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Frontiers of Citizenship
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Book description

Frontiers of Citizenship is an engagingly-written, innovative history of Brazil's black and indigenous people that redefines our understanding of slavery, citizenship, and the origins of Brazil's 'racial democracy'. Through groundbreaking archival research that brings the stories of slaves, Indians, and settlers to life, Yuko Miki challenges the widespread idea that Brazilian Indians 'disappeared' during the colonial era, paving the way for the birth of Latin America's largest black nation. Focusing on the postcolonial settlement of the Atlantic frontier and Rio de Janeiro, Miki argues that the exclusion and inequality of indigenous and African-descended people became embedded in the very construction of Brazil's remarkably inclusive nationhood. She demonstrates that to understand the full scope of central themes in Latin American history - race and national identity, unequal citizenship, popular politics, and slavery and abolition - one must engage the histories of both the African diaspora and the indigenous Americas.


‘This book is a major achievement not only because of the innovative research and groundbreaking analysis, but also because the author has uniquely found a way to communicate these in prose that is both concise and precise. She effectively articulates theoretical and epistemological insights in a streamlined way that is certainly helpful to students and nonspecialists but also, frankly, is useful for specialist scholars trying to apprehend her reading of the archive. I can sincerely say that having read this book will forever change the way I think and teach about Atlantic slavery and Brazilian history, something that I have been doing for over twenty years.'

Amy Chazkel - Queens College, City University of New York

‘In Frontiers of Citizenship, Yuko Miki connects racial categories that hitherto have been archivally and historiographically separate and argues persuasively why this approach is ‘not only possible, but necessary'. By intertwining the histories of indigenous peoples and black slaves in a frontier region, she offers surprising new insights about race, slavery, and citizenship during Brazil's transition to nationhood.'

Judy Bieber - University of New Mexico

‘Yuko Miki provides a critical accounting of nation-state building in nineteenth century Brazil. Surprising and engaging, Miki tells a series of stories from a variety of perspectives that bring indigenous peoples into the light. She provides those of us who work in the modern era on Black-Indian disputes and alliances with an important backdrop that will inform our work in many years to come. This book would be excellent for both undergraduate and graduate courses in Brazil, nineteenth century Latin America, and adds Brazil, a country often left to one side when discussing indigenous peoples of South America.'

Jan French - University of Richmond

‘In placing together Indians and black slaves within a complex framework of territorial claims, labor exploitation, nation-building, and the struggle for and denial of citizenship, Yuko Miki's book opens a new frontier in the social history of nineteenth-century Brazil and Latin America in general.'

João José Reis - Universidade Federal da Bahia, author of Divining Slavery and Freedom

'Miki’s carefully told stories of the intersections of black and indigenous experiences across a formative period in the history of the largest of Latin American countries, the historical meaning of these stories, and their potential conceptual impact are what make this book so worthwhile.'

James P. Woodard Source: Ethnohistory

‘… Frontiers of Citizenship will be read widely.’

Jonathan Warren Source: Hispanic American Historical Review

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  • 1 - Outside of Society
    pp 28-62
  • Slavery and Citizenship


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