Narrating the Slave Trade, Theorizing Community


In Narrating the Slave Trade, Theorizing Community, Raphaël Lambert explores the notion of community in conjunction with literary works concerned with the transatlantic slave trade. The recent surge of interest in both slave trade and community studies concurs with the return of free-market ideology, which once justified and facilitated the exponential growth of the slave trade. The motif of unbridled capitalism recurs in all the works discussed herein; however, community, whether racial, political, utopian, or conceptual, emerges as a fitting frame of reference to reveal unsuspected facets of the relationships between all involved parties, and expose the ramifications of the trade across time and space. Ultimately, this book calls for a complete reevaluation of what it means to live together.

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Raphaël Lambert (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2001) lives in Kyoto, Japan, and is professor of African American literature and culture at Kansai University in Osaka. His areas of expertise include African American and circum-Atlantic studies.
 1 The Slave Trade and Racial Community: Tamango and Roots
 2 Patriotism and Political Communities: Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage
 3 Community as Utopia: Barry Unsworth’s Sacred Hunger
 4 Rethinking the Slave Trade/Rethinking Community: Édouard Glissant’s “Relation” and Jean-Luc Nancy’s “Being-with”
 Works Cited
Students and scholars in literary and cultural studies with a special interest in the transatlantic slave trade (fictional representation, historical context, and legacy), and contemporary theories of community.
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