Traveling tropes: Race, reconstruction, and “Southern” redemption in The Story of Evangelina Cisneros

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This essay considers the entanglement of race, gender, and imperialism in U.S. discourse on Evangelina Cisneros, a white Cuban woman imprisoned in a Havana jail during her country’s final War for Independence from Spain (1895–1898). I argue that, an event historically tied to the colony’s abolition of slavery, Cuban Independence in writings about Cisneros becomes discursively imbricated with the reconsolidation of white supremacy in the U.S. South following the Civil War. The study establishes a dialogue between U.S. discourse on the events published in the late 1890s–the articles on the affair that appeared in The New York Journal and the multi-authored book The Story of Evangelina Cisneros (1897)–and Southern white supremacist author Thomas Dixon, Jr.’s Trilogy of Reconstruction (1902–1907) in order to explore the ways in which the Evangelina Cisneros text network mobilizes racial and gender paradigms typically associated with post-Reconstruction Southern “Redeemer” thinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-86
Number of pages17
JournalAtlantic Studies : Global Currents
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 16 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Minnesota Morris Faculty Research Enhancement Fund.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Cuba and the U.S. South
  • Cuban independence and race
  • Evangelina Cisneros
  • Spanish-Cuban-American War
  • Thomas Dixon, Jr.: Southern Redemption
  • black rapist myth
  • race and the circum-Caribbean
  • transnational postslavery
  • white supremacy and imperialism


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