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Caribbean and African Studies


Orphan Narratives
The Postplantation Literature of Faulkner, Glissant, Morrison, and Saint-John Perse

Valérie Loichot

In Orphan Narratives, Valérie Loichot investigates the fiction and poetry of four writers who emerged from the postslavery plantation world of the Americas—William Faulkner (USA), Édouard Glissant (Martinique), Toni Morrison (USA), and Saint-John Perse (Guadeloupe)—to show how these descendants... More


Just Below South
Intercultural Performance in the Caribbean and the U.S. South

Jessica Adams, Michael P. Bibler, and Cécile Accilien, eds.

Just Below South is the first book to examine the U.S. South and the Caribbean as a "regional interculture" shaped by performance--as a space defined not so much by a shared set of geographical boundaries or by a single, common culture as by the weave of performances and identities moving across... More


The Segregated Scholars
Black Social Scientists and the Creation of Black Labor Studies, 1890–1950

Francille Rusan Wilson

In Segregated Scholars Francille Rusan Wilson explores the lives and work of fifteen black labor historians and social scientists as seen through the prisms of gender, class, and time. This collective biography offers complex and vital portraits of these seminal figures, many of whom knew and... More


Writing Rumba
The Afrocubanista Movement in Poetry

Miguel Arnedo-Gómez

Arising in the heyday of the music recently made famous by the Buena Vista Social Club, afrocubanismo was an artistic and intellectual movement in Cuba in the 1920s and 1930s that tried to convey a national and racial identity. Through poetry, this movement was the first serious attempt on the part... More


Dog Days
An Animal Chronicle

Patrice Nganang. Translated by Amy Reid

"I am a dog," the narrator of Patrice Nganang's novel plainly informs us. As such, he has learned not to expect too much from life. He can, however, observe the life around him—in his case the impoverished but dynamic Cameroon of the early 1990s, a time known as les années de braise (the smoldering... More


Guarding Cultural Memory
Afro-Cuban Women in Literature and the Arts

Flora González Mandri

In Guarding Cultural Memory, Flora González Mandri examines the vibrant and uniquely illuminating post-Revolutionary creative endeavors of Afro-Cuban women. Taking on the question of how African diaspora cultures practice remembrance, she reveals the ways in which these artists restage the... More


Murder at Morija
Faith, Mystery, and Tragedy on an African Mission

Tim Couzens

Just before Christmas in 1920, six people sat down to a meal at Morija, headquarters of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in Basutoland (Lesotho). All six were taken violently ill, and one of them died. They had been poisoned. The dead man was Édouard Jacottet, an eminent scholar and... More


Cannibal Modernities
Postcoloniality and the Avant-garde in Caribbean and Brazilian Literature

Luís Madureira

Unique in its inclusion of Brazil in a comparative study of literary texts and their engagement with Western modernity, Cannibal Modernities is the first postcolonial study to show how the "peripheral" replications of modernity in contemporary Caribbean and Latin American texts differ crucially... More


Reclaiming Difference
Caribbean Women Rewrite Postcolonialism

Carine M. Mardorossian

In Reclaiming Difference, Carine Mardorossian examines the novels of four women writers—Jean Rhys (Dominica/UK), Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe/USA), Edwidge Danticat (Haiti/USA), and Julia Alvarez (Dominican Republic/USA)—showing how their writing has radically reformulated the meanings of the national... More


New World Modernisms
T.S. Eliot, Derek Walcott, and Kamau Brathwaite

Charles W. Pollard

James Clifford tells us that modernism has become a "traveling culture" because it reflects the "discrepant cosmopolitanism" of the twentieth century – that is, a world in which people are paradoxically migratory yet rooted, international yet local. Perhaps modernism has traveled so well because it... More


New World Modernisms
T.S. Eliot, Derek Walcott, and Kamau Brathwaite

Charles W. Pollard

James Clifford tells us that modernism has become a "traveling culture" because it reflects the "discrepant cosmopolitanism" of the twentieth century—that is, a world in which people are paradoxically migratory yet rooted, international yet local. Perhaps modernism has traveled so well because it... More


Exile: According to Julia


by Gisèle Pineau. Translated by Betty Wilson with an Afterword by Marie-Agnès Sourieau

Gisèle Pineau was born, and spent the first fourteen years of her life, in Paris. Her parents, originally from the island of Guadeloupe, were part of the massive transplantation of Antilleans to the métropole after World War II. Most had left their homeland hoping to improve their lives and their... More


