Smith describes his encounter with Pocahontas in his Generall Histo- rie of Yet in this aspect her Otherness admits intrusions and appropriation. Even though presented in various shades of color, she can never be seen as part of a White male elite. The Pocahontas myth of the savior and later lover and converted devout wife of Smith epitomizes an ideal version of North American history. The German cultural histori- an Klaus Theweleit accordingly has termed the story of Pocahontas one of the founda- tional myths of the United States. Tropical Tropes 23 In this version, Pocahontas needs to be baptized, renamed and whitened up.
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It is thus a highly asymmetrical union based on a preceding violent intrusion. Her incorporation in hegemonic self-narrations such as the fresco in the Capitol in Washington invisibilizes the real situation of Native Americans and the racist oppression they have been confronted with.
Moreover, and in a much more ambivalent manner than Pocahontas, La Malinche is an allegory of the female body that prefigures a national body. The example of La Malinche illustrates various facets of the gendered dimensions of colonization as well as for colonization as en- gendering. She was baptized by a Spanish priest and given the name Marina. In con- 34 For example, the love story between Pocahontas and Smith dominates the narration in John Davis and Pocahontas has since appeared in several novels, artistic and musical representations such as songs by Neil Young and Johnny Cash and in a number of films, most famously the Walt Disney animated film Pocahontas and the sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World, The website of the Powhatan Nation gives a different version of the Disney romance see Powhatan Nation, n.
Being from a what would today be termed a comunidad originaria and a wom- an Malinche has been silenced in official history. As woman and as repre- sentative of the indigenous population, she is mostly represented in the traditional dress of the Huipil and next to male Spaniards. Tropical Tropes 25 Fig. During the Mexican Revolution, the mestizo turned into a figure that was positively connoted.
Tropical Tropes 27 Fig. On the sur- face of her blanket, a colonial? Hence, the painting evokes colonial allegories of the female body as nature and as national body common in the second half of the 19th century, such as the Germania or the Ma- rianne. The topos of the mask was very popular among the Mexican avantgardes, also with regard to identity discourses. El otro, ella mismo.
The Other, Herself. The Case of the Malinche]. Feminist critics have denounced such simplifica- tions for diverging from the violent dimensions and the structural asymmetry that forced La Malinche to use her skills as a translator in order to escape the status of an ordinary slave. Pocahontas hence stands as the successful product of proselytization and domestication in the US, which contributes to structurally blind- ing out the violence committed to the Native American populations and the persistent inequalities they are confronted with in the US.
Only in did an alternative Pocahontas biography from the Amerindian per- spective appear, published by Paula Gunn Allen, co-founder of the field of Native American literary studies. Occidental narratives of the Con- quest thus tend to inscribe the experience of Otherness into a specific order of desire whereby they construct the normative Self as male and European. Franco provided one of the first new readings. Female translator figures have served to negotiate the disturbing and oftentimes violent encounter between Self and Other.
Notably, the stories of these women bear resemblance to classical mythical figures. For Middle and South America, La Malinche is a key figure in the context of colonial discourse, intercultural encounters and hegemonic cultural appro- priations. The Pocahontas myth bears resemblance to La Malinche and simultaneously points to distinctive discourses and self-narrations in North and South American hegemonic imaginative communities.
Miranda profits from the colonial situation. As her monologue in the play shows, she has power over the enslaved Caliban. Moreover, she is constructed as the sole ob- ject of desire for both colonizer and colonized Caliban. Tropical Tropes 31 to such a reading is depicted as threatening the purity of the White female body — a trope lying also at the heart of the US-American rape-lynching complex, which has been revived in law cases such as the trial of O. She regards this absence as paradigmatic for occidental discourse, cementing the predominance of Western logics and forms of desire.
Wynter encourages feminists to acknowledge this asym- metry also between women produced by coloniality. As this critique indicates, racializations in colonial contexts are manifold and vary in different contexts and at the intersections of different entanglements with other axes of inequality such as class. As such, they also play the role of Prospero, silencing oppressed women. Likewise, indigenous women are not equally sexualized and eroticized as black women.
Tropical Tropes 33 tic implicit in the Prospero-Caliban constellation by resisting his position as enslaved, standing up fighting back and claiming equality. Even though Pocahontas and La Malinche served as indispensable translators, there are no accounts from the women themselves. Colonized speakers, however, have produced their own counter- accounts about the Conquest. Yet, to date only few of these voices have entered the collective archives, as established hierarchies have ex- cluded or marginalized other forms of culture and memory. A small number have re- ceived attention, usually under the auspices of an occidental mediator or an interlocu- tor who authorized the account by writing it down or translating it into the hegemonic language and literal occidental culture.
Moreover, these accounts were mostly exposed to and dependent on hegemonic publishing policies and evaluations. One classification of literary and artistic production and marketing is that of genres. Genres entail a decisive hierarchical classification of structuring knowledge and communication and are entangled with coloniality.
These subjects were coded as female and inferior. Kadar refers predominantly to autobiographies, diaries and essays. Marginalized speakers in the Americas have from the Conquest on challenged dominant narrations of Occidentalism and the nation state, above all in form of autobiographical and testi- monial forms.
Through their appropriations, these speakers also altered the genres themselves and their paradigms. Today, after deconstructivist approaches have questioned the very possibility of representation and the agency of autonomous subjects and after a monolithic notion of a single modernity has been called into question, a growing interest in such hitherto neglected genres can be observed.
