Apr 20

Canceled: Transpacific Relations and Chinese Labor in Brazil

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Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd floor Barnard Hall
  • Add to Calendar 2020-04-20 18:00:00 2020-04-20 20:00:04 Canceled: Transpacific Relations and Chinese Labor in Brazil Ana Paulina Lee Columbia UniversityFor centuries, the transatlantic has been a space of forced labor migrations, mercantilism, colonial and capitalist extraction, imagination, resistance, and resignification. The transpacific, too, has long been a space of imperial imaginaries and conquests, and subaltern protagonisms. Here I discuss the gradual end of slavery and the continuous modes of precarious (slave-like, low-wage, contract) Chinese migrant labor to show various ways that Chinese identity was curated in order to facilitate Brazil’s policies of racial whitening and the project of nation building. I focus on late nineteenth-century popular cultural production demonstrating emergent ideas of national identity in Brazil that entangled labor, class, race, sexuality, and gender. Focusing on what I call racial constitutions to describe the constellation of relations among aesthetics, culture, and race that enter into deliberations of political life, citizenship, and belonging, I show how nineteenth-century ideas about sexuality, gender, and mixed race relationships structured the logic of racialized national citizenry, shaping the reception of Chinese migrants in Brazil and throughout the hemispheric Americas.   Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd floor Barnard Hall Barnard College barnard-admin@digitalpulp.com America/New_York public

Ana Paulina Lee
Columbia University

For centuries, the transatlantic has been a space of forced labor migrations, mercantilism, colonial and capitalist extraction, imagination, resistance, and resignification. The transpacific, too, has long been a space of imperial imaginaries and conquests, and subaltern protagonisms. Here I discuss the gradual end of slavery and the continuous modes of precarious (slave-like, low-wage, contract) Chinese migrant labor to show various ways that Chinese identity was curated in order to facilitate Brazil’s policies of racial whitening and the project of nation building. I focus on late nineteenth-century popular cultural production demonstrating emergent ideas of national identity in Brazil that entangled labor, class, race, sexuality, and gender. Focusing on what I call racial constitutions to describe the constellation of relations among aesthetics, culture, and race that enter into deliberations of political life, citizenship, and belonging, I show how nineteenth-century ideas about sexuality, gender, and mixed race relationships structured the logic of racialized national citizenry, shaping the reception of Chinese migrants in Brazil and throughout the hemispheric Americas.