Caryl Phillips’s Genealogies


Thematically and structurally, the work of the Kittitian-British writer Caryl Phillips reimagines the notion of genealogy. Phillips’s fiction, drama, and non-fiction foreground broken filiations and forever-deferred promises of new affiliations in the aftermath of slavery and colonization. His texts are also in dialogue with multiple historical figures and literary influences, imagining around the life of the African American comedian Bert Williams and the Caribbean writer Jean Rhys, or retelling the story of Othello. Additionally, Phillips’s work resonates with that of other writers and visual artists, such as Derek Walcott, Toni Morrison, or Isaac Julien. Written to honor the career of renown Phillipsian scholar Bénédicte Ledent, the contributions to this volume, including one by Phillips himself, explore the multiple ramifications of genealogy, across and beyond Phillips’s work.

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Delphine Munos (PhD, University of Liège) is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Liège. She held FRS-FNRS and Humboldt postdoctoral fellowships. Her research interests include postcolonial literatures, memory studies, affect theory and narrative studies. She has published on Anglophone postcolonial literatures and US ethnic literatures.

Evelyn O’Callaghan (PhD, University of the West Indies) is Emeritus Professor of West Indian Literature, University of the West Indies. She has published on West Indian literature, particularly on women’s writing, early Caribbean narratives, madness, and ecocritical readings of Caribbean landscapes in visual and scribal texts.

Mathilde Mergeai (PhD, University of Liège) currently teaches English and Translation at the University of Liège. She has published on postcolonial Caribbean and Black Canadian literatures. Her research interests include postcolonial literatures, space in literature, and power relations in translation studies.
A compelling contribution to Phillipsian scholarship, the volume will also be of interest to students and scholars working in the fields of postcolonial literature, Black British literature, diaspora studies, and Black Atlantic studies.
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