At the same time he also suggests reflecting dialectically on the historicity of the act of interpretation itself: Dialectical thinking can be characterized as historical reflexivity, that is, as the study of an object [ As such, genres are entangled in and structured by colonial hierarchies which imply gen- dered and racialized as well as status or class dimensions, expressed i. Duff , Frow Carsten Junker and Junker and Roth refer to the structurally colo- nial dimension of genres. In what follows, I will outline some of the most illustrative — and established — subaltern inter- ventions.
The manuscript was not discovered until , when Peruvianist Rich- ard Pietschmann came across it in Copenhagen and published the text on paper in Ap- propriating the form of the Spanish chronicle, the work combines text with numerous illustrations and ends with a mock interview proposing a new form of government to the Spanish king.
The text provides a revision of the official history of the Conquista to include the pueblos originarios Pratt For a long time, contemporary scholars did not consider the New Chronicle a written text of a literate culture and evaluated it as deficient in terms of their occidental concepts of accuracy and truth. Only since the s have critics started to read the text as an extraordinary intercul- tural masterpiece and the first representation of the Conquest from the perspective of the colonized. As the only preserved testimony of Inca life before the conquest, today the chronicle represents an important historical source.
De la Vega never- theless tries to revise the predominant image of the Inca and correct the Spanish chron- iclers to whom he attributes a lack of knowledge and language skills to understand the cultures. The colonial authorities banned the book after de la Vega had prophesied that the English would restore the Inca Empire in the prologue to the publication of a new edition in The discourse on Las Casas provides one of the earli- est and most illustrative examples of the problematically asymmetrical representation- al practices established by colonialism and epistemic coloniality.
Against this colonial power matrix, the debate on Las Casas already raises a number of questions about recognition and competing truth claims that shall be of importance also throughout the chapters to come. Both cases provide examples of the authority of the eyewitness account based on personal experience and the authority of the related genres respec- tively in colonial discourses.
Further, both cases point at the strategies of de- authorization at play in these very contexts. It was followed up by long debates on international relations and cosmopolitanism at the School of Salamanca see Mignolo Tropical Tropes 37 North of Europe. According to this view, since its very foundation, the US had been a society of industrious and mainly Protestant settlers, which evolved into a prospering demo- cracy, while Latin American history took a very different path. Current missionary endeavors by Evangelical groups in the Americas revive this image.
Enlightenment Consolidations Throughout the so-called European Enlightenment and against the backdrop of the dwindling of Church power and increasing secularization, colonial difference was more and more related to the mission of civilization and less to proselytization. In an at- tempt to abolish old power structures and create equality, the self-narration of occi- dental freedom and progress throughout the so-called European Enlightenment again has been dialectically tied to the structural exclusion of non-free Others based on an occidental matrix of power.
Enlightenment discourse has produced its own negative underside and hence new mechanisms of domination and destruction, as Frankfurt School thinkers Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Morrison has influentially stated that the Euro- pean Enlightenment idea of freedom depended on an unfree Other and thus, the en- slavement of Africans: [W]e should not be surprised that the Enlightenment could accommodate slavery; we should be surprised if it had not.
The concept of freedom did not emerge in a vacuum. Nothing highlighted freedom — if it did not in fact create it — like slavery. For in that construction of blackness and enslavement could be found not only the not-free, but also, with the dramatic polarity created by skin color, the projection of the not-me Morrison Declaring Europe the Schauplatz der Weltge- schichte [Site of World History], Georg Friedrich Hegel presupposed a universal history that was narrated from a European perspective, placing the other re- 62 Manifested especially in the US Declaration of Independence, which the Congress passed after the War of Independence against Great Britain in Der Fluch des unaufhaltsa- men Fortschritts ist die unaufhaltsame Regression.
The colonized regions are accordingly positioned as an antithesis to the historicizing from Europe and still excluded from playing an active role in World History and in science and philosophy respectively. Humboldt is known for his humanism, his defense of the French and American revolutions and his commitment to the abolition of slavery. Yet, he was a product of his time and his travels formed part of a colonial project: his travel accounts define the asymmetrical differences between civilized European thinkers and uncivi- lized South Americans as natural and thus presumably unalterable. Pratt underscores that the decolonization aimed for during processes of independence in the Americas did not work against the predominance of what I call epistemic Occidentalism, that is, received privileges and knowledge ine- qualities What held for Columbus held again for Humboldt: the state of primal nature is brought into being as a state in relation to the prospect of transformative intervention from Europe.
See also the introduction by Ber- nasconi As such, it is also a technology of possession, pro- mising that those with the capacity to make such perfect representations must also have the right of territorial control McClintock 23, Travel Writing produced by women has largely been rendered invisible.
It is crucial to keep in mind, however, that European women in the colonies often en- joyed relative independence as heads of farms etc. How do such signifying practices encode and legitimate the aspirations of economic expansion and empire? How do they betray them? Pratt 4.
Genres such as eyewitness accounts and historical documents veil the mediated, narra- tive and oftentimes fictional character of travel accounts, and thus most historiography draws on travel literature in the widest sense. Classical occidental historiography based on travel narratives often functioned to authorize those in power and establish occidental superiority.
The dictum e pluri- bus unum, which can be found on the US seal and banknotes or in the concept of the 71 Encouraged by postcolonial and gender theory, the systematic study of travel writing as a field of scholarly inquiry with its own conferences, journals, monographs, antholo- gies, and encyclopedias emerged in the s. See e. Native Americans have been structurally excluded from this self-narration and African-Americans for a long time silenced by the system of slavery and its legacies. In South America, dynamics of appropriation were also common, even though in very different ways.
