Blister you all: The Calibanic Genealogy in Brazil

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Nov 10, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Pedro Meira Monteiro, Princeton University

This is an investigation into how post-colonial readings of Shakespeare’s The Tempest can help us understand the “Calibanic genealogy” that allowed certain authors to invert the fin-de-siècle assumptions that placed Ariel’s spiritual virtues ahead of Caliban’s raw corporeality. My hypothesis is that Prospero’s Mirror (an influential text by the U.S. scholar Richard Morse) is an “exaggerated” reading of Sérgio Buarque de Holanda’s classic Roots of Brazil that imagines Ibero-America as the real promised land of Western civilization, as opposed to the failure of the United States as a civilizational model.

Pedro Meira Monteiro is Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Princeton University, where he is also the Acting Director of the Program in Latin American Studies. He is the co-director of the Princeton-University of São Paulo global network on Race and Citizenship in the Americas. The author and editor of several books, such as Mário de Andrade e Sérgio Buarque de Holanda: Correspondência (Edusp/Companhia das Letras, 2012) and Cangoma Calling: Spirits and Rhythms of Freedom in Brazilian Jongo Slavery Songs (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 2013), he also contributes regularly to Brazilian newspapers and magazines.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

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