Perspectives on the ‘Other America’

Comparative Approaches to Caribbean and Latin American Culture


Uniting critical writing on novels, poetry, painting, and ritual, this volume takes a regional approach to the cultures of the Caribbean Basin. Ranging across the linguistic spectrum of the area, it examines cultural production from the Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanophone islands, Suriname and the Guyanas, and ‘Latin’ and Central America. The interdisciplinary nature of the collection and the challenge it poses to the balkanization of the region within academic discourse will make it of especial interest to students and scholars of the Caribbean. Inspired by the category of the ‘Other America’ as developed by Édouard Glissant, the book offers a series of original and stimulating engagements with topics that include nationalism, migration and exile, landscape and the environment, gender and sexuality, and Postcolonial Studies and ‘world literature’. In addition to contributions by leading scholars such as Peter Hulme, Theo D’haen, and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, it contains interviews with two renowned novelists from the region, Lawrence Scott and Mayra Santos-Febres. Underpinning the collection is an interrogation of received ideas of the nation-state and a suggestion that regionalism might provide a better optic through which to view the circum-Caribbean – that national consciousness, in other words, must always also be a regional consciousness.

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Michael Niblett and Kerstin Oloff: Introduction: Regionalism and the Caribbean
Part 1. The ‘Other America’ and Representation
Peter Hulme: Expanding the Caribbean
Michael Niblett: The Arc of the ‘Other America’: Landscape, Nature, and Region in Eric Walrond’s Tropic Death
Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert: ‘American’ Landscapes and Erasures: Frederic Church’s The Vale of St.Thomas and the Recovery of History in Landscape Painting
Part 2. Otherness, Gender and Sexuality in the Expanded Caribbean
Heidi Bojsen: Other Americas, Other Genderings: Postcolonial Heroines and Rhizomatic Geographies in Patrick Chamoiseau’s Biblique des derniers gestes
Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley: “No Storm to Blow Me Over?” Mapping Same-Sex Sexuality in the Other Americas
Mayra Santos-Febres: “Más allá de la información”: Region, Culture and the Imagination. An Interview
Part 3. Location, Region and Culture
Néstor E. Rodríguez: The Twilight Zone: Puerto Rico’s Cultural Identity in the Work of José Luis González
Patricia Krus: The Ethics of Postcolonial Healing in Astrid Roemer’s Trilogy of Suriname
Paulette Ramsay: Cross-Cultural Poetics: Debating the Place of Afro-Mexican Poetry in the Context of Caribbean Literary and Cultural Aesthetics
Part 4. Caribbean Writing in a Global Context
Theo D’haen: Exile, Caribbean Literature, and the World Republic of Letters
Kerstin D. Oloff: Wilson Harris, Regionalism and Postcolonial Studies
Lawrence Scott: Region, Location and Aesthetics: An Interview