Cambria Press New Book Announcement: Transatlantic Memories of Slavery: Remembering The Past, Changing The Future by Professors Elisa Bordin and Anna Scacchi could not be timelier.
Just last week, nearly 40,000 people signed a petition to demand that a slave memorial in South Carolina be removed because it invokes “in the white community feelings of shame, humiliation and offense, serving as a constant reminder of the dark history of slavery.” Only a few months before this, the news broke out that actor Ben Affleck had requested that slave ownership in his ancestry be suppressed in the PBS genealogy program Finding Your Roots. Such developments call into question the memory of slavery—can it serve a constructive purpose?
The new book Transatlantic Memories of Slavery sheds light on the ways local countermemories have interacted with and responded to hegemonic narratives of slavery. It takes a fresh look at these sensitive issues by exploring heroic slave memorials, white family sagas, young-adult literature on slavery, Latin American telenovelas and filmic narrations within and beyond Hollywood.
Just a few of the works examined in this fascinating book include Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, Haile Gerima’s Sankofa, Julio Travieso Serrano’s El Polvo Y El Oro, Carlos Diegues’s Ganga Zumba and Quilombo, James Berry’s Ajeemah And His Son, Avi’s Something Upstairs, Ana Maria Machado’s Do Outro Mundo, and Walter Mosley’s 47.
What emerges is a multifarious set of memories, which keep changing according to generation, race, gender, nation, and political urgency; this indicates the advancing of a dynamic, mobilized memorialization of slavery that desires to move beyond mourning toward a stand for justice.
Transatlantic Memories of Slavery also offers a critical, global perspective because it covers Brazil as well as the French, English, and Spanish Caribbean alongside the United States and Europe. The variety of investigative approaches (ranging from cinema, popular culture, and visual culture studies to anthropology and literary studies) provides an important, multifaceted approach to examining how the memory of slavery is being represented and received. This book expands and deepens the current understanding of the slave past and how it is reimagined today.
This book is in the Cambria Studies in Slavery Book Series, headed by Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University).
Transatlantic Memories of Slavery is available in print and e-book formats.
For more information and to watch the promotional trailer for the book, visit the Cambria Press website.
About Cambria Press
Cambria Press is an innovative publisher of groundbreaking academic research and and home to the works of Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian and world-renowned professors. Cambria’s award-winning books have earned outstanding reviews in leading journals and other publications, such as the Times Literary Supplement.