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The Other Black Ocean: Indo-Portuguese Slavery and Africanness Elsewhere in Margaret Mascarenhas's Skin

R. Benedito Ferrão
Research in African Literatures
Vol. 45, No. 3, Africa and the Black Atlantic (Fall 2014), pp. 27-47
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/reseafrilite.45.3.27
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/reseafrilite.45.3.27
Page Count: 21
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The Other Black Ocean: Indo-Portuguese Slavery and Africanness Elsewhere in Margaret Mascarenhas's Skin
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Abstract

ABSTRACT By attending to race and gender as archives of disprivileged experiential knowledge that lie within and beyond the dermis, Margaret Mascarenhas's novel Skin questions the bounded geographic limits of racialized histories. Skin enmeshes its participants within designs of native and colonial power, wherein violence and displacement are evidenced as pervasive elements of modernity's onset. Furthermore, because of its inclusion of Africans who are dislocated to Goa, Skin allows for a consideration of Asian and black subjectivities under the influence of Portuguese colonization, moving away from the primacy of British colonialism in postcolonial epistemologies. Skin brings attention to one of the world's longest colonial histories and a history of African slavery outside of the Atlantic by incorporating the arena of the Indian Ocean as part of that trade. Within this, gendered legacies of racialization are proven to be more than skin deep in accounting for resistance and survival.

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