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Caribbean and African Studies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction

Slavery in Richmond Virginia, 1782–1865 Midori Takagi

RICHMOND WAS NOT only the capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy; it was also one of the most industrialized cities south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Boasting ironworks, tobacco processing plants, and flour mills, the city by 1860 drew half of its male workforce from the local slave population.... More

The Adventures of Amos 'n' Andy

A Social History of an American Phenomenon Melvin Patrick Ely

Forty million Americans indulged in a national obsession in 1930: they eagerly tuned in Amos 'n' Andy, the nightly radio comedy in which a pair of white actors portrayed the adventures of two black men making a new life in the big city. Meanwhile, some angry African Americans demanded that Amos 'n... More

The Story of The Madman

Mongo Beti

Widely acclaimed when first published in French in 1994, Mongo Beti's tenth novel, L'histoire du fou, continues the author's humorous yet fierce criticism of the colonial system in Africa and its legacy of governmental corruption.Translated here as The Story of the Madman, the novel gives the... More

Starving on a Full Stomach

Hunger and the Triumph of Cultural Racism in Modern South Africa Diana Wylie

An ideology of African ignorance that justified white supremacy grew up in South Africa during the first half of the twentieth century: if Africans were hungry, it was because they didn't know how to feed themselves properly; they were ignorant of "how to live." As a result, growing scientistic... More

Waiting for the Vote of the Wild Animals

Ahmadou Kourouma. Translated by Carrol F. Coates. Afterword by Carrol F. Coates

Characterized as "the African Voltaire," Ahmadou Kourouma garnered enormous critical and popular praise upon the 1998 release of his third novel, En attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages. Kourouma received the Prix des Tropiques, among other prestigious prizes, for that book, and the French edition... More

An African Classical Age

Eastern and Southern Africa in World History 1000 BC to AD 400 Christopher Ehret

In An African Classical Age, Christopher Ehret brings to light 1,400 years of social and economic transformation across Africa from Uganda and Kenya in the north to Natal and the Cape in the south. The book offers a much-needed portrait of this region during a crucial period in which basic features... More

From Calabar to Carter's Grove

The History of a Virginia Slave Community Lorena S. Walsh

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