Ana Lucia Araujo
Edna G. Medford
Jeanne M. Toungara
Ana Lucia Araujo
As a cultural and social historian, my work is greatly influenced by the approach of historical anthropology. My research deals with the history and the memory of the Atlantic slave trade and slavery and their present social and cultural legacies. I am particularly interested in the public memory, heritage, and visual culture of slavery.
I conducted fieldwork and archival research in Brazil, Republic of Benin, Canada, France, England, and the United States. My research was supported by various national and international agencies including the Fonds de recherche Société et Culture (Canada), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES, Brazil) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Brazil). This work resulted into various publications, including five monographs, four edited books, one co-edited book, in addition to several articles and book chapters published in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. I also lecture and present my work in these languages in the United States and other countries including Brazil, Argentina, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
My newest book Reparations for Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Transnational and Comparative History
which will be published in the Fall 2017 is the first book to present a narrative history of the demands of financial, material, and symbolic reparations for slavery and the Atlantic slave trade. It explores a myriad of written primary sources in several languages, including abolitionist pamphlets, parliamentary debates, petitions by former slaves, newspaper articles, congressional bills, as well as public discourses by black activists and politicians in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The book draws from a transnational approach, associating social and cultural history, in order to grasp a transatlantic system that interconnected three continents for more than three hundred years. The various chapters examine the multiple dimensions of the demands of reparations, including the period of slavery, the emancipation era, the postabolition period, and the present. By focusing on the voices of various social actors who identified themselves as the victims of the Atlantic slave trade and slavery, this book shows why the demands of reparations have been emphasized or dismissed in public debates held in former slave societies.
My book Brazil Through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics (2015) is a revised and expanded English version of my book Romantisme tropical (2008). The book examines the representations of Brazil by the French painter François-Auguste Biard. I argue that Biard, along with other French artists who published travelogues on Brazil during the nineteenth century, developed a particular vision of the country which I call "tropical romanticism."
Shadows of the Slave Past: Memory, Heritage and Slavery (2014) examines the processes that led to the memorialization of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade in the second half of the twentieth century. Relying on examples from the United States, Brazil, and the Caribbean, I discuss how different groups and social actors have competed to occupy the public arena by associating the slave past with other human atrocities, especially the Holocaust. I look at how the populations of African descent, white elites, and national governments, very often carrying particular political agendas, appropriated the slave past by fighting to make it visible or conceal it in the public space of former slave societies.
Public Memory of Slavery: Victims and Perpetrators in the South Atlantic (2010) is a study of the recent resurgence of the public memory of slavery in Brazil (Bahia) and the Republic of Benin, two regions deeply connected during the period of the Atlantic slave trade. The book examines several local and international initiatives that impacted these two areas by resulting in the construction of monuments, memorials, and museums focusing on various aspects of the African presence in Brazil and the Luso-Brazilian presence in Benin. I argue that the construction of the public memory of slavery in this zone is not only the result of the surviving memories from the period of the Atlantic slave trade but also the outcome of a transnational movement.
I also published several edited volumes: African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic (2015), Politics of Memory: Making Slavery Visible in the Public Space (2012), Paths of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Interactions, Identities and Images (2011), and Living History: Encountering the Memory of the Heirs of Slavery (2009). I also co-edited Crossing Memories: Slavery and African Diaspora (2011).
My current book project is provisionally titled Slavery and the Battles of History and Memory. Aimed at an academic and general audience this book explains the dialogues among the concepts of history, public memory, collective memory, cultural memory, official memory, and public history. It shows how these various modes of engagement with the past relate to slavery and the Atlantic slave trade in both similar and different ways. In days when readers have a hard time to distinguish accurate information from fake news and “alternative facts,” this book will illuminate the relations between history and memory, between fact and fiction, in order to understand the current debates on slavery.
I am willing to supervise M.A and Ph.D. dissertations focusing on the following areas: history, memory, and heritage of slavery; visual culture of slavery; Africans and populations of African descent; identities, and race relations in the Atlantic world. An overview of my publications and other activities can be found on my personal website.
Edited and co-edited books
Ana Lucia Araujo
Professor of History
Ph. D. Université Laval and EHESS
Phone : (202) 806-6815
Fax : (202) 806 4471
Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean
Latin America to 1825
Latin America since 1825
Colloquium on History of Brazil
History of Brazil
Africans in Early Latin America
Seminar in Latin American History
Seminar on the History of Afro-Latinos
Seminar in Comparative History: Memory and Heritage of Slavery
Readings in Latin America: Afro-Brazil
Race Relations in Latin America and the Caribbean