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The Ghosts of Empire
Violence, Suffering and Mobility in the Transatlantic Cultural Economy of Desire
This experimental ethnography set against the background of nighttime encounters in the rough streets of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, explores how such transnational characters as textit gringos, putas, and street children are at once co-constructed and reinvented through the legacy of Conquest and the global inequalities of late-capitalism. Theorizing the desires that drive these encounters as forms of colonial violence and sincere emancipatory strategies, Veissière's gaze travels outward across the Atlantic and the historical violence of Empire, and turns back inward to revisit the violence of his own White colonial desires.
The Ghosts of Empire "lays bare the questions we cannot answer and the doubts that we push to the side about how transnational forces distort the personalpolitical, internal external dimensions of everyone's lives. Veissière's story-telling is powerful and timely." Stephanie C. Kane, Indiana University
Samuel Veissière is Assistant Professor of Social Sciences and Anthropology at the University College of the North, Canada.
Praise for The Ghosts of Empire
"Veissière has written a book that lives transnationality. He confronts us with the importance of everything most of us leave out of our published writings. The Ghosts of Empire lays bare the questions we cannot answer and the doubts that we push to the side about how transnational forces distort the personal, political, internal, and external dimensions of everyone's lives...
Veissière throws himself into fieldwork about street people to an extraordinary degree [and] takes participant observation in night life to an almost unbearable extreme. His story-telling is powerful and timely. This is a courageous work that, if used in the classroom will shock and surprise students and professors out of their complacency; outside of the classroom, it may well be read for pure pleasure."