Choice Outstanding Academic Title
“The vast diversity of Latin America needs a tool such as this, which opens up the nuances of regional Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, and the other languages of the hemispheres. . . . This is a rich resource for understanding language as a key to identity.”—Choice
“A most useful and timely reference tool for anyone interested in better understanding Latin American identities and how they have been perceived over time.”—Armin Schwegler, coauthor of Fonética y fonología españolas
Unparalleled in its thoroughness, its accessibility, and its relevance to all areas of Latin American studies, this volume is a dictionary of 21,000 terms related to race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality used in the region over the past five centuries. It includes the languages of Spanish, Portuguese, French, and their Creoles and encompasses an interdisciplinary range of sources that highlight the intersectional nature of identity.
The words and phrases in this dictionary are accompanied by detailed English definitions, literal translations, and notes on etymology and usage, including the region and time period in which the terms have occurred. Cross-references assist readers looking for synonyms, antonyms, or alternate spellings. The volume contains equivalent terms from the Francophone Indian Ocean islands, due to the history of colonialism they share with the Antilles, as well as terms from Africa that are connected to the Americas via the slave trade. Terms and definitions are taken from humanities and social science scholarship, literary works, personal interviews, colonial documents, and internet discourse. The dictionary also features a historical, cultural, and theoretical introduction, as well as an extensive bibliography.
Addressing the reality that categories for identity are highly fluid, contentious, and contextually bound, Dictionary of Latin American Identities is a helpful guide to such nuances and complexities for researchers who are not fluent in the languages of a given country or area. It will serve as an invaluable reference for understanding and correctly using the myriad words that describe and classify identities in Latin America.
John T. Maddox IV, associate professor of Spanish at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is the author of Challenging the Black Atlantic: The New World Novels of Zapata Olivella and Gonçalves. Thomas M. Stephens, professor of Spanish at Rutgers University, is the author of Dictionary of Latin American Racial and Ethnic Terminology.
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