Event Title

Black Feminine Identity Construction: Human Rights Claims Through Literary Resistance

Location

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Start Date

8-11-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

8-11-2017 10:00 AM

Description

Brazil’s colonial and postcolonial history is characterized by the participation of different ethnic groups in the creation of the nation. This participation, however, bears the imprint of different forms of violence, such as ethnocide and slavery and exclusionary practices. Nowadays, literary production such as Vozes Mulheres (Women’s Voices) by Afro-Brazilian writer Conceição Evaristo (1990) and Não vou mais lavar os pratos (I Will no Longer Do the Dishes) by Afro-Brazilian author Cristiane Sobral (2001) delves into the ways Afro-Brazilian women positively (re)signify gender and race identities. The poems posit the female Afro-Brazilian subject as an agent of both her individual life-story and within her society. The texts therefore propose that Afro-Brazilian women have the right (and should claim this right) to construct subjectivities that surpass the confines dictated by socio-cultural stereotypes. As such, I argue that Evaristo’s and Sobral’s poems demonstrate how Afro-Brazilian women’s literature can function as a tool that symbolically questions and undermines historical oppression of Brazil’s black community. In this manner, this type of literature operates a forum in which to claim human rights for members of said community. Reading poems such as those by Evaristo, Sobral and other Afro-Brazilian women writers through the theoretical lens of human rights discourse, especially those of the second generation, serves to understand and problematize ongoing repressive and exploitative social practices present in Brazilian society.

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Nov 8th, 9:00 AM Nov 8th, 10:00 AM

Black Feminine Identity Construction: Human Rights Claims Through Literary Resistance

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Brazil’s colonial and postcolonial history is characterized by the participation of different ethnic groups in the creation of the nation. This participation, however, bears the imprint of different forms of violence, such as ethnocide and slavery and exclusionary practices. Nowadays, literary production such as Vozes Mulheres (Women’s Voices) by Afro-Brazilian writer Conceição Evaristo (1990) and Não vou mais lavar os pratos (I Will no Longer Do the Dishes) by Afro-Brazilian author Cristiane Sobral (2001) delves into the ways Afro-Brazilian women positively (re)signify gender and race identities. The poems posit the female Afro-Brazilian subject as an agent of both her individual life-story and within her society. The texts therefore propose that Afro-Brazilian women have the right (and should claim this right) to construct subjectivities that surpass the confines dictated by socio-cultural stereotypes. As such, I argue that Evaristo’s and Sobral’s poems demonstrate how Afro-Brazilian women’s literature can function as a tool that symbolically questions and undermines historical oppression of Brazil’s black community. In this manner, this type of literature operates a forum in which to claim human rights for members of said community. Reading poems such as those by Evaristo, Sobral and other Afro-Brazilian women writers through the theoretical lens of human rights discourse, especially those of the second generation, serves to understand and problematize ongoing repressive and exploitative social practices present in Brazilian society.