Gilberto Freyre: Social Theory in the Tropics

Posted in Biography, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2012-10-26 02:48Z by Steven

Gilberto Freyre: Social Theory in the Tropics

Peter Lang
261 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-906165-09-3
Softcover ISBN: 978-1-906165-04-8

Peter Burke
University of Cambridge

Maria Lúcia G. Pallares-Burke
Centre for Latin American Studies
University of Cambridge

Gilberto Freyre was arguably the most famous intellectual of twentieth-century Latin America. He was active as a sociologist, a historian, a journalist, a deputy in the Brazilian Assembly, a novelist, poet and artist. He was a cultural critic, with a good deal to say about architecture, past and present, and a public intellectual, whose pronouncements on race, region and empire – not to mention sex – made him famous in some quarters and notorious in others.

The Masters and the Slaves, his most famous work, went through forty editions and has been translated into nine languages, made into a comic book and a television miniseries, while two directors (one of them Robert Rossellini) planned to turn it into a film. Yet he is not well known outside Brazil. Freyre was a major social thinker, one of the few who have not come from Western Europe or the USA, and this book argues that we should take account of the pioneering work of this gifted intellectual. His ideas are of particular relevance today for both political and academic reasons. His interest in gender, ethnicity, hybridity, identity, globalization, and capitalism ensures that his ideas are still provocative and topical, and ready to be introduced to a wider audience.


  • The Importance Of Being Gilberto
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Masters and Slaves
  • A Public Intellectual
  • Empire and Republic
  • The Social Theorist
  • Gilberto Our Contemporary
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In the Middle, In Between: Cultural Hybridity, Community Rejection, and the Destabilization of Race in Percival Everett’s “Erasure”, Adam Mansbach’s “Angry Black White Boy”, and Danzy Senna’s “Caucasia”

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2011-09-01 23:54Z by Steven

In the Middle, In Between: Cultural Hybridity, Community Rejection, and the Destabilization of Race in Percival Everett’s “Erasure”, Adam Mansbach’s “Angry Black White Boy”, and Danzy Senna’s “Caucasia”

Howard University
84 pages
Publication Number: AAT 1495397
ISBN: 9781124728568

Laura R. Perez

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Howard University In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Department of English

Cultural hybridity, a term first introduced by post-colonial theorist Homi Bhabha, has been a shifting and difficult to define concept within academic discourse. My thesis will focus on cultural hybridity as the embodiment of a pluralistic identity that encompasses the characteristics or attributes of more than one culture or race. I will examine three contemporary literary works of racial satire—Percival Everett’s Erasure, Adam Mansbach’s Angry Black White Boy, and Danzy Senna’s Caucasiathat present culturally hybrid protagonists and explore the ways in which these protagonists are utilized to destabilize race. Furthermore, I will demonstrate the tensions that this destabilization creates through community rejections of each protagonists’ hybridity – tensions that become inherent to hybridity itself.

My exploration will include an analysis of the protagonists’ hybridity—the ways in which they do not fit into the existing notions of what blackness or whiteness is—and how this hybridity is marginalized by their communities. Following this, I will explicate the protagonists’ responses to their marginalization—their creation of dual identities or alter egos and the racial/psychoanalytic significance of this process. I will draw upon post-colonial and critical race theory writings, as well as Freudian and Lacanian theory, to frame my analysis. But most importantly, I will draw upon the work of scholars—including Marwan Kraidy, Jopi Nyman, Sabrine Broeck, Pnina Werbner, Peter Burke, and Robert Young—to theorize hybridity within my analysis.

Finally, I will examine the novels’ conclusions, during which the protagonists’ dual identities are forcefully merged, and demonstrate the lack of resolution that this merging creates. This examination will reveal that the community rejections of hybridity in each novel are, in themselves, impossible to mediate. Thus, I will prove that each protagonist’s hybrid positioning not only destabilizes race by challenging the concreteness of racial categorizations, but that this positioning, and the community’s response to it, also demonstrates the tensions inherent to hybridity itself. In this way, each text undermines the black-white binary, while also affirming the tensions that result from not willfully engaging in it.

Table of Contents

  • Thesis Committee
    • Background to the Problem
    • Statement of the Problem
    • Review of Literature
    • Theoretical Framework and Methodology
    • Plan of Research
    • Definition of Terms

Purchase the dissertation here.

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