Not Forgotten explores the coming of the Chinese to the Western frontier and their experiences in Denver during its early development from a supply station for the mining camps to a flourishing urban center. The complexity of race, class, immigration, politics, and economic policies interacted dynamically and influenced the life of early Chinese settlers in Denver. The Denver Riot, as a consequence of political hostility and racial antagonism against the Chinese, transformed the life of Denver’s Chinese, eventually leading to the disappearance of Denver's Chinatown. But the memory of a neighbored that was part of the colorful and booming urban center remains.

Filipino American Transnational Activism

Diasporic Politics among the Second Generation


Edited by Robyn M. Rodriguez

Filipino American Transnational Activism: Diasporic Politics among the Second Generation offers an account of how Filipinos born or raised in the United States often defy the multiple assimilationist agendas that attempt to shape their understandings of themselves. Despite conditions that might lead them to reject any kind of relationship to the Philippines in favor of a deep rootedness in the United States, many forge linkages to the “homeland” and are actively engaged in activism and social movements transnationally. Though it may well be true that most Filipino Americans have an ambivalent relationship to the Philippines, many of the chapters of this book show that other possibilities for belonging and imaginaries of “home” are being crafted and pursued.

The Citizenship Experiment  

Contesting the Limits of Civic Equality and Participation in the Age of Revolutions


René Koekkoek

The Citizenship Experiment explores the fate of citizenship ideals in the Age of Revolutions. While in the early 1790s citizenship ideals in the Atlantic world converged, the twin shocks of the Haitian Revolution and the French Revolutionary Terror led the American, French, and Dutch publics to abandon the notion of a shared, Atlantic, revolutionary vision of citizenship. Instead, they forged conceptions of citizenship that were limited to national contexts, restricted categories of voters, and ‘advanced’ stages of civilization. Weaving together the convergence and divergence of an Atlantic revolutionary discourse, debates on citizenship, and the intellectual repercussions of the Terror and the Haitian Revolution, Koekkoek offers a fresh perspective on the revolutionary 1790s as a turning point in the history of citizenship.

Beyond the Legacy of the Missionaries and East Indians

The Impact of the Presbyterian Church in the Caribbean


Jerome Teelucksingh

In Beyond the Legacy of the Missionaries and East Indians, Jerome Teelucksingh offers a revisionist perspective of the role of the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad. He is particularly interested in social mobility as regards the Indo-Caribbean diaspora in the era following the First World War. He argues that the Presbyterian Church in the Caribbean was particularly interested in women’s rights. As such, he examines the dynamic between local expertise and Canadian missionary work in such social uplift processes.

Global Southeast Asian Diasporas

Memory, Movement, and Modernities across Hemispheres

Edited by Richard Chu, Augusto F. Espiritu and Mariam Lam

Series Editors:
Richard T. Chu, University of Massachusetts
Augusto F. Espiritu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mariam Lam, University of California, Riverside

For some time now, studies on Southeast Asians have often situated the experiences of these peoples within the territorial boundaries of their countries and within the regional framework of Southeast Asia. Geographically fixed to the Philippines, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brunei, East Timor, and Singapore, Southeast Asia emerges, as critical area studies underscore, as a site marked by multivalent politics, histories, and cultures. The processes of globalization, neoliberalism, and war have unmoored such fixities in the Eastern as much as in the Western Hemispheres, causing tectonic shifts in the constructions of memory, massive population movements and migrations, and ever new projects and worldings responding to various regimes of the “modern.” Whereas Southeast Asian studies may remain regionally focused, Southeast Asian American studies must increase its focus on the understudied complex, transnational flows and manifold expressions of the Southeast Asian diasporic experience.

Attendant to the rise of the Southeast Asian diasporas, Global Southeast Asian Diasporas (SEAD) provides a peer-reviewed forum for studies that specifically investigate the histories and experiences of Southeast Asian diasporic subjects across hemispheres. We especially invite studies that critically focus on the Southeast Asian experience from a transnational, comparative, and international perspective. SEAD welcomes submissions from a wide array of disciplinary fields (including history, sociology, political science, cultural studies, literary studies, and anthropology, among others) that innovatively interrogate themes such as refugees, political asylum, gender/sexuality, colonialism, globalization, empire, nation/nationalism, ethnicity, and transnationalism.

