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vol.14 issue1In the fabric of Brazilian sexualityProfessional mulatas: race, gender and occupation author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Revista Estudos Feministas

Print version ISSN 0104-026X

Abstract

SILVA, Denise Ferreira da. À brasileira: raciality and the writing of a destructive desire. Rev. Estud. Fem. [online]. 2006, vol.14, n.1, pp. 61-83. ISSN 0104-026X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-026X2006000100005.

If eroticism, as Bataille states, distinguishes human sexuality - as it institutes the modern subject as the effect of desire - it belongs in critical analyses of the conditions of production of modern subjects. For this reason, in this paper, I revisit articulations of the erotic in Freyre's version of the Brazilian national subject. I trace how eroticism produces a racial figure, the mestiço, whose particularity resides in that it is an eschatological object, i.e. a historical figure destined to disappear. While this figure has been celebrated as the unifying, productive symbol of Brazilianness, it has opposite material effects. As a political/symbolic device, the mestiço institutes subaltern social subjects. This results from how miscegenation, as a historical signifier, anticipates the (physical and symbolic) obliteration of blacks and Indians. This, I show, results from the construction of the nonwhite female as an instrument (not as an object) of colonial desire. As such, it is also presupposed in the mechanisms of racial subject governing contemporary Brazil.

Keywords : Eroticism; Sexuality; Miscegenation; Brazil; Patriarchy.

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