Bittersweet Poetics: Politics and Aesthetics of the Sugar Plantation in Contemporary Brazilian and Caribbean Arts (1990-2018)


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Spanish and Portuguese


This project inquires into works of art about sugar cane plantations produced in Brazil and the Caribbean in the last three decades, from 1990 to 2018. It argues that these works are sites of cultural production, where new aesthetics and modes of representation of the sugar plantation are developed in order to critique traditional narratives about the nation and the production of sugar; rewrite a new historiography for the sugar plantation; and produce and negotiate Black identities in Brazil and the Caribbean. Through an interdisciplinary approach and the combination of textual and visual analysis, interviews, and archival research, this research studies how artistic creation both reshapes and destabilizes discourses on commodities, nation, and Black citizenship in traditional plantation societies.