Comparing Caribbean Literatures and Cultures


From wide-ranging overviews of the entire region to close readings of specific works, this volume opens a fascinating window on the literatures and cultures of the Caribbean, covering texts in the multiplicity of languages used in the wider Caribbean: Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and the region’s many creoles. Authors and works discussed range from luminaries such as Derek Walcott to hitherto practically unknown works in Antillean creole languages. Underlying is the idea to foster the study of the Caribbean literary, artistic and visual text through a comparative lens, a firm proposal to think beyond the persisting linguistic barriers and scholarly divides in the field. As such, Caribbeing: Comparing Caribbean Literatures and Cultures brings a new approach to the Caribbean embracing the region’s linguistic multiplicity and complexity without eschewing the many theoretical challenges and obstacles such a scholarly endeavor entails. Because of its ample scope this book will appeal to scholars and students working on the Caribbean and Latin America, but also to those interested in the broader fields of postcolonial and cultural studies.

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"This book is much more than a book on the Caribbean: it underlines the global dimensions and relevance of Caribbean Studies in the twenty-first century. Following carefully the crossroads of literatures and cultures, it shows new routes allowing us to rethink our world(s) in a transarchipelagic mode. An eye-opener: accelerated globalization is unthinkable without the Caribbean." – Ottmar Ette, University of Potsdam

"Rarely have the multiple flows and enduring traumas of Caribbean culture been explored from such a boldly wide-ranging and profoundly comparative set of perspectives. An indispensable work that sets a new standard for Caribbeanist scholarship." – Maarten van Delden, Universtiy of California, Los Angeles

"Canonical Caribbean writers are read alongside less famous authors and artists, going beyond the traditional focus and incorporating music, poetry, and art into the investigation. Furthermore, there is considerable emphasis on Dutch Caribbean literature, an oeuvre often overshadowed by criticism of more prominent anglophone, francophone, and Hispanic Caribbean writers. the collection is an insightful comparative study of Caribbean literature and culture, which will be of great interest to students and scholars of the Caribbean alike." – Antonia Wimbush, University of Birmingham, in: Modern Language Review 111/3 (2016), pp. 844-846

"The analytic caliber and originality of the collection’s essays is, with few exceptions, uniformly high […] An important contribution to our area’s rewarding study, the Caribbean this collection argues for and reveals is, nonetheless, finally a region beyond geography or specific location." – Roberto Márguez, Mount Holyoke College, in: New West Indian Guide 90 (2016), pp. 170-172
“Introduction: Caribbeing – Setting a New Comparative Agenda for Caribbean Studies”, Kristian Van Haesendonck: I. Going Global 1. “Old” and “New” Caribbeans “Going Caribbean, Going Global”, Theo D’haen: “The ‘Dutch Period’: A Missing Link in Caribbean Cultural History”, Ineke Phaf-Rheinberger: 2. Caribbeing: Creolizing Identities “The Panama Canal in the Work of Eric Walrond and Joaquín Beleño: Counterpoint between the Caribbean Diaspora and Luis Pulido Ritter:the Panamanian Nation”, “Creative and Destructive Powers of Shame: Moulding Caribbean Writing and Ideology”, Aart G. Broek: “Memory of Trauma and Trauma of Memory in the Literary and Cinematographic Works of Patrick Chamoiseau”, Savrina Chinien: “The Cultural Fragmentation of Cinematic Vodou”, Christian Remse: 3. Caribbeing: Creolizing Spaces “Caribbean New York: Uncanny Urban Space”, Erica L. Johnson: “Geographical Embodiments: Re-making Urban Caribbean Cartographies through Art from Santo Domingo, Dominican Carlos Garrido Castellano: Republic”, “Glittering Sea or Mirage: Alternative Visions of the Caribbean Environment”, Jesús Varela-Zapata: “The Sugar Plantation as a Place of Caribbean Identity: A Literary Focus”, Giulia De Sarlo: II. Comparing Caribbeans 1. (En)Gendering Caribbean Textualities “The Origins of Man: Contemporary Literary Representations of Masculinity in the Caribbean”, Wendy McMahon: “Lost Daughters of the Caribbean: Constructions of Identity by Hispanic and Francophone Women in the Caribbean Diaspora”, Mary Louise Babineau: “‘This Those Slaves Must Have Known Who Were My Mothers’: Women Who Live by Their Own Rules in Dionne Brand’s Land to Light On”, Shoshannah Ganz and Stephanie McKenzie: “Burning Landscapes, Islands on Fire: Marie-Elena John’s Unburnable and Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea”, Manuela Esposito: 2. Opening up the Archive “Shattered Heads: On the Earliest Dutch West Indian Migrant’s Text”, Michiel van Kempen: “The (Re)writing of Slavery’s Archives in Patrick Chamoiseau”, Eurídice Figueiredo: “Atrocity, Recollected”, Greg Mullins: 3. Translation/Transnation “The Real Yu Di Korsou: Migrant Construction of Curaçaoan Cultural Identity through Performance”, Guiselle Starink-Martha: “Representation, Translation and Cross-culturalism in Macunaima and The Ventriloquist’s Tale”, Miguel Nenevé and Roseli Siepamann: “‘Toute parole est une terre’: Translating the Poetics of Édouard Glissant and Derek Walcott”, Claire Bisdorff: Notes on Contributors Index of Names