For centuries the Atlantic world has been a site of encounter and exchange, a rich point of transit where one could remake one's identity or find it transformed. Through this interdisciplinary collection of essays, Laura R. Prieto and Stephen R. Berry offer vivid new accounts of how individuals remapped race, gender, and sexuality through their lived experience and in the cultural imagination. Crossings and Encounters is the first single volume to address these three intersecting categories across the Atlantic world and beyond the colonial period.
The Atlantic world offered novel possibilities to and exposed vulnerabilities of many kinds of people, from travelers to urban dwellers, native Americans to refugees. European colonial officials tried to regulate relationships and impose rigid ideologies of gender, while perceived distinctions of culture, religion, and ethnicity gradually calcified into modern concepts of race. Amid the instabilities of colonial settlement and slave societies, people formed cross-racial sexual relationships, marriages, families, and households. These not only afforded some women and men with opportunities to achieve stability; they also furnished ways to redefine one's status.
Crossings and Encounters spans broadly from early contact zones in the seventeenth-century Americas to the postcolonial present, and it covers the full range of the Atlantic world, including the Caribbean, North America, and Latin America. The essays examine the historical intersections between race and gender to illuminate the fluid identities and the dynamic communities of the Atlantic world.
About the Author
Laura R. Prieto is the Alumni Chair in Public Humanities and professor of history and of women's and gender studies at Simmons University. She is the author of At Home in the Studio: The Professionalization of Women Artists in the United States.
Stephen R. Berry is an associate professor of history at Simmons University and the author of A Path in the Mighty Waters: Shipboard Life and Atlantic Crossings.