Tessa  Wood

Understanding Race and Gender in the Legacies of Brazil's Peripheral Literature

Whose perspective is really heard when public attention is drawn to literary representations of race, gender, and ideas of marginality? How does a public unfamiliar with marginalized authors’ experiences (mis)interpret their ideas? My project focuses on the peripheral literature movement in Brazil, a twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary movement in which authors from socioeconomically marginalized urban neighborhoods describe daily life and issues in their communities. Because authors representative of this movement often combine criticism of socioeconomic disparities with depictions of racial and gender-based discrimination, my intervention aims to better integrate a critical race and gender analysis into existing critical discussions about peripheral literature. Through analysis of both how these writers present themselves to the outside world and of existing secondary literature on them, my research will seek to understand how race and gender have already been discussed and in which ways these factors have been misrepresented, overlooked, or sensationalized within current conversations.