Thanks to Renzo Duin’s annotated translation, the voice of Lodewijk Schmidt—an Afrodiasporic Saramakka Maroon from Surinam—is finally available for Anglophone audiences worldwide. More than anything else, Schmidt’s three mid-twentieth-century ethnographic accounts tell the tragic story of Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Guiana Highlands (northern Brazil, and southern Suriname and French Guiana). Schmidt’s is a story that takes account of the pathological mechanisms of colonialism, in which Indigenous Peoples and African Diaspora communities, both victims of colonialism, vilify each other falling privy to the divide-and-conquer mentality mechanisms of colonialism.
Accounts like that of the death and mourning of a magnificent Indigenous leader, Alapité, on 13-14 August 1941, suggest a deep respect on the part of the Maroon author, while his accounts also show his awareness of how the Indigenous Peoples vilified the Maroons. Beyond the ethnographic element, Duin argues that Schmidt was sent on a covert mission to determine whether or not the Nazis had engaged in covert missions and if they had established bases and airfields in the region.
As current ecological disasters, incurred by neocolonial, neoliberal and geopolitical practices, threaten to completely destroy the Amazonian forests that Schmidt describes, his meticulous accounts underscore the predetermined tragedy that is the result of the European and later North-American presence in present-day Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil. Duin’s profound knowledge of the history, topography, and fauna of the region contextualizes Schmidt’s ethnographic accounts and forces us to take account of the catastrophe that is deforestation and ethnocide of the Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Guiana Highlands.
New Voices of Muslim North-African Migrants in Europe captures the experience in writing of a fast growing number of individuals belonging to migrant communities in Europe. The book follows attempts to transform postcolonial literary studies into a comparative, translingual, and supranational project. Cristián H. Ricci frames Moroccan literature written in European languages within the ampler context of borderland studies. The author addresses the realm of a literature that has been practically absent from the field of postcolonial literary studies (i.e. Neerlandophone or Gay Muslim literature). The book also converses with other
minor literatures and theories from Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Asians and Latino/as in the Americas that combine histories of colonization, labor migration, and enforced exile.
Literary forms travel from core countries to the periphery of capitalism, where they are adopted under social conditions that differ from those in the countries of their origin. Besides being inevitable, the resulting maladjustments lead to new and original aesthetic problems, presenting to the reader the symptoms of the world’s complexity. When properly worked through, these allow for the rise of world-class art, as in the case of the great Brazilian novels by Machado de Assis.
First published in Portuguese in 1977 as
Ao vencedor as batatas: Forma literária e processo social nos inícios do romance brasileiro by Duas Cidades/Editora 34, ISBN 978-85-7326-169-2, and presented here in a new English-language translation,
To the Victor, the Potatoes! is a major work of one of the most significant Marxist literary critics of our time.
The Spirit of Bandung is marked by its idealism, a state of mind few associate with the revolutionary Martinican physician and psychiatrist Frantz Fanon, who is perhaps best known for Les damnés de la terre, in particular its opening chapter on violence. And yet, Fanon’s work, too, is marked by a keen sense of hope as he urges himself and his readers, “[to] make a new start, develop a new way of thinking, and endeavor to create a new man.” As a clinician and philosopher who combined phenomenology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis in his work, Fanon draws our attention to the importance of healing the physical, affective, and epistemological wounds of anti-black racism by attending to the social relations that produce them. This paper takes as a point of departure Fanon’s “Letter to the Resident Minister (1956),” in which he resigns from his post as Médecin-Chef de service at the Psychiatric Hospital of Blida-Joineville in war-torn Algeria. More than a gesture, I argue that Fanon’s active withdrawal as a representative of French colonialism enabled Fanon to write Wretched of the Earth and raises the question of what role hopeful resignation can have in achieving decolonial healing.
In this article I attempt to reconcile one of the most influential diplomatic episodes of Third World liberation – Bandung – with one of the most influential thinkers of said liberation – Frantz Fanon. I argue that this reconciliation can be usefully achieved by bringing to the fore the impact of the Ethiopia/Italy conflict (1935–1941) on both Fanon’s thought and the political trajectories of various individuals and movements that ultimately met at Bandung. Specifically, I trace how anti-colonial anti-fascism, an intellectual-activist position which emerged in response to Mussolini’s fascist invasion of Ethiopia, prefigured and prepared the Bandung spirit not only in biographical terms but also in terms of casting an ethics of liberation on a global scale that interwove the fates of metropoles and colonies as well as diverse colonial subjects. I frame my investigation of these influences through Fanon’s concept of Black humanism and his diplomatic injunction on behalf of the wretched of the earth, both of which I also argue can be genealogically connected to anti-colonial anti-fascism. I conclude by suggesting that the accretion of the ethics and practices encountered across these journeys from Ethiopia to Bandung with Fanon might aid in reviving an internationalist spirit for our own constrictive age.