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Historia mexicana

versión On-line ISSN 2448-6531versión impresa ISSN 0185-0172


CASTILHO, Celso Thomas. Uncle Tom's Cabin, Atlantic Slavery and the Racialization of the Public Sphere in Mexico City in the mid-19th Century. Hist. mex. [online]. 2019, vol.69, n.2, pp.789-835.  Epub 20-Nov-2019. ISSN 2448-6531.

The 1857 theatrical productions of Uncle Tom's Cabin in Mexico City must be understood as part of the cultural phenomenon of "Tom-Mania" that swept the Atlantic world in the 1850s. Nevertheless, both historians and literary critics have ignored the impact of Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous novel in Mexico, as well as its importance in Latin America as a whole. One consequence of this has been a lack of attention paid to how the Spanish imperial project, which included slavery, influenced the development of a Hispano-Mexican intellectual field regarding issues such as slavery, race and abolitionism. This article sheds light on these connections through a transnational perspective on the circulation of Uncle Tom's Cabin in Mexico City. The first part traces how it and other important contemporary texts that dealt with the issue of slavery -Victor Hugo's Bug-Jargal and Gustave de Beaumont's Marie, or Slavery in the United States- conquered the bookstores, periodicals and literary salons of the capital. The second part focuses on the 1857 theatrical productions of the novel, arguing that aspects of these productions underscored the apparent acceptance and familiarity with minstrel tropes in the cultural arena, showing how these anti-slavery plays nevertheless reinforced practices that stigmatized blackness.

Palabras llave : Uncle Tom's Cabin; Slavery; Theater; Blackness; Minstrel; Public Sphere.

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