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Transnational Memory of the Atlantic Slave Trade Today: Modes of Remembering in Three Lusophone Nations

Polanía-Beltrán, Fihiza

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Abstract

From the 15th century up until the 19th century, millions of enslaved Africans were forcibly taken from their homes to the Americas and, to a lesser extent, to Europe. The remnant effects of slavery have persisted in these societies and remain evident today. This paper examines the transnational Memory of the Atlantic slave trade today and its modes of remembering through palimpsests of Memory in three Lusophone nations: Angola, Brazil, and Portugal. Using Astrid Erll’s outline (2010) on Memory studies, this thesis argues that there are different modes of remembering the past according to the distinct positions occupied within the world system. This thesis thereby proposes the notion of palimpsests of Memory, as a parallel with Pierre Nora’s (1996) Lieux de mémoire, as mediums of remembering that elicit those modes. To this end, three cases are compared: Angolan poetry, capoeira practice in Brazil, and the urban toponymy in Lisbon (the capital city of Portugal). The double structure of the palimpsest presented by Sarah Dillon (2005) will be used for this analysis. The following three modes of remembering are analyzed and discussed from a transnational perspective: the defiant, the heterogeneous, and the nostalgic. This juxtaposed analysis demonstrates how Memory constitutes a representation that is affected by diverse social and cultural frameworks in which it is situated.

Item Type: Master's thesis
Supervisor: Nina, PD Dr. Fernando
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 26 March 2021
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 06:56
Date: 2021
Faculties / Institutes: Neuphilologische Fakultät > Romanisches Seminar
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
460 Spanish and Portugese languages
Controlled Keywords: Atlantic slave trade, Lusophone countries, Memory studies, Modes of remembering, Palimpsest of Memory
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