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Fernando Arenas, "African and Brazilian Interconnections in the ‘Lusophone Transatlantic Matrix’"

Friday, March 12, 2010
12:00 AM
1644 SSWB (International Institute)

Fernando Arenas is Associate Professor of Lusophone African, Brazilian, and Portuguese Studies in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Utopias ofOtherness: Nationhood and Subjectivity in Portugal and Brazil (University of Minnesota Press, 2003) and co-editor together with Susan C. Quinlan of Lusosex: Gender and Sexuality in the Portuguese-Speaking World (University of Minnesota Press, 2002). He has been a visiting professor at Universidade Federal Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro) and at Harvard University. In 2005-06 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for the completion of the book manuscript, Lusophone Africa: Beyond Independence (forthcoming through the University of Minnesota Press, 2010). His new research project, “Between Immigration, Emigration andCitizenship: Cultural Imaginings at the Borderlines of Africa and Europe,” studies the contemporary cultural production of African immigrants and their descendants in Portugal in order to analyze the emergence of Afro-diasporic identities that are re-defining the boundaries between postcolonial Portugal and its former African colonies.“African and Brazilian Interconnections in the ‘Lusophone Transatlantic Matrix’” highlights not only the triangular relationships between Portugal, Brazil, and Portuguese-speaking Africa, but also the competing as well as complementary bilateral relationships between Brazil and Lusophone Africa, on the one hand, and Portugal and Lusophone Africa, on the other hand. It offers a cultural history of transatlantic Lusophone relations as well as a critical framework in order to explore the emergence and development of Lusophone African countries in relationship to Portugal and Brazil. These nations have been varyingly interconnected for several centuries through the experience of colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade, but more recently, through globalization. This lecture argues for the importance of considering alternative processes of globalization aside from those fostered by the world’s economic centers along a North/South axis and beyond the well-known hegemony of Anglophone cultures.