Numerous members of the criollo elites identified with Anglo- Saxon and above all French — latine — cultures, languages, and traditions. This holds true even for places like Brazil or Cuba, where the concept of mestizaje has from early on been celebrated as y sort of founda- tional myth.
In a way which seems comparable to the phenomenon W. Tropical Tropes 43 force every attempt at self-reflection to be intrinsically mirrored by the White or impe- rial gaze in postcolonial Martinique. In the after- math of the Conquest, both North and South America were first considered at the pe- riphery of modernity and had little power compared to the colonial European center.
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Throughout the 19th century, the American hemisphere was increasingly divided into two parts. United States authorities developed a strongly expansionist tendency towards Middle and South America and in contrast to the territorial expansionism of earlier years focused on its protection of free access to markets and other economic and polit- ical privileges. The use of violence via diplomatic and military means became com- mon practice, cumulating in the US-Mexican War of However, the economic asymmetry and the image of Middle and South America as a negative Other of the North persisted.
One of the major bases for this binary distinction was the discourse of 78 The term Abya-Yala was introduced because it refers not only to singular regions, but to the entire continent. Aymara speaker Takir Mamani proposed to use the term in offi- cial documents and declarations. Abya Yala Net The Aztecs had used the name Cem Anahuac.
Further suggestions in order to counter the colonial naming comprise the term Aztec Ixachilan and the Quiswa name Runa Pacha. According to the 19th century doctrine of Manifest Destiny, the United States was destined to expand across the North American continent, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean.
By the s, the US sup- ported a number of anti-communist governments in South America, among them nu- merous dictatorships. At the same time, many communist states such as Cuba opened their markets to foreign economy and investment. Since the s, the United States has once again increasingly intervened in various countries of South America, most often when their administrations had implemented social reforms or nationalizations of property that threatened US investors.
Democrats used the doctrine of the Manifest Destiny in the s to justify the war with Mexico and fell into disuse after the mid s. The belief in an American mission to promote and defend democracy throughout the world, as expounded by Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson, continues to have an influ- ence on US-American political ideology.
Global Crises and Local Forms of Resistance in the 21st Century Postcolonial debates and interventions have since the second half of the 20th century radically scrutinized occidental modes of self-understanding. Following such interventions, a number of Western scholars started to adopt a more self-reflexive and self-critical perspective on the cruelties of colonial history, and to question Euro- North American modern logocentric universalism.
However, the United States has so far continued to be the dominant economic, politi- cal and military power and has continuously intervened in affairs of South American countries. The tropical trope of South America as a fertile and endlessly exploitable territory of lavish natural resources is being preserved and revived as the globalizing market has created new demands for the natural resources of the Middle and South American re- gions ranging from petrol and gas to minerals and soy. Todorov , Gewecke , Greenblatt and Pratt .
On a transamerican or hemispheric approach on the Americas, see Herlinghaus and Riese , Brickhouse , Braig et al. The economies of many South American countries are increasingly dependent on a number of multinational companies that operate sweat- shops backed by international contracts. It seems as if historically con- structed stereotypical images of the Middle and South American countries as highly gendered and racialized, exploitable Others are ironically reenacted through multina- tional companies paying low wages and denying workers the most fundamental rights.
Expressed in the fact that they are predominantly employing workers from the most vulnerable groups, from the lowest social classes, from comunidades originarias, often preferably women unorganized in unions and likely subjected to patriarchal struc- tures. The Zapatistas oppose the consequences and resurrection of conquest and coloniality.
It is sometimes used in a narrower sense to refer to economic reforms that were prescribed exclusively for developing nations, which in- cluded advice to reduce government deficits, to liberalize and deregulate international trade and cross-border investment, and to pursue export led growth. Yergin and Stani- slaw trace the debate between advocates of the Washington Consensus and their critics. The Zapatistas have since created auton- omous communities that function independently from any state influence or financial support.
The Zapatistas moreover stand for an alternative conceptualization of the world in opposition to dominating logics of exploitation and accumulation. The schools in their communities called cara- coles [snails] are e. These demands are often cast from different epistemological and cosmological positions and involve a critique not just of Western liberalism, but also of Western modernity itself; as such, they involve not just the struggle over distinct sets of rights but over the right to have different conceptions of life Coronil Tropical Tropes 49 Fig.
Governments throughout South America opposed the US boycott against Cuba, and the strict immigration laws and border controls support the negative images of the United States. During the last two decades, numerous South American governments have moved to the left and attempted to become more independent from US and European influences.
The multi- state television channel teleSUR, with its headquarters in Caracas, opposes the domi- nance of the powerful US media. Ecuador decided to shut down the US military base at the Pacific harbor Manta in , and since the liberation theologian Fernando Lugo came into office in Paraguay, the inland area is banned for US maneuvers. Simultaneously, large parts of the population in Middle and South American countries are even more influenced by Northern American consumer goods, popular culture and life style. Large numbers of South Americans migrate to the United States, oftentimes risking their lives, as brutal citizenship regimes and border politics reinforce inequalities between former colonized and colonizing spaces and places.
Vice versa, masses of tourists from the US visit South American countries. Tourism provides a showcase example of current revivals of inequalities. His concept poses geographically distant cultures as closed entities with incompatible val- ues and norms, and positions them at divergent temporary stages of a linear process of economic and social development assuming that their interaction inevitably leads to a clash.
