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Sexuality and Race in Colonial and 19th-Century Brazil and the Caribbean

Please note that this week's seminars will take place at a different time of 9.00-11.00 (H302) and 11.00-13.00 (H401) on Thursday 1 December in H302.


Discuss white depictions of slave sexuality in Brazil and the Caribbean. Are enslaved people presented as erotic, animalistic, or both?

What sources do we have to discuss ideas about gender and sexuality from an enslaved perspective?



Young, Robert, Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race, Routledge (London, 1995), chapter 6: ‘White Power, White Desire. The Political Economy of Miscegenation’.


Bastide, Roger, 'Dusky Venus, Black Apollo', Race 3 (1961).

Freyre, Gilberto, The Masters and the Slaves: a Study in the Development of Brazilian Civilization (1986 [1933]), chapters 4-5: ‘the Negro Slave in the Sexual and Family Life of the Brazilian’.

Graham, Sandra Lauderdale, House and Street: the Domestic World of Servants and Masters in Nineteenth Century Rio de Janeiro, University of Texas (Austin, 1988), chapter 2: ‘The Work’ and chapter 3: ‘Private Lives and Public Places’.

Levine, Robert and John Crocitti, eds., The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics, Latin America Bureau (London, 1999), pp. 351-358, 367-373, 379-381, 384-394.

Needell, J., 'Identity, Race, Gender and Modernity in the Origins of Gilberto Freyre's Oeuvre', American Historical Review 100:1 (1995).

Philippou, S., 'Modernism and National Identity in Brazil, or How to Brew a Brazilian Stew', National Identities 7:3 (2005).

Sheriff, Robin, Dreaming Equality: Color, Race, and Racism in Urban Brazil (New Brunswick, 2001).

Slenes, Robert, ‘Black Homes, White Homilies: Perceptions of the Slave Family and of Slave Women in Nineteenth-Century Brazil’, More than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas, eds. David Barry Gaspar and Darlene Clark Hine (Bloomington, 1996).


Barnet, Miguel, ‘Biography of a Runaway Slave’, The Cuba Reader, eds. Aviva Chomsky, Barry Carr and Pamela Shorkaloff, Duke University Press (Durham, 2005).

Blanco Borelli, Melissa, She Is Cuba: A Geneaology of the Mulata Body (Oxford, 2016).

Burnard, Trevor, Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and his Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill and London, 2004).

Fuente, Alejandro de la, ‘Myths of Racial Democracy: Cuba, 1900-1912’, Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 34:3 (1999).

García, Juan Andreo and Alberto José Gullón Abao, ‘Vida y muerte de la Mulata’: Crónica ilustrada de la prostitución en la Cuba del XIX’, Anuario de Estudios Americanos, vol. LIV:1 (1997).

Hall, Douglas, ed., In Miserable Slavery: Thomas Thistlewood in Jamaica, 1750-86, Warwick University Caribbean Studies, Macmillan (1989).

Kutzinski, Vera, Sugar’s Secrets and the Erotics of Cuban Nationalism (1993).

Long, Edward, The History of Jamaica: Reflections on its Situation, Settlements, Inhabitants, Climate, Products, Commerce, Laws, and Government [1774], McGill-Queen's University Press (Montreal, 2002).

Martínez Alier, Verena, Marriage, Class and Colour in Nineteenth-Century Cuba, Cambridge University Press (New York, 1974).

Stedman, John Gabriel, Narrative of a Five Years’ Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam, University of Massachusetts Press (Amhurst, 1972).

Winters, Lisa Ze, The Mulatta Concubine: Terror, Intimacy, Freedom and Desire in the Black Transatlantic, University of Georgia Press (2015).