In Staging Creolization, Emily Sahakian examines seven plays by Ina Césaire, Maryse Condé, Gerty Dambury, and Simone Schwarz-Bart that premiered in the French Caribbean or in France in the 1980s and 1990s and soon thereafter traveled to the United States. Sahakian argues that these late-twentieth-century plays by French Caribbean women writers dramatize and enact creolization—the process of cultural transformation through mixing and conflict that occurred in the context of the legacies of slavery and colonialism.

Sahakian here theorizes creolization as a performance-based process, dramatized by French Caribbean women’s plays and enacted through their international production and reception histories. The author contends that the syncretism of the plays is not a static, fixed creole aesthetics but rather a dynamic process of creolization in motion, informed by history and based in the African-derived principle that performance is a space of creativity and transformation that connects past, present, and future.

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