Etienne Balibar explained this as an epistemological process, a discursive shift from biological to cul- tural racism. Finally, towards the end of the 20th century, the rhetoric of national de- velopment was turned into that of globalization, politically accompanied by a growth in neo-liberalism and the related trend towards privatization and anti-etatism. Following the same Enlightenment teleo- logical understanding of world history as revived by Huntington, these regimes are perceived as historical anachronisms.
Especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, , the US Bush admin- istration justified its increasingly authoritarian foreign policy by defining it as a right- eous form of Western self-defense against a threat of terrorism. In his first year in office, president Obama promised a more dialogic approach. However, colonial images prevail as could be observed during the current economic crisis from onwards, which also affected the wealthy nations of the global North. North American and European mainstream media have so far paid little attention to the activities of the new social movements and political alliances, and dominant rep- resentational politics reflect the ongoing structural coloniality of knowledge about South America.
Nepantla magazine published at Duke University or the Lateinamerikanachrichten in Germany as well as many online maga- zines. Tropical Tropes 53 racialized gendered politics of representing South American countries, as e. This brings us back to the domain of cultural production, which is crucial for the ex- emplary modes of anti-colonial speaking and agency I will explore in the following chapters.
Hemispheric Cultural Practices: Resistance or Commodification? Asymmetrical representational practices are especially evident when it comes to liter- ary and artistic production and circulation. Going back to a long history of colonial politics of knowledge production and distribution that lasted roughly until the midth century, South American authors and artists were widely unknown in the United States, whereas the Southern part of the continent showed a strong interest in the artis- tic and discursive productions of the North Rostagno Consequently, publishing companies issued only a few selected works by South American authors in the US throughout the s.
After the Second World War, however, the interest of most publishers shifted again to European authors. It is no coincidence that French philoso- pher Michel Foucault opens his cornerstone work The Order of Things with a refer- ence to Argentine author Borges.
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They hence put into question predominating notions of the figure of the intellectual. Spivak ff. Tropical Tropes 55 discourses sought to question linear identity concepts and received universalisms. Theorists whose work is not published in English by US university presses have remained relatively absent from dominating postcolonial and decolonial canons. Most of these critics participated in the Latin American Subaltern Studies group founded at Duke University in the early s.
Loose co-operations and exchanges prevail and attempt to offer a more transamerican approach. From Postcolonial Theory to Decolonial Thinking The Argentinean philosopher Enrique Dussel was one of the first who, with his libera- tion theory in the s developed a critical South American perspective. Dussel formulated an epistemic status from the periphery and promoted the inclu- sion of peripheral perspectives into postcolonial debates see also Quijano Mudimbe , The reader edited by Schwarz and Ray contains a text by Walter Mignolo, the anthology Postcolonial Discourse by Castle includes no South American post- colonial perspective.
Instead of taking the imperial expansionist colonialism of the 19th century as a reference point, they start with the paradigm shift of the conquest in the year for the modern colonization of spaces and knowledges. Coloniality thus becomes the other side or the precondition of modernity. A simple move toward a hemispheric model, however, bears the danger of renewed appropriations and asymmetries — as critics above all from South American perspectives have pointed out.
He calls to mind that comunidades originarias depend necessarily — however con- tradictorily — on stable notions of the nation state in order to make land claims and as- sert their sovereignty see Bauer , Costa examines the relations between anti-racist movements in Brazil and the United States in an attempt to think a transnational anti-racist network. Other than notions that consider the Americas as having been included into a capitalist world economy, Quijano and Wallerstein consider the Americas as condition of possibility of a capitalist world-economy.
The Coloniality of Gender and Decolonial Feminisms As I have shown, processes of stratification on a global scale have since the Conquest drawn upon strategies of racialization and en-gendering as two of various entangled dimensions of inequalities. By positioning them as an originally non-Christian and thus inferior Other, the conquerors could justify the appropriation of their lands and the exploitation of their labor force.
In the late phase of the so-called European Enlightenment, non-Europeans no longer formed part of a paradisiacal primitive state but were located in a temporal past that modern civilizations had already overcome. Un- democratic Fig. White women, enslaved workers of both genders and members of the comunidades origi- narias were excluded from education and literacy and thus from legitimate knowledge production and literary agency.
As my excursus on counter-narratives has shown, however, silenced speakers have scrutinized, challenged and altered hegemonic truth regimes and collective archives since the Conquest. See Dietze b , who also provides a genealogy of feminist postcolonial approaches and for possible alliances between Gender and Decolonial politics. For an overview of varying postcolonial approaches, see also Dhawan and do Mar Castro Varela Tropical Tropes 61 proaches. Recent postcolonial or transnational feminist approaches merge gender with decolonial politics, as e.
Thanks to such interventions, the powerful epistemic Occidentalism that has en- dured longer than formal colonial rule, has increasingly been rendered under scrutiny. However, it was only in the course of the so-called canon debates, which the Civil Rights Movement and the Black and Chicana Feminist movement initiated in the United States, that authors of non-European decent were integrated into syllabi and literary and artistic canons in larger numbers. Africa-American feminists in particular had a decisive impact on negotiating regimes of representation and on counter- hegemonic theorizing.
The concept of inter- sectionality as used in Eurocentric feminist contexts, however, is itself deeply entan- gled in unequal structures of theorizing and hence in need of some critical examina- tion. Crenshaw applied the term in order to point at the juridical invisibility of the multiple dimensions of oppression experienced by African-American female workers at the US-American car company General Motors. Since then the concept of intersectionality has traveled to distinct locations and signi- fies different things in different contexts. There are hence manifold versions of what is understood by intersectionality.
