Empire and literature: from the schism of race to the seism of the 'other'.

Nazir Ahmed Can, Rita Chaves

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter analyses some of the ways in which the notion of race, the (still ongoing) engine of Western expansion in the world, is projected in works published in different contexts. In a first moment, it is observed how a certain idea of race brings together three European narratives separated by more than a hundred years: Heart of Darkness (1902) by Joseph Conrad, Zambeziana - Scenas da vida colonial [Zambezian - Scenes of Colonial Life] (1927) by Emílio de San Bruno and A última viúva de África [The Last Widow of Africa] (2017) by Carlos Vale Ferraz. This chapter also examines the literary project of Angolan Ruy Duarte de Carvalho, who, between the final decades of the 20th century and the first ones of the 21st century, resized the debate. In these two tempos, the authors identify the process that reflects the permanence of a worldview that hierarchises human beings by skin colour, which they call “the schism of race, " and its counterpoint, produced on African soil, which they call the “seism of the other.”.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRacism and Racial Surveillance. Modernity Matters
EditorsSheila Khan, Nazir Ahmed Can, Helena Machado
Place of PublicationNew York; London
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781003014300
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameRacism and Racial Surveillance: Modernity Matters


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