Effron Center | Sarah Quesada Book Talk: "The African Heritage of Latinx and Caribbean Literature"

Apr 3, 2023, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
East Pyne 010



Event Description

The African Heritage of Latinx and Caribbean Literature unearths a buried African archive within widely-read Latinx writers of the last 50 years. It challenges dominant narratives in world literature and transatlantic studies that ignore Africa's impact on broader Latin American culture. Sarah Quesada argues that these canonical works evoke textual memorials of African memory. She shows how the African Atlantic haunts modern Latinx and Caribbean writing and examines the disavowal or distortion of the African subject in the constructions of national, racial, sexual, and spiritual Latinx identity. Quesada shows how themes such as the 19th century 'scramble for Africa,' the decolonizing wars, Black internationalism, and the neoliberal turn are embedded in key narratives. Drawing from multilingual archives about West and Central Africa, she examines how the legacies of colonial French, Iberian, British, and U.S. imperialisms have impacted the relationships between African and Latinx identities. This is the first book-length project to address the African colonial and imperial inheritance of Latinx literature.

Limited copies of African Heritage available at the talk. Reception to immediately follow.


Sarah Quesada, Assistant Professor of Romance Studies, Duke University

Sarah Margarita Quesada is an assistant professor in the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University. Her main interests are literatures of the Global South, specifically Latinx, Latin American and African literatures. She works at the intersection of Atlantic world studies, African diaspora studies, and World Literature. Her book The African Heritage of Latinx and Caribbean Literature (Cambridge Studies in World Literature and Culture, Cambridge University Press, 2022) examines the engagement of the most widely read Latinx and Latin American authors of the last 50 years with Franco/Anglo/Lusophone African writers and historiography in order to identify the African derived causes of a “Latin” excision from Africa. Learn more.

  • Effron Center for the Study of America
  • Program in Latino Studies
  • Program in Latin American Studies
  • Department of Spanish and Portuguese