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Title page for ETD etd-06072012-121554

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Boutelle, Russell Joseph
Author's Email Address russell.j.boutelle@vanderbily.edu
URN etd-06072012-121554
Title Imagining Juan Placido, imagining Cuba: rethinking U.S.-Cuban relations and the transamerican geographies of abolition in J.G. Whittier's "The Black Man"
Degree Master of Arts
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ifeoma Nwankwo Committee Co-Chair
Teresa Goddu Committee Co-Chair
  • Cuba
  • Abolition
  • Poems by a Slave in the Island of Cuba
  • Richard Robert Madden
  • Slavery
  • Juan Francisco Manzano
  • The Stranger in Lowell
  • John Greenleaf Whittier
  • Autobiografia
Date of Defense 2012-06-01
Availability unrestricted
This thesis maps the conflation of Cuban authors Juan Francisco Manzano and Placido in John Greenleaf Whittier's The Stranger in Lowell. Through an inadvertent synthesis of the lived experiences of the two poets, the resulting syncretic figure "Juan Placido"initiates a reconsideration of mid-nineteenth century U.S.-Cuban relations. Whittier's revisions and erasures of the Cuban particulars in his cultural translation of the writers into the highly specific context of North American abolitionism ultimately offer an alternative historiographical narrative in which the development of U.S. and Cuban national identities were inextricably interwoven through their negotiation of (anti)slavery in the Americas. Furthermore, The Stranger in Lowell's deployment of well-known slave revolts across the geographies of the hemisphere relocates the island and the continent in a less hierarchical relationship, debasing the nationalist and imperialist discourses that have heretofore driven multicultural approaches to mid-nineteenth century American Studies.
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