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Circumventing Racialism through mulataje  

José F. Buscaglia-Salgado

Mulataje is a neologism, reclaimed in 2003 in Undoing Empire: Race and Nation in the Mulatto Caribbean by José F. Buscaglia-Salgado. Prior to this reclamation, the term was used sparingly and in a very limited way to refer to “racial mixing” in societies that were predominantly composed of Afro- and Euro-descendants in the Caribbean and Brazil. As such it was simply an adaptation and a synonym of mestizaje, used in the context of the Afro-diasporic populations of the Atlantic World. Conceptually reformulated, in its current acceptation, mulataje identifies a counterhegemonic culture that, since the earliest times in modernity, has moved against all colonialist calculations aimed at the possibility of moving beyond and leaving behind all things racial. As a most fundamental practice of being and of knowing informing individual self-conception and social action in the modern colonial world, mulataje speaks to the movements, great and small, individual and collective, that have attempted to outmaneuver all racial codes and racialist conventions as they have informed the distribution of labor and the allocation of natural resources and political rights past and present. Ultimately, the movement of mulataje points to the possibility of dethroning race as a valid and privileged category of knowledge.

Article

Representations of Women in Southern Literature  

Pearl Amelia McHaney

The myths of southern women include mammies, belles, ladies, and mulattos. In southern fiction, drama, poetry, and memoir, these categories of women are both perpetuated and disrupted. Much southern literature also portrays these stereotypes as independent women deliberately confronting the systems of oppression including patriarchy, slavery, and racism. Such independent women struggle for and often attain agency. Other literary characters are more succinctly called rebels, openly fighting against class, social, economic, and racist constraints. Many representations of women in southern literature were popularized in the 19th century by northerner Harriet Beecher Stowe in Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) and in the 20th century by southerner Margaret Mitchell in Gone with the Wind (1936). Between these two novels, with new publications of 19th-century fictions by African Americans, and from the 1940s into the 21st century, concurrent with modernism, feminism, and increased publication opportunities, women in southern literature are often depicted seeking agency, finding voice, and acting independently. Representations of antebellum southern women as mothers, black and white, illustrate the enormous difficulties of birthing and nurturing children to adulthood. Mothers, daughters, sisters, and young girls (black and white) in the 20th century evidence a diminishing presence of the southern past as well as vastly changing family dynamics. In southern literature of the 21st century, women vigorously explore their sexualities, races, ethnicities, social and economic classes confluent with a redefined global south, climate change, drug epidemics, and political activism. Women in 21st-century southern literature successfully challenge the hegemony of white authors and white characters and the binary of black and white.