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Transatlantic StudiesLatin America, Iberia, and Africa$
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Cecilia Enjuto-Rangel, Sebastiaan Faber, Pedro García-Caro, and Robert Patrick Newcomb

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620252

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620252.001.0001

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Inscribing Islands: From Cuba to Fernando Pó and Back

Inscribing Islands: From Cuba to Fernando Pó and Back

(p.99) Chapter Eight Inscribing Islands: From Cuba to Fernando Pó and Back
Transatlantic Studies

Benita Sampedro Vizcaya

Liverpool University Press

In the construction of Atlantic paradigms, Africa—and its multiple intersections with both the Americas and Europe—has frequently been absent, or brought into the debate under the useful yet limited rubrics of diaspora, migration or creolization. In such configurations, the African continent typically emerges as an imagined presence for Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latin-American or Afro-European definitions of identity. Re-engaging the Atlantic in a new direction could press us to move beyond these paradigms in which the energy driving the narrative originates in Europe or the Americas. Pursuing the turn towards a new island history of the Atlantic, this essay will address an array of links—trajectories, journeys, passages—between the islands of Cuba and Fernando Poo (today Bioko), during the second half of the nineteenth century. Fernando Poo –part of the Spanish empire since the eighteenth century— began to serve as the destination for the eastward movement of Cuban emancipated slaves, and as a prison colony for Cuban political deportees. Some of these deportees left detailed accounts of their Atlantic and African experiences. Addressing these deportee narratives, will provide a new discursive angle for critically re-locating Africa within the Atlantic, and will ask how reading the insular Caribbean from an island perspective might prove a useful disciplinary practice in the production of Atlantic knowledge.

Keywords:   Island theory, Africa, Cuba, Fernando Poo, emancipated slaves, political deportees, prison colony, Atlantic knowledge

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