Seminar paper from the year 2010 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7, University of Wuppertal, course: The Representation of Slavery from Aphra Behn to Bernadine Evaristo, language: English, abstract: Regarding his third novel, Feeding the Ghosts, the British-Guyanese poet, playwright and novelist Fred D'Aguiar states in an interview for the "Caribbean Studies Journal" that "it was a piece of history that then grew out of an absence of facts about it" (Hyppolite). Apparently the author does not intend to convey a coherent, continuous historical account of the infamous 'Zong-Massacre', which took place in 1781, but rather the ruins of history in a manner of an "as-if-testimony" (Brock 29). Thus, the novel belongs to the genre of historical fiction which combines in a postcolonial context imaginative elements and historical facts with regard to the historiographical document of the death of 131 Africans "at the hands of profit-hungry British slave traders and investors on board the slave ship Zong" (Pichler 7). Sailing from the west coast of Africa to Jamaica, the slave ship carried 442 slaves, more than it could safely transport and was therefore overloaded and lacked sufficient provisions for its 'cargo'. Together with malnutrition and disease, this overcrowding led to Captain Luke Collingwood's decision to throw the sick overboard in order to claim money from the insurers, who covered 39 compensation a head, as long as the action was taken to safeguard the ship's safety. The resulting court trial caused much attention as the case of the Zong outnumbered the known fashion and consequently lead to abolitionist support as the legal status of slaves as 'cargo' was confirmed by the concluding verdict. Finally, in 1790 a preliminary bill was passed which ruled out "insurances claims resulting from slave mortality through natural death or ill treatment, or against loss by throwing overboard of slaves on any account whatsoever""
Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Hannover (Englisches Seminar), course: HS Caribbean Literature and Culture, 26 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: (...) The novel belongs to the genre of the Caribbean novels, and, as a historical fiction about the slave trade, provocatively combines historical and imaginative elements. Thus, it can be subsumed under the term "revisionist historical novel," which, according to Ansgar Nunning, denotes novels that maintain a positive tension between their status as literature and their status as history (cf. Thieme, 1121; Pichler, 6, 11). Feeding the Ghosts is based on the infamous "Zong Massacre" which took place in 1781. It was an incident in which 133 slaves were thrown overboard an English slave ship, leading to a civil action in the same year by the ship's owners, who sued their insurers for compensation for the dead slaves. The publicity about the law suit and the concluding verdict, which confirmed the legal status of slaves as cargo, fostered abolitionist support and made them a landmark of the battle against British slave trade in the 18th century. Due to growing public indignation a parliamentary act was finally passed in 1790, which ruled out insurance claims resulting from slave mortality or the jettison of slaves on any account (cf. Low, 106 et seq.; Pichler, 6; Philp, 245; Baucom, 61 et seq., Frias 421, Schatteman, 234; James, 327). In order to recreate the trauma of the Middle Passage D' Aguiar's fictionalised treatment of the Zong Massacre and of the subsequent trial mainly focuses on the reconstruction of the events from a slave girl's point of view, (cf. Schatteman, 234, Phil, 245; Carr, Pichler, 11). Since the most prominent feature of D' Aguiar's fiction is his poetic style, which is an object of acclaim as well as of critical reprimand (cf. Steward, 68; Figueredo, 211; Frias, 418; James, 327; Bove
The Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing provides a comprehensive historical overview of the diverse literary traditions impacting on this field's evolution, from the eighteenth century to the present. Drawing on the expertise of over forty international experts, this book gathers innovative scholarship to look forward to new readings and perspectives, while also focusing on undervalued writers, texts, and research areas. Creating new pathways to engage with the naming of a field that has often been contested, readings of literary texts are interwoven throughout with key political, social, and material contexts. In making visible the diverse influences constituting past and contemporary British literary culture, this Cambridge History makes a unique contribution to British, Commonwealth, postcolonial, transnational, diasporic, and global literary studies, serving both as one of the first major reference works to cover four centuries of black and Asian British literary history and as a compass for future scholarship.
