Afro-Mexican Constructions of Diaspora, Gender, Identity and Nation
Paulette Ramsay’s study analyses cultural and literary material produced by Afro-Mexicans on the Costa Chica de Guerrero y Oaxaca, Mexico, to undermine and overturn claims of mestizaje or Mexican homogeneity.
The interdisciplinary research draws on several theoretical constructs: cultural studies, linguistic anthropology, masculinity studies, gender studies, feminist criticisms, and broad postcolonial and postmodernist theories, especially as they relate to issues of belonging, diaspora, cultural identity, gender, marginalization, subjectivity and nationhood. The author points to the need to bring to an end all attempts at extending the discourse, whether for political or other reasons, that there are no identifiable Afro-descendants in Mexico. The undeniable existence of distinctively black Mexicans and their contributions to Mexican multiculturalism is patently recorded in these pages.
The analyses also aid the agenda of locating Afro-Mexican literary and cultural production within a broad Caribbean aesthetics, contributing to the expansion of the Caribbean as a broader cultural and historical space which includes Central and Latin America.
“This seminal work will provoke much-needed rehistoricization of the national histories relating to Mexico. . . . The varied theoretical paradigms used to frame the critical arguments add to the intellectual richness of the work. . . . This work is a critical and exhaustive study that significantly advances scholarship on Afro-Mexico . . . [and] forges an interdisciplinary conversation on blacks in the region like no other work before it.”
—Antonio D. Tillis, Professor of Hispanic Studies and Dean, School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs, College of Charleston
“The text excels in its reading of the popular poetry of Afro-Mexicans of Costa Chica and situates these texts in a clear and coherent way that will be greatly appreciated by students and scholars. The author contextualizes all of the texts (corridos and poetry) with careful analysis and interpretation. . . . This work represents the first comprehensive study of the literary/cultural production of Afro-Mexicans in book-length form.”
—Dorothy E. Mosby, Professor of Spanish, Latina/o, Latin American Studies, Mount Holyoke College
PAULETTE A. RAMSAY is Senior Lecturer in Spanish, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. She is an interdisciplinary academic who has published widely in the areas of Afro-Hispanic literature and culture.