Manuscripts should be at least 90,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography). Manuscripts may also include illustrations, tables, and other visual material. The editors will consider proposals for original monographs, edited collections, translations, and critical primary source editions.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts by email to the publisher Chunyan Shu.

Beirut to Carnival City

Reading Rawi Hage


Edited by Krzysztof Majer

Beirut to Carnival City: Reading Rawi Hage is a pioneering collection of commissioned critical essays on the work of the highly relevant Canadian writer. With four acclaimed novels and scattered short fictions, the Lebanese-born Hage has become a formidable literary force. The volume is an attempt to situate his fiction not only in the context of Lebanese diasporic writing, but that of trans-geographical literature, as well as to emphasize his progressive dissociation from the realist paradigm. The goal is also to correct an imbalance of critical attention by refocusing on Hage’s more recent, equally challenging work. The richness of Hage’s fiction is attested to by the diversity of thematic concerns and critical approaches. The volume reflects the worldwide range of Canada-oriented research, and places European perspectives alongside North American and Lebanese ones. Significantly, it features an original essay authored by Hage’s literary peer, Madeleine Thien.

Contributors: F. Elizabeth Dahab, André Forget, Kyle Gamble, Syrine Hout, Ewa Macura-Nnamdi, Krzysztof Majer, Lisa Marchi, Judit Molnár, Alex Ramon, Rita Sakr, Dima Samaha, Madeleine Thien, Ewa Urbaniak-Rybicka

El éxodo español de 1939

Una topología cultural del exilio


Mónica Jato

El éxodo español de 1939: Una topología cultural del exilio explores the cultural strategies employed by Spanish Republican refugees in adapting to radical changes in their environment and transforming the new spaces into habitable places. Thus the monograph highlights the centrality of the concept of place in the reconstruction of the lost home by analysing the various stages of the relocation of culture in exile: from French internment camps, on board ships, and finally to residence in Mexico.
Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, Jato contends that the experience of space in exile is relational, and that the staging posts described in each chapter have no meaning unless they are interconnected as integral parts of a cultural topology.

En El éxodo español de 1939: Una topología cultural del exilio Mónica Jato da cuenta de las variadas estrategias culturales empleadas por los refugiados republicanos españoles para adaptarse a las condiciones de sus nuevos entornos con el fin de transformarlos en lugares habitables. El libro indaga así la centralidad del concepto de lugar en la reconstrucción del hogar perdido y lo hace a través de sus diferentes etapas: en los campos de internamiento franceses, en los barcos rumbo a América y durante el asentamiento en tierras mexicanas.
La experiencia del exilio es abordada aquí desde una perspectiva interdisciplinaria que pone de manifiesto el aspecto relacional de estas pausas espaciales cuya interconexión define esta particular topología cultural.


Edited by Patricia Vilches

In Negotiating Space in Latin America, edited by Patricia Vilches, contributors approach spatial practices from multidisciplinary angles. Drawing on cultural studies, film studies, gender studies, geography, history, literary studies, sociology, tourism, and current events, the volume advances innovative conceptualizations on spatiality and treats subjects that range from nineteenth century-nation formation to twenty-first century social movements.
Latin America has endured multiple spatial transformations, which contributors analyze from the perspective of the urban, the rural, the market, and the political body. The essays collected here signal how spatial processes constantly shape societal interactions and illuminate the complex relationships between humans and space, emphasizing the role of spatiality in our actions and perceptions.

Contributors: Gail A. Bulman, Ana María Burdach Rudloff, James Craine, Angela N. DeLutis-Eichenberger, Carolina Di Próspero, Gustavo Fares, Jennifer Hayward, Silvia Hirsch, Edward Jackiewicz, Magdalena Maiz-Peña, Lucía Melgar, Silvia Nagy-Zekmi, Luis H. Peña, Jorge Saavedra Utman, Rosa Tapia, Juan de Dios Torralbo Caballero, Tera Trujillo, Patricia Vilches, and Gareth Wood.