Around the same time, the revolutionaries in Haiti pointed at the contradiction be- tween the notions of Human Rights and Freedom and the system of institutionalized enslavement in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Formerly enslaved feminist activist So- journer Truth finally indicated how sexist oppression is closely intertwined with other regimes of dominance such as colonialism, enslavement, racism and social status.
I think that twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place!
Look at me! Look at my arm! Truth Truth here points at the crucial differences between women, which White feminists had not taken into account. She thus counts as a precursor of intersectional thinking. Based on the history of coloniza- tion as en-gendering, he shows how Bolivian president Evo Morales tries to make up for his devalued indigenous masculinity usually devalued as a-sexual or feminine by surrounding himself by beauty queens who fit the European beauty ideal.
Latin American feminists contradict the intersectionality paradigm, as they claim that the concept of intersectionality does not provide anything new to them: their spe- cific experiences have forced them to take into account and deal with various simulta- neous and intersecting forms of oppressions on a very practical level already for a long time. Moreover, she highlighted the colonial legacy of the related inequalities, but also the agency deriving from being in that position: The US-Mexican border es una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds.
And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country — a border culture. Borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them. A Borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition. The prohibited are its inhabitants.
You see behind the veil and you see these scraps. This fact points at the problematic asymmetry of knowledge circulation, especially when it comes to theory. In an autobiographical manner, the text mixes different languages, styles and genres, fictional and non-fictional elements. Views from the South Duke University Press. It is thus all the more important to under- stand intersectionality as a positioned and locally and context specific tool. McClintock et al. The emphasis on the regu- lation of sexuality also gives a good basis on which to encompass non-hetero sexualities Wade 25, original emphasis.
Studies on sex tourism in the cause of the increasing mobility of a small elite provide an insightful showcase example of the continuity and revival of intersectional inequalities based on colonial power and knowledge structures on a global scale as expressed in the sexualized and racialized erotized coding and exploitation in an une- qual world system. An Inter- American or Trans-American endeavor must thus address the problem of disciplines and work towards a re-definition of area studies and towards finding new categories of analysis.
The genres that the speakers of my following analysis employ — essay, diary and testimonio — are situated in that Eurocentric autobiographical tradition and at the same time transgress and challenge received conventions of autobiographical writing, as they are appropriated and utilized by non-hegemonic agents who claim equal recogni- tion. They do so from differently en-gendered and racialized positions. What arguments do their occidental critics put forth in order to ascribe to them certain imaginative spaces and keep hierarchies of definition intact?
She is lying in a broad matrimonial bed surrounded by three men representing Spain, Great Britain, and France who are making financial claims to Mexico while the US is occupied with its Civil War Johnson The picture evokes connotations of sexual threat. The walls in the background show the Catholic insignia of a cross and a priest. Tropical Tropes 69 Fig. Two children are sleeping peacefully side by side in one bed. In another bed, two more chil- dren are fist fighting and screaming at each other. A very tall Uncle Sam figure with a grim look on his face stands between the two beds.
These three caricatures shall frame a brief genealogy of North-South — and later hemispheric American — relations and representations. Originating from the midth to early 20th century, the caricatures stem from a time of the transition from a late en- lightenment era that had produced a rich armory of gendered tropes to define absolute Otherness and exoticism via feminine-coded stereotypes of immaturity that would be- come the addressee of developmental politics.
Images of South America as feminine, sick reminding one of the Tropics and infantile are reproduced in the caricatures. In this chapter, I ask how Ocampo constructs an intellectual public voice in her essays, investigating the generic and rhetorical strategies Ocampo applies in order to inscribe and make heard her hith- erto structurally elided South American female perspective and claim agency for her voice as an intellectual. I will therefore start with a short outline of a Hispanic American essay tradition. In Argentina and other South American countries, Victoria Ocampo enjoys wide popularity as a glamorous member of the high society and as patron and editor of Sur magazine and her own Sur publishing house.
Born into a wealthy and influential family, she was brought up within a restrictive Hispanic moral code, and a university education had been unthinkable for Ocampo as a young woman in a South American society dominated by the two mutually support- ing institutions of the Catholic Church and the extended patriarchal family. There was no concept of a career for a woman within her milieu except as a wife, mother, and homemaker.
Not surprisingly, Ocampo, who originally wanted to become an actress, only opened her own publishing house and magazine once her parents had died and left her their fortune. Later in life she was honored for her achievements and became the first woman ac- On my understanding of genres, see chapter II. Moreover, she received a number of honorary doctorates, among others from Harvard University — a sign of recognition from the North.
Ocampo regularly contributed essays to her review Sur in which she voiced her opinion and intervened in concurrent debates, and she published a ten- volume essay collection titled Testimonios , , , , , , , , a, a. In the- se introductory words Ocampo already stresses the importance of multivocality, soli- darity and dialogue for her transcultural objectives. In many of her essayistic texts, Ocampo relates her life and her writing to that of other authors, and thus positions herself as part of an international literary establish- ment.
A number of her essays open a dialogue with acclaimed intellectuals of her time from very different contexts. Through her essayistic interventions, Ocampo aspires to The text is based on a radio speech broadcast from Argentina to Spain in August just after the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and reprinted in the English transla- tion in Meyer a. Due to her education and travel experience — the new mobility of women of her class — Ocampo could address and relate to differ- ent European, North American and Spanish American essayistic traditions, confront- ing them with her voice and thoughts from a hitherto marginalized position.
