Reclaiming the Political in Latin American History. GILBERT M. JOSEPH (ed.): Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.

Howard Handelman

Abstract


Originating from an homenagem to Brazilian historian Emilia Viotti da Costa, this volume is primarily a work of historiography in which the contributors - her former graduate students and colleagues at Yale - call for a re-politicization of historical research on Latin America in a "post-revolutionary age." The authors seek a renewed historical focus on the political arena following a decade in which research has concentrated more often on cultural studies and social history. Moreover, the contributors insist that such historical research need have an overtly political purpose, more specifically a radical purpose, as they face an era in which most radical scholars have been dispirited. Historiographical chapters by Gilbert Joseph, Steve Stern, and Viotti da Costa examine "The Politics of Writing Latin American History" while Florencia Mallon analyzes the role of the historian (including her political role) in testimonial and ethnographic history. Other authors discuss "historical narratives and memory, class, race, sexuality or gender" in the context of research on Brazilian or Jamaican slavery, revolutionary nationalism in Jamaica, U.S. copper mining in Chile, or the Chilean agrarian reform.

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