Carlos Eduardo Martins

The Marxist Theory of Dependency (TMD) managed to articulate the insertion of peripheral societies into the international market with the capital accumulation processes of each country. It has become an essential theory for the understanding of our societies. Since Ruy Mauro Marini laid out its foundations, many transformations have occurred in global capitalism and in our societies, leaving us the challenge of updating it against a more complex context.
The real test of theory is its adequacy as an instrument of understanding contemporary reality. The TMD has been enriched and renewed from this work of Carlos Eduardo Martins. It considers capitalism from the perspective of anti-capitalism, dependence from the standpoint of emancipation and reality through a vision for its revolutionary transformation.
Emir Sader - CLACSO General Secretary (2006-2012)

This book is a revised edition of a work first published in 2011 as Globalização, dependência e neoliberalismo na América Latina by Boitempo Editorial, São Paulo, Brazil.

La teoría marxista de la dependencia (TMD) logró articular la inserción de las sociedades periféricas en el mercado internacional con los procesos de acumulación de capital de cada país. Se ha convertido en una teoría esencial para la comprensión de nuestras sociedades. Desde que Ruy Mauro Marini expuso sus fundamentos, muchas transformaciones ocurrieron en el capitalismo global y en nuestras sociedades, poniendo el desafío de actualización en condiciones más complejas
La prueba real de la teoría es su adecuación como instrumento de comprensión de la realidad contemporánea. La TMD sale enriquecida y renovada de esta obra de Carlos Eduardo Martins dedicada a pensar el capitalismo bajo la perspectiva del anticapitalismo, la dependencia en la óptica de la emancipación y la realidad en la perspectiva de su transformación revolucionaria.
Emir Sader - Secretario General CLACSO (2006-2012)


Daniela Spenser

Vicente Lombardo Toledano was the founder of numerous labour union organisations in Mexico and Latin America between the 1920s to the 1960s. He was not only an organiser but also a broker between the unions, the government, and business leaders, able to disentangle difficult conflicts. He cooperated closely with the governments of Mexico and other Latin American nations and worked with the representatives of the Soviet Union when he considered it useful. As a result he was alternately seen as a government stooge or a communist, even though he was never a member of the party or of the Mexican government administration.

Daniela Spenser's is the first biography of Lombardo Toledano based on his extensive private papers, on primary sources from European, Mexican and American archives, and on personal interviews. Her even-keeled portrayal of the man counters previous hagiographies and/or vilifications.

New Light on the Old Colony

Plymouth, the Dutch Context of Toleration, and Patterns of Pilgrim Commemoration


Jeremy Bangs

Colonial government, Pilgrims, the New England town, Native land, the background of religious toleration, and the changing memory recalling the Pilgrims – all are examined and stereotypical assumptions overturned in 15 essays by the foremost authority on the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony.

Thorough research revises the story of colonists and of the people they displaced. Bangs’ book is required reading for the history of New England, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts Natives, the Mennonite contribution to religious toleration in Europe and New England, and the history of commemoration, from paintings and pageants to living history and internet memes. If Pilgrims were radical, so is this book.

Power and Impotence

A History of South America under Progressivism (1998–2016)


Fabio Luis Barbosa dos Santos

Fabio Luis Barbosa dos Santos delves into the history of South America to understand the rise and fall of the so-called 'progressive governments'. In the wake of mobilizations against neoliberalism in the 1990s, most countries elected presidents identified with change. However, less than twenty years after Hugo Chávez's victory, this trend seems to be reversed. The times of Lula are now Bolsonaro's. What happened? Supported by an extensive bibliography and hundreds of interviews, the author addresses each South American country, including those who did not elect progressives, in addition to Cuba. The national focus is enriched by an analysis of regional integration attempts, providing a detailed and necessary recent history of the subcontinent.

Originally published in Portuguese as Uma história da onda progressista sul-americana (1998-2016) by Elefante, São Paulo, 2018.

Fabio Luis Barbosa dos Santos mergulha na história da América do Sul para compreender a ascensão e queda dos chamados ‘governos progressistas’. Na esteira de mobilizações contra o neoliberalismo nos anos 1990, a maioria dos países da região elegeu presidentes identificados com a mudança. Contudo, menos de vinte anos depois da vitória de Hugo Chávez, essa onda chega ao fim. Os tempos de Lula agora são de Bolsonaro. O que aconteceu? Apoiado em extensa bibliografia e centenas de entrevistas, o autor aborda cada país, inclusive os que não elegeram progressistas, além de Cuba. O enfoque nacional é enriquecido por uma análise das tentativas de integração regional, oferecendo uma detalhada e necessária história recente do subcontinente.

