Public Memory of Slavery: Victims and Perpetrators in the South Atlantic

by Ana Lucia Araujo


"An important and provocative work. No other study so thoroughly chronicles the fraught and ambiguous history of memorializing slavery in the South Atlantic. Araujo’s ability to ‘read’ multiple sources – both discursive and non-discursive – makes the book truly interdisciplinary in scope. It will be a crucial starting point for all future studies of slavery and memory in Benin and Brazil." – James H. Sweet, Journal of African History

"A path-breaking work of original research in which Ana Lucia Araujo illuminates the processes, politics, and economics of forgetting and remembering slavery in the South Atlantic ... Enriched by fluency in Portuguese, Spanish, French, and English, Araujo’s multidisciplinary research methodologies include archival digging, close textual reading, onsite analyses, and extensive interviews ... She offers many useful case studies of the complex vexations and rewards of the struggle for meaningful public memorials ... an important book for public historians." – The Public Historian

“Araujo sheds light on the paradoxical understandings of the slave trade in southern Benin and the unintended results of some international efforts to recognise the history of slavery and the slave trade. [This book] makes a useful addition to the literature because the reader is only reminded how much Africans and descendants of Africans have shaped this vast Atlantic world territory through divergent processes of exchange and recreation, occurring both within and beyond the gaze of Western discourse." – Itinerario

"One of the most important contributions of the text is the constant confrontation between the knowledge consolidated by the historiography and the processes of memory disputes, which are object of research ... Public Memory of Slavery has the virtue of pioneer works. It makes a large inventory of transnational movement of memorialization in relation to slavery which is currently underway. Prioritizing the South Atlantic and the case of Benin in particular, the book records without concessions the multiplicity of identities and political interests at stake in conflicts around the memory of slavery." – Afro-Asia

"Araujo’s work is important, as witnessed by what it does and what it evokes." – The Americas

"Informative and factual ... broad ranging and provides an introduction to numerous subjects. Recommended." – CHOICE


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