die Aufarbeitung der Sklaverei in neueren Romanen der anglophonen Karibik
Author: Fatim Boutros
Category: Caribbean literature (English)
Um Verzerrungen im historischen Diskurs zu vermeiden, wird von postkolonialen Theoretikern und literarischen Autoren verstärkt angemahnt, die Historiographie einer radikalen Revision zu unterziehen. Für die Rekonstruktion der karibischen Geschichte wird der Literatur dahingehend einzigartiges Potenzial beigemessen, dass sich durch Einsatz der Konvention der Fiktionalität die Möglichkeit ergibt, den Sklaven nachträglich eine eigene Stimme zu verleihen. Insbesondere in den Romanen der drei englischsprachigen karibischen Autoren John Hearne, Fred D'Aguiar und Caryl Phillips spiegeln sich die komplexen Wechselbeziehungen zwischen den Themenbereichen Sprache, Religion beziehungsweise Spiritualität, Körperlichkeit und Sexualität sowie gender. Außerdem führen die fiktionalen Einzelschicksale vor Augen, wie eng die bisher eher als Einzelphänomene erforschten Reaktionsmuster auf die omnipräsente Alteritätserfahrung im karibischen Raum miteinander verwoben waren. So treten die prototypischen Formen der Ausübung von Gewalt, der Bildung von Stereotypen, des Versuches einer ideologischen Rechtfertigung des eigenen Verhaltens und der Bildung hybrider kultureller Elemente nie isoliert auf, vielmehr existieren paradoxe Elemente gleichzeitig und unauflöslich nebeneinander. Anders wäre es nicht zu erklären, dass trotz der von starken Machtasymmetrien und einem hohen Maß an Fremdheit geprägten Bedingungen eine wechselseitige Akkulturation stattfinden konnte.
This collection of eight essays by research students and academics from the UK, France, Germany and the USA examining different forms and manifestations of postcolonial slavery underlines the significance of the year 2007, marking the bicentennial anniversary of the passage of the British law banning the slave trade. Slavery and its legacies galvanized a diachronic series of ethnic crossings and transformations that engendered new and complex patterns of crosscultural contact. And the importance of communities of runaway slaves can scarcely be overstated as a symbol of an insistent black resistance and self-affirmation. But in bringing the material realities of slavery to the forefront of the imagination, this volume also highlights the marginalization of British and French colonial practices in institutionalized frameworks of historical knowledge. Actively contesting the related traumas of transplantation, the middle passage, and the fracturing of the collective memory, and drawing actively on a wide range of approaches and perspectives, this collection seeks to reinscribe a material historical consciousness of slavery and its legacies through a strategic interaction between history, subjectivity, and representation. —H. Adlai Murdoch, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Slavery is a recurring subject in works by the contemporary black writers in Britain Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen and Fred D’Aguiar, yet their return to this past arises from an urgent need to understand the racial anxieties of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Britain. This book examines the ways in which their literary explorations of slavery may shed light on current issues in Britain today, or what might be thought of as the continuing legacies of the UK’s largely forgotten slave past. In this highly original study of contemporary postcolonial literature, Abigail Ward explores a range of novels, poetry and non-fictional works by these authors in order to investigate their creative responses to the slave past. This is the first study to focus exclusively on British literary representations of slavery, and thoughtfully engages with such notions as the ethics of exploring slavery, the memory and trauma of this past, and the problems of taking a purely historical approach to Britain’s involvement in slavery or Indian indenture. Although all three authors are concerned with the problem of how to commence representing slavery, their approaches to this problem vary immensely, and this book investigates these differences.
This collection reflects the still urgent project of historical recuperation, as well as an examination of literary representations and other cultural manifestations of the Black Diaspora. Disciplinary work within the boundaries of African American Studies has been enhanced by more general considerations of the history of "race" and racism in globalized contexts. The articles assembled here reflect recent empirical research as well as challenging theoretical considerations. Contributions address particular formations of racialized modernity owed to the impact of the Atlantic slave trade and slavery, and thus broaden the approach to the Middle Passage, to improve our understanding of it as a constitutive transatlantic phenomenon in the widest possible sense.