United States in a World in Crisis

The Geopolitics of Precarious Work and Super-Exploitation


Adrián Sotelo Valencia

This work by the distinguished Mexican theorist Adrián Sotelo Valencia explores new dimensions of super-exploitation in a context of the structural crisis of capitalism and imperialism. Steeped in a new generation of radical dependency theory and informed by the legacy of his own mentor, the famous Brazilian Marxist Ruy Mauro Marini, Sotelo rigorously examines prevailing theoretical debates regarding the expansion of super-exploitation in advanced capitalism. Building upon a Marinist framework, he goes beyond Marini to identify new forms of super-exploitation that shape the growing precarity of work. Sotelo demonstrates the inextricable link between reliance upon fictitious capital and the intensification of super-exploitation. Poignant contrasts are drawn between US capitalism and Mexico that reveal the nefarious new forms of imperialist dependency.


Steve J. Shone

Steve Shone’s Women of Liberty explores the many overlaps between ten radical, feminist, and anarchist thinkers: Tennie C. Claflin, Noe Itō, Louise Michel, Rose Pesotta, Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mollie Steimer, Lois Waisbrooker, Mercy Otis Warren, and Victoria C. Woodhull. In an age of great and understandable dissatisfaction with governments around the world, Shone illuminates both the lost wisdom of the anarchists and the considerable contribution of women to intellectual thought, influences that are currently missing from many classes documenting the history of political theory.

Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina

Contesting Neo-Liberalism by Occupying Companies, Creating Cooperatives, and Recuperating Autogestión


Marcelo Vieta

In Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina, Marcelo Vieta homes in on the emergence and consolidation of Argentina’s empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (ERTs, worker-recuperated enterprises), a workers’ occupy movement that surged at the turn-of-the-millennium in the thick of the country’s neo-liberal crisis. Since then, around 400 companies have been taken over and converted to cooperatives by almost 16,000 workers. Grounded in class-struggle Marxism and a critical sociology of work, the book situates the ERT movement in Argentina’s long tradition of working-class activism and the broader history of workers’ responses to capitalist crisis. Beginning with the voices of the movement’s protagonists, Vieta ultimately develops a compelling social theory of autogestión – a politically prefigurative and ethically infused notion of workers’ self-management that unleashes radical social change for work organisations, surrounding communities, and beyond.

Christopher Aldous

This article scrutinizes the controversy surrounding the resumption of Japanese Antarctic whaling from 1946, focusing on the negotiations and concessions that underline the nature of the Allied Occupation as an international undertaking. Britain, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand objected to Japanese pelagic whaling, chiefly on the grounds of its past record of wasteful and inefficient operations. Their opposition forced the Natural Resources Section of General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, to increase the number of Allied inspectors on board the two Japanese whaling factories from one to two, and to respond carefully to the criticisms they made of the conduct of Japanese whaling. U.S. sensitivity to international censure caused the Occupation to encourage the factory vessels to prioritize oil yields over meat and blubber for domestic consumption. Moreover, General Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. Occupation commander, summarily rejected a proposal to increase the number of Japanese fleets from two to three in 1947. With its preponderance of power, the United States successfully promoted Japanese Antarctic whaling, but a tendency to focus only on outcomes obscures the lengthy and difficult processes that enabled Japanese whaling expeditions to take place on an annual basis from late 1946.

James I. Matray

Jeffrey Crean

In the decade following its founding in 1955, the men who led the foreign policy lobby the Committee of One Million Against the Admission of Communist China to the United Nations faced little concerted opposition to their attempts at preventing even the most minor alterations in the U.S. policy of both isolating and containing Communist China. But beginning with the Fulbright Hearings on China in March 1966, the trend of informed opinion moved sharply against them, as liberal Democrats became newly emboldened and moderates in both parties switched sides, inverting the bipartisan consensus against change the Committee relied upon. The 1968 election of former Vice President Richard M. Nixon, who had served alongside Committee hero John Foster Dulles, seemed to offer them newfound hope. But when the “New Nixon” proved unreceptive to the entreaties of his one-time allies, the Committee mounted a furious public relations campaign to rally belatedly the right-wing base and influence public opinion. Its failure illustrated both the limits of power of American conservatives over U.S. foreign policy while détente was ascendant, and the discontinuity in priorities between the Old Right from which the Committee emerged and the New Right that left it behind.