The Hispanic American essay has been strongly affected by the impact of historical events such as the Spanish Inquisition and the colonial situation, on the one hand, and on the other hand by the special role of public intellectuals. This aspect is of primary importance for the understanding of these intellectual cultures respectively, and for the ways in which the essay has shaped them. In all contexts, however, the essay has long been a marginal and neglected genre.
Like their European predecessors, Spanish American essayists found the essay an especially useful genre in times of socio- political transformation. Essays served many writers to frame their critique of the cruel and violent Spanish practices in the Spanish American colonies, and many Spanish essayists became the victims of the censorship of the Inquisition.
Early European essayists established the genre as a form of expression and representation of White, European men who had already established their authority elsewhere. Here the originally Eurocentric form was linked to anti-colonial purposes and decolonial think- ing, for which the genre has provided a textual and discursive space. Frequently, these peripheral in- tellectuals inscribed and authorized themselves within hegemonic discourses via their essayistic writings. Because of colonial power asymmetries, Hispanic American essayistic texts were almost always either designed to respond to a Western interpretive community, to state differences or gain recognition from it.
Hispanic American thinkers had a great impact on public and political life within their societies and hence, even more than in Europe, the essay was closely related to the figure of the engaged public White male intellectual. The essay thus became popular only in the late 18th and 19th century during the time of the re-definition of Spanish American collective identities after independence from Europe.
Numerous essayists made use of the genre as a means for nationalistic or educational literary expressions. In fact, numerous essays were first delivered as speeches or lectures, and a great number of essays by South American authors are written in a style resembling spoken language. They are oftentimes dialogic, vivid, and full of anecdotes see Skirius Because it is closely related to the figure of the public intellectual, they sought to authorize their perspectives in that way. Moreover, many essays are situated between — or at the intersection of art and theory or criticism. The intrinsic coloniality of the genre — as situated within a Eurocentric tradition of great thinkers and men sic!
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Hispanic American essay writing on a larger scale started with the independence movements and ex- pressed multi-facetted identities. Alfonso Reyes, n. To acknowledge such spaces as valid loci of epistemic and cultural production and discourse would widen the horizon toward a decoloniza- tion of theory. Many South American essayists struggled between their dependency on the support and acknowledgment from the colonial center while at the same time try- ing to find new forms of expression.
Hispanic American essayists have nevertheless not been immune to equally exclusive notions of hierarchization and racist discrimina- tion against pueblos originarios, Black and criollo inhabitants. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento became their most in- fluential representative. Sarmiento was a model public intellectual and a productive and skilled essayist. He appropriated the essay for the Argentine context, popularizing a practice of essay writing that focused on the search for uniquely Argentinean post independence identity.
In , Domingo Faustino Sarmiento even became president of the country, as it was common for intellectuals to en- gage in politics in South America.
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Sarmiento incorporated a Eurocentric perspective in his work. He believed that education had a decisive impact on progress; however, in his work Facundo. The text can further be read as an early revelation and critique of the geopolitics of knowledge. Still in , in his attempt to reinter- pret Mexican history, Octavio Paz  wrote his famous essay El laberinto de la soledad [The Labyrinth of Solitude] to portray the figure of the Mexican man as a product of history, as an orphan, devoid of reality, covered with masks that constant- ly redefine him.
Hispanic American essayists have mostly attempted to find their own forms of expression for their specific realities, including particular transgressions of artistic and literary boundaries and genre conventions. Yet the underlying colonial material and epistemic hierarchies structurally excluded Spanish-speaking American essayists from full intelligibility to North American and European audiences and thus as participants in knowledge production considered relevant on a larger geopolitical scale.
Notwithstanding the coloniality of knowledge I have mapped out, the critical potential of the genre of the essay has been alluring for women writers who had traditionally been denied access to participation in public discourse. Women were structurally ex- cluded from literacy and education for a long time. They had hardly any access to pub- lications and their lives were reduced to the private sphere and to private genres, as they were considered incapable of publicly voicing their opinions and speaking out as cultural critics.
Meyer muses: If the essay itself is an invisible genre in Western literature, then we can safely and sadly say that essays […] by Spanish American women — have been victims of in- visibility in the third degree, which is akin to being literally disappeared Meyer c: 3. They were positioned outside representation altogether. South American women of at least partly European lineage have been writing essays from quite early on. Both were nuns who were liberated from traditional gender roles and from reproductive labor. They had access to education and were thus literate. Because they were largely ignored within domi- nant discourses, women essay writers were free to experiment with and create their own essayistic topics and forms.
Their wealth allowed a number of them to become editors and found their own publications, mostly magazines, in which they could publish their critical interventions. One of the most prominent female South American essayists was Peruvian-born writer Flora Tristan The fa- mous Argentine poet, playwright and essayist Alfonsina Storni worked as a teacher and journalist on mostly feminist topics.
Ocampo in a similar way spoke for women of other classes and social backgrounds in her essays. The essay was therefore a genre well suited to critical feminist intellectual voices. Most of these early women essayists belonged to the upper social classes and were of European descent. They therefore enjoyed a relatively elite education. The professions of teacher and journalist were now accessible to educated women of pre- dominantly European lineage and made them comparatively independent from their families and patrons.
