New Books in the Arts & Sciences

Celebrating Recent Work by Ana Paulina Lee

Wednesday, October 3, 2018  6:15pm The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room


Free and open to the public

No registration necessary

First come, first seated


The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities

Office of the Divisional Deans in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

The Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures

Listen to the podcast here.

New Books in the Arts & Sciences:
Celebrating Recent Work by Ana Paulina Lee

Mandarin Brazil; Race, Representation, and Memory
By: Ana Paulina Lee

In Mandarin Brazil, Ana Paulina Lee explores the centrality of Chinese exclusion to the Brazilian nation-building project, tracing the role of cultural representation in producing racialized national categories. Lee considers depictions of Chineseness in Brazilian popular music, literature, and visual culture, as well as archival documents and Brazilian and Qing dynasty diplomatic correspondence about opening trade and immigration routes between Brazil and China. In so doing, she reveals how Asian racialization helped to shape Brazil's image as a racial democracy.

Mandarin Brazil begins during the second half of the nineteenth century, during the transitional period when enslaved labor became unfree labor—an era when black slavery shifted to "yellow labor" and racial anxieties surged. Lee asks how colonial paradigms of racial labor became a part of Brazil's nation-building project, which prioritized "whitening," a fundamentally white supremacist ideology that intertwined the colonial racial caste system with new immigration labor schemes. By considering why Chinese laborers were excluded from Brazilian nation-building efforts while Japanese migrants were welcomed, Lee interrogates how Chinese and Japanese imperial ambitions and Asian ethnic supremacy reinforced Brazil's whitening project. Mandarin Brazil contributes to a new conversation in Latin American and Asian American cultural studies, one that considers Asian diasporic histories and racial formation across the Americas.


  • Author

    Ana Paulina Lee

    Assistant Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies

    Columbia University

  • Speaker

    Alberto Medina

    Professor, Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures

    Columbia University

  • Speaker

    Graciela Montaldo

    Professor, Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures

    Columbia University

  • Speaker

    Denise Cruz

    Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature

    Columbia University

  • Speaker

    Barbara Weinstein

    Silver Professor of History

    New York University


By Semester