Carl A. Gabrielson

After seventy years, U.S. bases in Japan continue to inspire ambivalence, resentment, resistance, and even fear for many Japanese people. To improve the public image of the U.S. armed forces, base administrators create training materials designed to promote cultural awareness, prevent troops’ crimes, and discourage bad behavior. But how does the organization whose purpose is to violently oppose foreign threats to U.S. interests conceive of cultural understanding and sensitivity? Taking as a case study the materials that U.S. Marine Corps bases in Japan produce to instruct newcomers, this article argues that such materials tend to equip base personnel preemptively with strategies for erasing, coopting, and dismissing local anti-base perspectives. Specifically, these materials depict Japanese people as friendly supporters of the military, as irrational and brainwashed puppets of anti-military political forces, or simply as decorative pieces of the cultural backdrop. It concludes that the cultural education materials the U.S. Marine Corps produces at its bases in Japan not only help marines to feel that they have or deserve the support of the Japanese people in carrying out the U.S. military agenda abroad, but that they also promote a sense of cultural superiority that fosters the very behaviors that cultural training materials are meant to prevent.

Falu Bakrania

Extending the archive of South Asian American visual culture to the kinds that community activists use in public spaces expands our understanding of how such cultures contest dominant discourses of home. In this article, I examine how the uses of theatre, photography, and clothing by the San Francisco Bay Area-based “Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour,” and the anti-domestic violence exhibit I Dare to Air created by Maitri, generate particular affective relationships to public and private space. These relationships in turn produce resistant knowledges of “home” that challenge the racist logics of the Trump administration and the violent logics of a rising Indian American capitalist class. The work of community activists thus demands that we invigorate space as an analytic through which we theorize the import of South Asian American visual culture.

Alison J. Miller

The paintings of Gajin Fujita (b. 1972) express the urban Asian diasporic experience in vivid images filled with historic and contemporary cultural references. Creating an amalgamation of contemporary sports figures, hip-hop culture, historic Japanese painting conventions, street art, and the visual language of Edo Japan (1600–1868), Fujita reflects his diverse experiences as a citizen of twenty-first century Los Angeles in his paintings. This article introduces the artist and provides a nuanced examination of his works vis-à-vis an understanding of the larger issues addressed in both Edo artistic practice and contemporary street art culture. By specifying the agents of power and performance in Fujita’s works, a greater understanding of the hybrid world of his colourful graphic paintings can be found.

Richard Price and Christopher D.E. Willoughby


In 1857, Harvard professor and anatomist Jeffries Wyman traveled to Suriname to collect specimens for his museum at Harvard (later the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, founded in 1866 and curated by Wyman). Though his main interest concerned amphibians, he had a secondary interest in ethnology and, apparently, a desire to demonstrate current theories of racial “degeneration” among the African-descended population, particularly the “Bush Negroes.” This research note presents a letter he wrote his sister from Suriname, excerpts from his field diary, and sketches he made while visiting the Saamaka and Saa Kiiki Ndyuka. Wyman’s brief account of his visit suggests that Saamakas’ attitudes toward outside visitors (whether scientists, missionaries, or government officials) remained remarkable stable, from the time of the 1762 peace treaty until the Suriname civil war of the 1980s.

An Intolerance of Idleness

British Disaster “Relief” in the Caribbean 1831–1907

Oscar Webber


Despite the fact that disasters, usually induced by hurricanes, were a near-annual experience in the nineteenth-century British-controlled Caribbean, the immediate response of white elites (plantation owners and colonial officers) to these events has remained largely underexamined. This article fills that lacuna by examining the concerns that, across the long nineteenth century, informed British responses to some of the most devastating nature-induced disasters in this period. Though the damages wrought by these events always necessitated some form of humanitarian relief, across the period 1831–1907 the survival of labor regimes and the plantation economy always remained the paramount concern of British officials. White elites viewed their minority control over colonies in the region as contingent on their ability to make African-Caribbean people labor for them. Consequently, because disasters so often destroyed plantations and other sites of labor, colonial responses to disaster were primarily informed by a desire to coerce the African-Caribbean population back to work. Reflecting a preoccupation with “idleness” that was mirrored in domestic poor relief and disaster relief throughout the British Empire, white elites often attempted to withhold needed foodstuffs and materials for rebuilding from the African-Caribbean population until they re-engaged in labor for the colonial state. This article, through showing that a preoccupation with idleness remained central to colonial disaster response, reveals an underexamined continuity between the eras of slavery and emancipation.