Many of them traveled extensively to Europe and the US, as was common for their social class. Lourdes Rojas and Nancy Saporta Sternbach argue that their exclusion provided women unforeseen possibilities of experimentation: [W]hile women were relegated to a continuity of exclusion, on the one hand, they were also freed to create their own program. That is, by not having to conform to a constrict- ing set of rules, they could forge a path for themselves to ensayar rehearse another way of thinking Rojas and Sternbach At the same time, the essay allowed them to express their experiences as South American women as different from that of European feminists.
Most Black and indigenous women, however, had little access to education and essay writ- ing, and if they did, their texts have been even more invisibilized. Argentinean intellectual and feminist Ocampo, on whose essayistic dialogues I will focus in the remainder of this chapter, applied a number of rhetorical strategies to articulate her critical intellectual voice in public. Ocampo was one of the most prolific producers of critical essays in the 20th century.
In many of her essays, Ocampo negotiates the hierarchical colonial and gender relations of her time and refers to femi- nist discourses in the United States and Europe. Writing poetry was considered acceptable for women, as this activity was considered private. Typical for her social class, Ocampo had enjoyed her education partly in French schools and later through the instruction of a French governess.
She spoke and wrote French and English fluently and was familiar with European cultures. She claims that her cosmopolitan lifestyle made her feel equally familiar with English, French and Spanish languages and litera- tures and at the same time uncomfortable writing literary texts in Spanish. Paradoxi- cally, she had her essays translated in order to publish them in her home country of Argentina. In her autobiography, she writes: The language of my childhood and adolescence — French — was my language; I could not free myself of it when I tried to write.
The drama began there. In order to publish something in my country […] I had to have the work translated and translations shocked and disgusted me 20, translation JR. However, Ocampo learned to use her multilingual skills and cultural and linguistic transfer for her project of furthering Pan-American and transcultural dialogues, trans- lating numerous texts herself. Ocampo became an early thinker of transculturality and a passionate and productive translator. At a time when a number of European states turned Fascist, she sought to bring both into dialogue on an equal basis.
In the issues that were published before the closure of the magazine in , Ocampo brought together conservative and anarchistic, communist and liberal voices from around the globe. Driven by a desire to belong to and be accepted as a cosmopol- itan public intellectual, Ocampo invited many artists and intellectuals from all over the world to Argentina and to write for Sur.
Sur moreover provided Ocampo with a space for her own critical observations and interventions in ongoing cultural-political de- bates, and she contributed an extensive amount of essays to the magazine herself, nu- merous of which she later re-published in her ten-volume essay collection Testimo- nios. However, Ocampo had to face difficulties resulting from the fact that the position of the thinker and public intellectual had traditionally been coded as male, even though some women had already intervened in the public sphere.
Ocampo hence was required to apply numerous strategies to authorize her critical essayistic voice. I will further examine how her recipi- ents react to her essayistic interpellations and acknowledge her as a dialogue partner. In what follows, I will take a look at the strategies she applies to mobilize her addressees and convince them to overcome received silenc- es.
She thereby also emphasizes the oral and dialogic quality of the text. These have been es- tablished through a tradition of personal eyewitness accounts such as chronicles, travel narratives or non-hegemonic counter-narratives. He was talking to his wife, giving her some assignment. She obeyed so perfectly, and he took his monologue so seriously, that the regulation three minutes went by without the The title evokes associations with the genre of the testimonio as well as with testimonio as narrative mode and situation as described by Felman and Laub in their study Testimony.
And as my businessman was parsi- monious, the conversation came to a halt with that. This business of the monologue does not make me happy. It is to you, and not myself, that I would like to speak. The essay seems a suitable frame for this objective, as an essayistic stance usually refuses universal truth claims and es- sentialisms see Adorno Thus, the lot of South American women concerns Spanish women and women in all other countries. I would like women all over the earth to be united in a solidarity that is not only subjective […]: toward the side that will make men complete human beings for whom the monologue is no longer enough and who, from interruption to accepted interruption, naturally arrive at a dialogue c [a]: Rhetorical strategies such as exclamations and questions further emphasize her effort to draw the reader-listeners in.
This communal aspect is also prominent in essays by African Americans. Have you any notion how many are written by men?
Are you aware that you are, perhaps, the most discussed animal in the universe? Par- ticularly in the beginning of her career, Woolf served as a role model and feminist heroine for Ocampo. On several occasions, Ocampo tried to meet Woolf in London. Moreover, Ocampo initiated an essayistic dialogue with Woolf by addressing a number of her essayistic texts to the latter. The reading experience becomes one of secretiveness and forbiddenness associated with the reading of a letter that is not addressed to oneself.
While readers of the essay are put in the position of reading a text that is addressed only to that one reader, they get the impression of being in the extraordinary situation of observing — or rather eaves- dropping on — and bearing witness to a correspondence between the two women. Through positioning the readers as observers of the intimate scene, she further highlights the visual — and voyeuristic — dimension of the essay. A little dark green door, very English, with its number neatly placed right in the center].
Se examinan, se interrogan. Curiosa, la una; la otra, maravillada b: 9. They ex- amine each other, question one another. Curious, the one. The other, in bewilderment. Todo es pobreza en los pobres y riqueza en los ricos b: The poorer one will not have found the key to the treasure. Everything is poverty in the poor ones and wealth in the rich. She addresses Virginia Woolf directly and intimately calls her by her first name, constructing Woolf as her accomplice. Ocampo recalls that she and Woolf grew up in wealthy and well-known families and enjoyed a comparatively good education for women of their time.
