By Lisa Lowe
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Additional resources for The Intimacies of Four Continents
So, while this emergent sense of intimacies—the varieties of contacts between laboring peoples—is not explicitly named in the documents, it is, paradoxically, everywhere present in the archive in the presence of such detours. 112 These imminent, potential alliances among subjugated people are referenced negatively in policies and prohibitions against contacts, and are legible as apprehension and anxiety in the unwritten, blank spaces of the colonial archive. B. R. James, Walter Rodney, Fernando Ortiz, Cedric Robinson, Sylvia Wynter, and others, who allude to connections between slavery-based settler colonies, Chinese and Indian labor, and the prosperity of Europe.
Commensurate with political philosophy’s affirmation of the indi vidual’s passage to freedom through economic industry and po liti cal emancipation, the autobiography served as a particularly powerful genre for the individual achievement of liberty through ethical education and civilization. In a sense, the autobiography is the liberal genre par excellence. It is the modern narrative expression of the individual subject providing evidence of not only the imperatives and privileges of liberal 46 Chapter Two subjects, but also its aesthetic form.
An emergent social or cultural formation does not necessarily require completely “new” subjectivities or constituencies but can comprise elements of residual ongoing conditions like settler colonialism, colonial slavery, and trade, yet rearticulated in other ways through new practices. In this sense, we could consider one emergent formation of the intimacies of four continents as the variety of contacts among slaves, indentured, and mixed peoples living, working, and surviving together in the Americas.