When it comes to history, it’s not what’s told, it’s who’s story is not told. Specifically, the subaltern. What, or who is the subaltern? The subaltern is (are) those who have no voice and no power in this world, the politically, socially and economically weakest. The subalterns are those who die when a bureaucrat makes a bad deal with the World Bank or WTO; the mothers who are affected by a drop in world coffee prices ; the street children in the Philippines–those with no “agency”—no power over their own destiny, those with no power to make any real change in their world (until they rebel). In the Judith A. Carney article ,With Grains in Her Hair’: Rice in Colonial Brazil , ONE of the ways the subalterns—slaves in this reading, exercise “agency” is when they run away and set up free slave communities called “quilombos” that fought for the freedom of Blacks and poor Portuguese in Brazil. The largest actually formed a parallel kingdom, “dos Palmares.”
examine how anthropologists have taken the side of the subaltern and attempted to tell their story, specifically relate this article to the witches of Ghana.
Who were the subalterns in Carney’s essay? How was their history erased? How did Carney recover this history?
How did the subalterns exercise the little agency they could and keep their culture? Why did they?
What importance does Carney give Dona Luciana? How is she like Ida Susser?
Why does Carney argue that Africans shaped the early modern Atlantic world?
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