The Handbook systematically charts the trajectory of the English novel from its emergence as the foremost literary genre in the early twentieth century to its early twenty-first century status of eccentric eminence in new media environments. Systematic chapters address ̒The English Novel as a Distinctly Modern Genreʼ, ̒The Novel in the Economy’, ̒Genres’, ̒Gender’ (performativity, masculinities, feminism, queer), and ̒The Burden of Representationʼ (class and ethnicity). Extended contextualized close readings of more than twenty key texts from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899) to Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island (2015) supplement the systematic approach and encourage future research by providing overviews of reception and theoretical perspectives.
Publisher: Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée (PULM)
Category: Literary Collections
One cannot fail to be impressed by the number of works of fiction relating to slavery and the slave trade, writing back to the original slave narratives of the 18th and 19th centuries. If the African-American authors of the 1960s and 1970s are now well-known, they find an echo in works written more recently in the 1980s and 1990s by American, African, African-American and Caribbean writers. About twenty writers come under the scrutiny of renowned scholars, offering perspectives into what makes it so necessary today for writers, critics and readers alike to revisit, reassess and reappropriate the canonical texts of slavery and post-slavery literature. The specificity of this collection is to focus on neo-slave novels while bringing together African-American and Caribbean authors. On ne peut qu’être impressionné par le nombre d’œuvres littéraires de fiction qui se rapportent à l’esclavage et au commerce des esclaves, répondant ainsi aux premiers récits d’esclaves publiés aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles. Si les auteurs africains-américains des années soixante et soixante-dix sont maintenant bien connus, toute une nouvelle vague d’écrivains Américains, Africains, Africains-Américains et Caribbéens, poursuivent et renouvèlent, depuis les années quatre-vingt et quatre vingt-dix, cette tradition. Rassemblés autour de l’œuvre d’une vingtaine d’écrivains, des universitaires de renom ouvrent, dans ce recueil, des perspectives nouvelles pour comprendre la nécessité qui poussent écrivains, critiques et lecteurs à relire, réécrire et revisiter cette littérature de l’esclavage encore aujourd’hui.
Argues that the slave narrative is a new world literary genre In Runaway Genres, Yogita Goyal tracks the emergence of slavery as the defining template through which current forms of human rights abuses are understood. The post-black satire of Paul Beatty and Mat Johnson, modern slave narratives from Sudan to Sierra Leone, and the new Afropolitan diaspora of writers like Teju Cole and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie all are woven into Goyal’s argument for the slave narrative as a new world literary genre, exploring the full complexity of this new ethical globalism. From the humanitarian spectacles of Kony 2012 and #BringBackOurGirls through gothic literature, Runaway Genres unravels, for instance, how and why the African child soldier has now appeared as the afterlife of the Atlantic slave. Goyal argues that in order to fathom forms of freedom and bondage today—from unlawful detention to sex trafficking to the refugee crisis to genocide—we must turn to contemporary literature, which reveals how the literary forms used to tell these stories derive from the antebellum genre of the slave narrative. Exploring the ethics and aesthetics of globalism, the book presents alternative conceptions of human rights, showing that the revival and proliferation of slave narratives offers not just an occasion to revisit the Atlantic past, but also for re-narrating the global present. In reassessing these legacies and their ongoing relation to race and the human, Runaway Genres creates a new map with which to navigate contemporary black diaspora literature.
Self-Representation in the Writings of John Hearne, Caryl Phillips, and Fred D’Aguiar
Author: Fatim Boutros
Publisher: Brill | Rodopi
Category: Literary Criticism
Slavery is a recurring motif in the writings of Fred D’Aguiar, John Hearne and Caryl Phillips. They narrate the fates of silenced victims who share the traumatic experience of racial violence even if otherwise separated through time, space, and gender.
In Beyond the World's End T. J. Demos explores cultural practices that provide radical propositions for living in a world beset by environmental and political crises. Rethinking relationships between aesthetics and an expanded political ecology that foregrounds just futurity, Demos examines how contemporary artists are diversely addressing urgent themes, including John Akomfrah's cinematic entanglements of racial capitalism with current environmental threats, the visual politics of climate refugees in work by Forensic Architecture and Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, and moving images of Afrofuturist climate justice in projects by Arthur Jafa and Martine Syms. Demos considers video and mixed-media art that responds to resource extraction in works by Angela Melitopoulos, Allora & Calzadilla, and Ursula Biemann, as well as the multispecies ecologies of Terike Haapoja and Public Studio. Throughout Demos contends that contemporary intersections of aesthetics and politics, as exemplified in the Standing Rock #NoDAPL campaign and the Zad's autonomous zone in France, are creating the imaginaries that will be crucial to building a socially just and flourishing future.
Forgotten during the Stalin years, Stanislaw Witkiewicz (1885-1939) was rediscovered in his native Poland only after the liberalization of 1956, when his works came to play a major role in freeing the arts from socialist realism. This collection, the first anthology in English, presents Witkiewicz in the full range of his creative and intellectual activities. The Witkiewicz Reader includes excerpts from three novels; four complete plays; letters to Malinowski; and selections from aesthetic, social, and philosophical essays detailing Witkiewicz's theory of Pure Form, his metaphysical system, and his apocalyptic view of the fate of civilization.
Postmodern Histories and the Maritime Metaphor in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction
Author: Joanna Rostek
Category: Literary Criticism
From Daniel Defoe to Joseph Conrad, from Virginia Woolf to Derek Walcott, the sea has always been an inspiring setting and a powerful symbol for generations of British and Anglophone writers. Seaing through the Past is the first study to explicitly address the enduring relevance of the maritime metaphor in contemporary Anglophone fiction through in-depth readings of fourteen influential and acclaimed novels published in the course of the last three decades. The book trenchantly argues that in contemporary fiction, maritime imagery gives expression to postmodernism’s troubled relationship with historical knowledge, as theorised by Hayden White, Linda Hutcheon, and others. The texts in question are interpreted against the backdrop of four aspects of metahistorical problematisation. Thus, among others, Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, the Sea (1978) is read in the context of auto/biographical writing, John Banville’s The Sea (2005) as a narrative of personal trauma, Julian Barnes’s A History of the World in 101⁄2 Chapters (1989) as investigating the connection between discourses of origin and the politics of power, and Fred D’Aguiar’s Feeding the Ghosts (1997) as opening up a postcolonial perspective on the sea and history. Persuasive and topical, Seaing through the Past offers a compelling guide to the literary oceans of today.
Postcolonial Religion in Contemporary Guyanese Fiction and Poetry
Author: Fiona Darroch
Category: Literary Criticism
This book investigates the problematical historical location of the term 'religion' and examines how this location has affected the analytical reading of postcolonial fiction and poetry. The adoption of the term 'religion' outside of a Western Enlightenment and Christian context should therefore be treated with caution. Within postcolonial literary criticism, there has been either a silencing of the category as a result of this caution or an uncritical and essentializing adoption of the term 'religion'. It is argued in the present study that a vital aspect of how writers articulate their histories of colonial contact, migration, slavery, and the re-forging of identities in the wake of these histories is illuminated by the classificatory term 'religion'. Aspects of postcolonial theory and Religious Studies theory are combined to provide fresh insights into the literature, thereby expanding the field of postcolonial literary criticism. The way in which writers 'remember' history through writing is central to the way in which 'religion' is theorized and articulated; the act of remembrance can be persuasively interpreted in terms of 'religion'. The title 'Memory and Myth' therefore refers to both the syncretic mythology of Guyana, and the key themes in a new critical understanding of 'religion'. Particular attention is devoted to Wilson Harris's novel Jonestown, alongside theoretical and historical material on the actual Jonestown tragedy; to the mesmerizing effect of the Anancy tales on contemporary writers, particularly the poet John Agard; and to the work of the Indo-Guyanese writer David Dabydeen and his elusive character Manu.