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Social and Imaginary Space in Writings by Chicanas
Of interest to informed readers responsive to combined textual and cultural approaches to Chicano/a literature and literature in general, Battleground and Crossroads weaves in various critical and theoretical threads to inquire into the relationship between intimate and public spaces in Chicana literature. Without claiming the borderlands as exclusive of the Chicana/o imagination, this book acknowledges the importance of this metaphor for bringing to view a more intercultural United States, allowing it to become inflected with the particularity of each text. The analyses of Chicana fiction, drama, and autobiography explore the construction of identity through the representation of social space and the transformation of literary space. For discussion of a diacritical territory this volume draws on a interdisciplinary practice that facilitates the journey from the most intimate spaces to the most public spaces of modernity, so that the aesthetic text yields its knowledge of the contingent historical circumstances of its production in material and existential terms. The apparent regionalism and localism of this literature is nothing but a reflection of the relationship between the local and the global, the private and the public, the personal and the political, the aesthetic and the ideological, the subversive and the mainstream. Each text stands by itself while it also reaches out to the sociopolitical imaginary for interpretation through an interdisciplinary methodology that is indispensable to do justice to a politicized aesthetics.
Aspects of Creolization in the Caribbean
The terms ‘creole’ and ‘creolization’ have witnessed a number of significant semantic changes in the course of their history. Originating in the vocabulary associated with colonial expansion in the Americas it had been successively narrowed down to the field of black American culture or of particular linguistic phenomena. Recently ‘creole’ has expanded again to cover the broad area of cultural contact and transformation characterizing the processes of globalization initiated by the colonial migrations of past centuries.
The present volume is intended to illustrate these various stages either by historical and/or theoretical discussion of the concept or through selected case studies. The authors are established scholars from the areas of literature, linguistics and cultural studies; they all share a lively and committed interest in the Caribbean area – certainly not the only or even oldest realm in which processes of creolization have shaped human societies, but one that offers, by virtue of its history of colonialization and cross-cultural contact, its most pertinent example. The collection, beyond its theoretical interest, thus also constitutes an important survey of Caribbean studies in Europe and the Americas.
As well as searching overview essays, there are
– sociolinguistic contributions on the linguistic geography of ‘criollo’ in Spanish America, the Limonese creole speakers of Costa Rica, ‘creole’ language and identity in the Netherlands Antilles and the affinities between Papiamentu and Chinese in Curaçao
– ethnohistorical examinations of such topics as creole transgression in the Dominican/Haitian borderland, the Haitian Mandingo and African fundamentalism, creolization and identity in West-Central Jamaica, Afro-Nicaraguans and national identity, and the Creole heritage of Haiti
– studies of religion and folk culture, including voodoo and creolization in New York City, the creolization of the “Mami Wata” water spirit, and signifyin(g) processes in New World Anancy tales
– a group of essays focusing on the thought of Édouard Glissant, Maryse Condé, and the Créolité writers
and case-studies of artistic expression, including creole identities in Caribbean women’s writing, Port-au-Prince in the Haitian novel, Cynthia McLeod and Astrid Roemer and Surinamese fiction, Afro-Cuban artistic expression, and metacreolization in the fiction of Robert Antoni and Nalo Hopkinson.