Nalini Mohabir

This article focuses on the kala pani (dark waters) as a deathscape particular to indentured labourers and their descendants. Following a historical discussion of representations of the kala pani, the author turns to contemporary artists Maya Mackrandilal and Andil Gosine to explore how their artistic engagements are rerouting the flows of the kala pani away from discourses of caste stigma or the finality of (social) death to a reckoning of past and future time for those living in the diasporic space of North America.

Kreyòl anba Duvalier, 1957–1986

A Circuitous Solution to the Creole Problem?

Matthew Robertshaw


The Duvalier presidencies were a devastating chapter in the history of Haiti. There is, however, one aspect of Haitian society that went through unexpected progress in the midst of these despotic regimes. Haitian Creole has long been excluded from formal and written contexts, despite being the only language common to all Haitians. The debate over whether Creole should be used in formal contexts for the sake of the country’s development and democratization began in earnest at the start of the twentieth century but was far from being resolved when François Duvalier came to power in 1957. Surprisingly, perceptions of Creole changed drastically during the Duvalier era, so that by the time Jean-Claude Duvalier fell from power in 1986 the status of Creole had improved markedly, so much that it had become typical for Haitians to use the language, along with French, in virtually all contexts.

Marsha Pearce

Although a notion of creolization is used as a lens through which dynamic processes of exchange in the Caribbean are explored, Caribbean Creole culture and identity are, more often than not, understood in terms of a mix of expressions derived from Africa and Europe. This framing of Creole culture marginalizes the Asian diaspora in the Caribbean. People of Asian ancestry are positioned at a sensory threshold, a barely perceptible space. This article considers how that space is challenged and reconfigured in art production, with a specific focus on the visual art practice of Trinidadian artist Susan Dayal, who is of Chinese and Indian ancestry. It deploys the Quaysay, or junction space, as an aesthetic metaphor—a notion appropriated from the iconic Trinidadian artist Carlisle Chang (1921–2001), who grew up at a crossroads called the Croisée (written as “Quaysay” by Chang) in the town of San Juan, Trinidad and Tobago.


Ryan Leano

Cultural workers have a vital role in making social change accessible to marginalized communities, through whatever art form. People may not connect with a theory-dense book on social change, but they will instantly connect to a song, a poem, or a visual art piece concerning social change. Art has the capacity to connect people, and the art cultural workers produce is passionately rooted in peoples’ struggles and hopes. It also gives relevance to marginalized communities’ struggles in ways that are accessible to them because they can identify with the stories and gives their struggles a voice.

Cultural workers view themselves as being deliberate in creating culture as an act of resistance to neocolonialism and imperialism, and much of the stories they tell though their creative work are not revealed in literature, society, and mainstream media. The concept of “cultural workers” is also to deconstruct the myth of artists working in isolation from the community. Cultural workers are not just artists, but more importantly are community organizers who are of and with the communities they work with.

One of the objectives for writing this chapter is to show how cultural work brings political consciousness to marginalized populations who do not have access to education, in other words, how cultural workers become educators of marginalized communities beyond the limitations of the classroom. Another objective is to show how cultural work is a tool for social change in the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines, a social movement that goes beyond the borders of the Philippines.


Joy Sales


Bayan Ko (my people/country),” focuses on the Katipunan ng mga Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP), the first national revolutionary mass organization of Filipinos in the United States that was directly linked to the Philippine left. With the onset of the Marcos dictatorship, Filipinos and their allies articulated a diasporic vision that linked homeland and domestic politics, the positionality of Filipinos in the homeland and in the diaspora, and the diaspora’s responsibility in supporting movements in the homeland. Sales documents how young activists in KDP became politicized through understanding their lived experiences as post-colonial subjects of U.S. empire, and how activists transformed this newfound consciousness into action by promoting the National Democratic Movement in the Filipino community. Through various efforts, such as their involvement in the Pilipino People’s Far West Convention, the Political Prisoners Program, and their ties to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, KDP represented an important experiment of integrating overseas Filipinos into leftist movements in the homeland and testing radical transnationalism in the Filipino American community. Sales argues that KDP strived to make local/homeland politics legible and possible for the Filipino community.