This dissertation explores the self-representation of Afro-diasporic subjects in the Americas through the kaleidoscopic unsaid. In this metaphor the kaleidoscope is the global power structure while the unsaid is the articulation that emerges for these subjects within this world order. Using three case studies that reveal how the power structure shifts and moves within the local structures, I show how Black subjects constantly navigate a self-representation that is malleable and constantly shifting that both re-inscribes and resists the power schema. In the first chapter I demonstrate how the Autobiografía de un esclavo (1836) of Juan Francisco Manzano encounters issues of voice and agency for the former enslaved person. The second chapter engages with memory and trauma of Black subjects in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2006) by Junot Díaz and in The Farming of Bones (1996) by Edwidge Danticat. Finally, with the films Pelo malo (2013) by Mariana Rondón and La playa D.C. (2012) by Juan Andrés Arango Garcia I show how the Black male body and hair fluid sites of resistance. Together these three chapters show how the subjects in these cultural productions maneuver in such a way that showcases their multifaceted reality, pushing against the often one-dimensional representations that are imposed on them. Ultimately this dissertation attempts to decolonize stagnant representations of Black bodies in the Americas.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2019. Major: Hispanic and Luso Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics. Advisors: Ana Forcinito, Ana Paula Ferreira. 1 computer file (PDF); iii, 175 pages.
Ramos Flores, Hector.
The Kaleidoscopic Unsaid: Voice, Memory, and Body of the Afro-Americas.
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