Luso-tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism, the new book edited by Warwick Anderson, Ricardo Roque, and Ricardo Ventura Santos has just been published by Berghahn . The volume brings together an international group of historians and anthropologists in a critical reflexion on the past and present of scientific visions about Luso-Brazilian racial excepcionalism.
Modern perceptions of race across much of the Global South are indebted to the Brazilian social scientist Gilberto Freyre, who in works such as The Masters and the Slaves claimed that Portuguese colonialism produced exceptionally benign and tolerant race relations. This volume radically reinterprets Freyre’s Luso-tropicalist arguments and critically engages with the historical complexity of racial concepts and practices in the Portuguese-speaking world. Encompassing Brazil as well as Portuguese-speaking societies in Africa, Asia, and even Portugal itself, it places an interdisciplinary group of scholars in conversation to challenge the conventional understanding of twentieth-century racialization, proffering new insights into such controversial topics as human plasticity, racial amalgamation, and the tropes and proxies of whiteness.
Read here the INTRODUCTION by Warwick Anderson, Ricardo Roque and Ricardo Ventura Santos.