Social Death and Resurrection
Slavery and Emancipation in South Africa

John Edwin Mason

What was it like to be a slave in colonial South Africa? What difference did freedom make? The questions themselves are simply put, but John Edwin Mason has found complex answers after delving deeply into the slaves’ experience within the slaveholding patriarchal household, the work that slaves... More


From Morning To Night
Domestic Service at Maymont and the Gilded-Age South

Elizabeth O'Leary

Step off the lush carpet and push through the swinging door of the butler’s pantry to enter the bustling realm of domestic workers at Maymont House from 1893 to 1925. In From Morning to Night, Elizabeth O’Leary takes the reader behind the scenes in the opulent mansion of the Richmond... More


Paradise and Plantation
Tourism and Culture in the Anglophone Caribbean

Ian Gregory Strachan

"It is hard to ignore the hotels. They rise like mammoths of iron and concrete above the homes, the office buildings, the trees of New Providence, island of my birth." So begins Ian Strachan’s history of the idea of the Caribbean as paradise. The modern image of the Bahamas as a carefree tourist... More


Voicing Memory
History and Subjectivity in French Caribbean Literature

Nick Nesbitt

In Voicing Memory Nick Nesbitt argues that the aesthetic practices of twentieth-century French Caribbean writers reconstruct a historical awareness that had been lost amid the repressive violence of slavery, the plantation system, and colonial exploitation. Drawing on the work of Aimé Césaire,... More


Creole Recitations
John Jacob Thomas and Colonial Formation in the Late Nineteenth-Century Caribbean

Faith Smith

John Jacob Thomas (1841-1889) was one of the leading members of a newly emergent intelligentsia in nineteenth-century Trinidad—a group that could be identified as both "Victorian" and "Pan-Africanist"—who not only challenged British imperialist accounts of Trinidad but also tried to show the... More


Ceramic Uncles and Celluloid Mammies
Black Images and Their Influence on Culture

Patricia A. Turner

Exploring white American popular culture of the past century and a half, Turner details subtle and not-so-subtle negative tropes and images of black people, from Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima to jokes about Michael Jackson and Jesse Jackson. She feels that far too little has changed in terms of white... More


Singular Performances
Reinscribing the Subject in Francophone African Writing

Michael Syrotinski

Francophone African writing is often concerned with questions of subjectivity and narrative agency, and it is this focus Michael Syrotinski takes as his point of departure in Singular Performances. Using the work of V. Y. Mudimbe as a major theoretical reference, Syrotinski sets up a number of... More


A Way Out of No Way
Claiming Family and Freedom in the New South

Dianne Swann-Wright

An African American folk saying declares, "Our God can make a way out of no way.... He can do anything but fail." When Dianne Swann-Wright set out to capture and relate the history of her ancestors—African Americans in central Virginia after the Civil War—she had to find that way, just as her... More


In the Flicker of an Eyelid
A Novel

Jacques Stephen Alexis. Translated and with an afterword by Carrol F. Coates and Edwidge Danticat, with the 1983 preface by Florence Alexis

In his third novel, Jacques Stephen Alexis brings his characteristically vivid scenes, political consciousness, and powerful characters to the dramatic age-old question of whether a prostitute can leave "the life" to find her own identity and true love. La Niña Estrellita is pursuing her trade... More


Race Man
The Rise and Fall of the "Fighting Editor," John Mitchell Jr

Ann Field Alexander

Although he has largely receded from the public consciousness, John Mitchell Jr., the editor and publisher of the Richmond Planet, was well known to many black, and not a few white, Americans in his day. A contemporary of Booker T. Washington, Mitchell contrasted sharply with Washington in... More


The Lynching of Emmett Till
A Documentary Narrative

Christopher Metress

At 2:00 A.M. on August 28, 1955, fourteen-year-old Emmett Till, visiting from Chicago, was abducted from his great-uncle’s cabin in Money, Mississippi, and never seen alive again. When his battered and bloated corpse floated to the surface of the Tallahatchie River three days later and two local... More


Cutting the Vines of the Past
Environmental Histories of the Central African Rain Forest

Tamara Giles-Vernick

Cutting the Vines of the Past offers a novel argument: African ways of seeing and interpreting their environments and past are not only critical to how historians write environmental history; they also have important lessons for policymakers and conservationists. Tamara Giles-Vernick demonstrates... More


The View across the River
Harriette Colenso and the Zulu Struggle against Imperialism

Jeff Guy

This narrative aims to show how after its conquest, the Zulu kingdom was destroyed by the imperial policies of divide and rule, and how the Colenso family, especially the Bishop's eldest daughter, Harriette, took the lead in resisting colonial exploitation and imperial domination.This powerful and... More


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