Seminar: Ghostly Ancestors and Creole Identities in Anglophone Carribean Literatures
One of the pivotal areas of colonial enterprise since Christopher Columbus reached the Bahamas in 1492, the Caribbean became the stage for major developments in European colonialism. The highly conflictual history of the region has left indelible marks in the collective memory of its people and has strongly influenced literary production. This seminar examines the ways in which the past has shaped the present in Caribbean cultures and literatures.
Covering major topics such as exploration travels, slave trade, piracy, plantation slavery, slave uprisings, maroon communities, racial miscegenation and the experience of women, our focus in this course is on Anglophone Caribbean narratives that reflect the area's history of occupation and struggle for independence. The course discusses foremost postcolonial writers such as Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua), Edward Brathwaite (Barbados), Derek Walcott (Saint Lucia) and Michelle Cliff (Jamaica), and it explores a variety of texts and media, ranging from novels and poetry to essays, Reggae music and film. Our discussions are shaped by theoretical reflections on issues of creolization and hybridity, as well as by cultural memory studies.