Anti/Slavery, Colonialism and Aesthetics

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Sargasso journal, University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras
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submission deadline June 20, 2009
SARGASSO, a Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, and Culture published at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras is accepting submissions for an upcoming issue, "Anti/Slavery, Colonialism, and Aesthetics." We are looking for scholarship that touches on the early-colonial period in the Caribbean (15th -18th centuries) from fields of inquiry such as literature, linguistics, anthropology, and cultural studies; we also welcome work that is interdisciplinary in nature. Manuscripts are due by June 20, 2009, and should be sent to and Contributors will be notified of the status of their submission by August 15, 2009.

This issue of Sargasso will focus on the way that slavery in the Atlantic World, and the forms of antislavery which it engendered, was constitutive of colonial and imperial aesthetics. Research on the early-colonial period (informed by postcolonial studies within a trans-Atlantic studies framework) has begun to reveal the ways in which the cultures of masters, slaves, indigenous people, maroons, and others were imbricated from the very beginning of contact. Scholars such as Peter Hulme, Mary Louise Pratt, Sybille Fischer, Patrick Brantlinger, Felicity Nussbaum, Chris Bongie, and José Buscaglia-Salgado, among others, have illuminated the adhesions and fissures of (anti)colonial and imperial writing through various waves of conquest, genocide, slavery, and revolution in the region, emphasizing how racialized social relations --however disavowed, denied or silenced-- deeply inform the development of modern aesthetic categories. We are looking for papers that extend or build upon this work, particularly those that analyze art forms, material culture, or cultural expressions that have received less attention, such as performance/drama, visual arts, oral/aural, and / or music, in terms of its overt or covert links to the lives of enslaved, native, and other Caribbean people. Work that takes into consideration the history of racial ideologies and their dissemination through cultural production is strongly encouraged. Themes that might be addressed include, but are not limited to:

– Genre, (anti)slavery, genocide, and colonialism
– Aesthetics of revolution
– Haitian Revolution and Caribbean aesthetics
– Colonial violence and imperial aesthetics
– Slave revolt and liberatory aesthetics
– Visual representation, (anti)slavery, and colonialism
– Performance of race
– "Imperial gothic"
– Romanticism, (anti)slavery, revolution, and race
– Nationalism and (anti)slavery
– Postcolonial revisitations of histories of (anti)slavery and/or (anti)colonialism

Essays should be 10-20 pages and double-spaced. Abstracts of 120 words or less should accompany essays. B & W photos, illustrations, and other graphics can be included. Book reviews and review essays of recent scholarship on the Caribbean are also welcome. They should be approximately 1,000 and 2,000 words in length, respectively.
Sargasso has been edited at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras for more than 25 years. The journal features work on the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Caribbean and its multiple diasporas. For more information visit: