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Mellon Forum // Of Milk, Blood, and Bones: Brazil’s Colonial and Postcolonial Plantation “Big House”

Ana Ozaki, Princeton-Mellon Fellow; Isadora Mota, History

October 25, 2022 · 12:00 pm1:15 pm · Betts Auditorium and Zoom

Princeton Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities

Gilberto Freyre’s influential book Casa Grande e Senzala [The Masters and the Slaves] (1933) has been an international reference in Brazil’s historical racial relations. In this equally historiographical and fictional study, a benevolent rendering of the plantation’s “big house” stands for Brazil, that is, as the root of its modern, exceptional, and multiculturalist society. In this view, colonial domesticity’s openness to “masters” and “slaves” nurtured interracial relations, miscegenation, and transculturation. According to Freyre, spatial practices such as implanted bones and blood in building foundations and breast milk ties between white boys and their Black wet nurses embodied some of Brazil’s hybridity matrices.

In this presentation, Ozaki will analyze these historiographical and spatial tropes to contend how the plantation permeated modern frameworks of territory and domesticity.

Attend this discussion in Betts Auditorium, abiding by University event guidelines. Box lunches are provided while supplies last.

Or register in advance for this Zoom webinar:

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