José Martí′s Our America

From National to Hemispheric Cultural Studies

José Martí′s  Our America

New Americanists

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Book Pages: 352 Illustrations: Published: December 1998

American Studies, Caribbean Studies, Latin American Studies

Considerable attention has been given to Cuban poet, essayist, and activist José Martí’s 1891 essay “Nuestra América,” but relatively little has been paid to the rest of the journalistic work that Martí produced during his fourteen-year exile in the United States. In José Martí’s Our America, Jeffrey Belnap and Raúl Fernández present essays from Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S.-based scholars who consider Martí’s rich and underexplored body of work and position Martí as an emblem of New American studies.
A Cuban exile from 1881 to 1895, Martí was a correspondent writing in New York for various Latin American newspapers. Grasping the significance of rising U.S. imperial power, he came to understand the Americas as a complex system of kindred—but not equal—national formations whose cultural and political integrity was threatened by the overbearing aggressiveness of the United States. This collection explores how in his journalistic work Martí critiques U.S. racism, imperialism, and capitalism; warns Latin America of impending U.S. geographical, cultural, and economic annexation; and calls for recognition of the diversity of America’s cultural voices. Reinforcing Martí’s hemispheric vision with essays by a wide range of scholars who investigate his analysis of the United States, his significance as a Latino outsider, and his analyses of Latin American cultural politics, this volume explores the affinities between Martí’s thought and current reexaminations of what it means to study America.
José Martí’s Our America offers a new understanding of Martí’s ambiguous and problematic relation with the United States and will engage scholars and students in American, Latin American, and Latino studies as well as those interested in cultural, postcolonial, gender, and ethnic studies.

Contributors. Jeffrey Belnap, Raúl Fernández, Ada Ferrer, Susan Gillman, George Lipsitz, Oscar Martí, David Noble, Donald E. Pease, Beatrice Pita, Brenda Gayle Plummer, Susana Rotker, José David Saldívar, Rosaura Sánchez, Enrico Mario Santí, Doris Sommer, Brook Thomas


“[I]ntelligent and well-informed . . . .” — Aníbal González, Hispanic American Historical Review

“There are some dazzling essays in this volume. . . .” — Ramón A. Gutiérrez , Journal of American History

“Together the papers do an excellent job of placing Martí within the wider intellectual context of his time. But their most important contribution for students of US history and US cultural studies is highlighting and building on Martí’s astute criticisms of Gilded Age America and its emerging Imperialism.” — British Bulletin of Publications

“This is a significant contribution to the transnational study of the journalistic prose of José Martí—Latin America’s first modernist poet and architect of Cuban independence from Spain. The essays in this volume expand the meaning of the name ‘America.’ . . . A useful and stimulating book.” — Marta E. Sanchez, University of California, San Diego


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jeffrey Belnap is Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Brigham Young University (Hawaii).

Raúl Fernández is Professor of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: The Architectonics of José Martí's "Our Americanisms" / Jeffrey Belnap and Raúl Fernández 1

I. Writing across the Line: Culture, Geography, and the "Latino Outsider"

José Martí, Alexis de Tocqueville, and the Politics of Displacement / Donald E. Pease 27

The (Political) Exile Gaze in Martí's Writing on the United States / Susana Rotker 58

José Martí, Author of Walt Whitman / Doris Sommer 77

Ramona in "Our America" / Susan Gillman 91

II. Annexationist Designs and the End(s) of Manifest Destiny

Dismantling the Collossus: Martí and Ruiz de Burton on the Formulation of Anglo América / Rosaura Sánchez 115

Engendering Critique: Race, Class, and Gender in Ruiz de Burton and Martí / Beatrice Pita 129

Nuestra América's Borders: Remapping American Cultural Studies / José David Saldivar 145

III. Martí's Prescriptive Map of Our America

"Our America," the Gilded Age, and the Crisis of Latinamericanism / Enrico Mario Santí 179

Headbands, Hemp Sandals, and Headdresses: The Dialectics of Dress and Self-Conception in Martí's "Our America" / Jeffrey Belnap 191

Firmin and Martí at the Intersection of Pan-Americanism and Pan-Africanism / Brenda Gayle Plummer 210

The Silence of Patriots: Race and Nationalism in Martí's Cuba / Ada Ferrer 228

IV. "Our Americanism" in the Age of "Globalization": Contemporary Frontiers

The Anglo-Protestant Monopolization of "America" / David W. Noble 253

Frederick Jackson Turner, José Martí, and Finding a Home on the Range / Brook Thomas 275

Their America and Ours: Intercultural Communication in the Context of "Our America" / George Lipsitz 293

José Martí and the Heroic Image / Oscar R. Martí 317

Index 339

Contributors 343
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2265-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2133-0
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