Their money and close contact to men of influence within their social circles en- abled them to publish their first texts, and they both finally found their own publishing houses. Their feminist convictions, however, made Woolf and Ocampo outsiders with- in their male-dominated societies, as well as within their intellectual circles. Both groups came, at least in part, from a narrow educated sector of the upper classes, with wide and sustained contacts with that class as a whole.
And the masculine produc- tion does not suffice you. Ocampo moreover interpellates Woolf as her artistic-intellectual muse and as a feminist authority. By portraying Woolf and re- counting their personal encounter, Ocampo inscribes herself into the portrait of the famous English writer. Her letter-essay provides a space to call for representation and agency within intellectual and feminist discourses. The generic frame of the essay fur- thermore operates as a tool to voice her claim for alliances and solidarity.
Woolf, however, responded to Ocampo only in private see Meyer 1. She wrote her letters or mentioned her briefly in letters to her friends and in her diary where she kept to established notions equating South America with a space of wild gigantic na- ture, thus exoticizing Ocampo. Formaba parte de esa Argentina del ganado salvaje, de las mariposas y las llanuras verde-azulado por ella inventada. It occurs to me that Virginia at first felt certain amazement to find out that I was able to articulate words.
I formed part of this Argentina of the wild beasts, of the butterflies and the bluish-green prairies invented by her. She also invented me. Her unconditional hero-worship and pleading for recognition of her earlier texts has disappeared, and now she can openly broach the issue of the inequalities be- tween them.
The most valuable thing of London. What will I have been for her? A smiling phantasm, just like my own country was]. Alt- hough she accepted Ocampo as a feminist and intellectual, she saw no need for pub- lic feminist solidarity or alliances. Ocampo most obviously considered European feminism and literature the model to follow and she credited it with au- thorizing her own voice. Her essays serve Ocampo as a means to critically reply to stereotypical images of her country and herself and express her specifically female intellectual Euro-South American or criolla perspective.
When Ocampo as a woman claimed Woolf as such, she hence broke with and subverted a constitutive convention. US-American author Waldo Frank provided Ocampo with another source of intellec- tual exchange and inspiration. Raised in a poor family he left his family at the time of his majority. After taking over different occasional jobs and living from hand to mouth he began to work in the post service of New Salem. He turned to the field of law and jurisdiction in the year and developed into a successful lawyer in Springfield, Illinois.
Between and he was appointed a member of parliament in Illinois and was re-elected three times in this period. When he was offered the position as governor from Oregon he refused. With the beginning of the year he worked his way up to a leading position in the Republican Party. He was famous for his skilful rhetoric and also a brilliant tactician. Douglas but lost the election. Two years later he was nominated presidential candidate for the Republican Party and turned out to be the sixteenth president of the United States from until The consequence of his election was the outbreak of the war of secession.
The abolition of slavery was his highest aim during the Civil War although he acted with restraint and looked upon it as war measure. His Reconciliation and Reconstruction Policy after the war and the plan to re- integrate the defeated Southern states as soon as possible met with the criticism of many radicals.
But they could not prevent his re-election in Shortly after the beginning of his second term of office he got assassinated in April by the fanatic J. Booth in Washington in the year His assassination encouraged the legend of Lincoln as personification of all political virtues of the American people. Carl Schurz was born in Liblar, Germany in While studying at the University of Bonn he took part in the revolution in He became the closest collaborator of Professor Gottfried Kinkel, local leader of a radical fraction, whom he later helped to set free from Prussian imprisonment.
After the breakdown of the revolution in Germany he immigrated to America and settled, together with his wife, in Watertown, Wisconsin. Soon he established himself as a spokesman for the German-Americans and later dedicated himself to the Republican Party. In he was rewarded for his commitment with a nomination for lieutenant governor. He lost but in he was appointed chairman of the Wisconsin delegation to the national convention in Chicago. Schurz left Spain in to serve as division commander in the Civil War.
He was present at different theatres of war such as Chattanooga, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. There, he established a mixed record but he was greatly respected by his countrymen and other fellow soldiers. At that time, Schurz started working as a journalist first in Washington and Detroit, and later in St. Louis, where he became part owner and editor of the Westliche Post , a German newspaper. In he reached the top of his political career by becoming United States Senator and in was rewarded for his support of Rutherford B.
Hayes, who was nominated for the presidency, with a seat in the cabinet as Secretary of Interior. He never retired completely from his political career and spent the rest of life in New York with his journalistic work and involvement in political reform movements. He died in It was already a great time before Schurz met Lincoln that he had made himself a name with his political speeches.
So, when he met Lincoln for the first time, he already was a man of influence. But this did not mean that he was not very impressed when he got to know Lincoln personally on the occasion of a debate between Douglas and Lincoln. Lincoln was the only Republican candidate from Illinois running against Douglas for the office as senator. The first meeting of the two took place in a train on the evening before the debate. Schurz was travelling to Quincy, the place where the debate was going to take place. After some time he became aware of a large crowed, that pushed around a big man who had just entered the train - Lincoln.
Schurz later states, that he had expected a man of an appearance according to his position but Lincoln was not even a bit like he had imagined. He was surprised to see how Lincoln looked like. He points out that Lincoln was wearing a crumpled top hat and a tailcoat, which already looked a bit shabby and had too short sleeves - a man of unassuming simplicity.
Schurz was impressed of the way Lincoln greeted him because he treated him with such warmth. After they had talked to each other for a while, Schurz felt as if they had known each other for a long time and used to be very good friends.