Event Title

Revealing Silences: The Representation of Black Identity in Afro-Caribbean Literature from the 19th to the 21st century

Start Date

8-11-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

8-11-2017 5:30 PM

Description

This project explores how the historical contexts of the Hispanic Caribbean, including the regions of the Circum-Caribbean and the Caribbean Diasporas in the United States, have sustained dominant racial and nationalist ideologies that continue to silence or negate the identity of Afro-Caribbean subjects in national letters. My research focuses on the autobiographies and biographies of four Afro-Caribbean men dating from the 19th to the 21st century to explore how they reproduce, negotiate, and contest notions of race and nation through the representation of each author’s identity. One might argue that in the context of a social history of marginalization and the silencing of black voices in national cultures, these autobiographies represent a contestation of modern ideals of national unity as authors call attention to their racial alterity. At the same time, the multiple positionalities of black writers—along lines of gender, class, and national identity—complicate the process of the constitution of Black identities. In other words, resistance is likely to be articulated through dynamics of fragmented reproduction and strategic negotiations with dominant ideas. This work will examine how autobiographical and biographical narrations encode discursive silences that, when read contextually, can uncover black resistance to or acceptance of oppressive ideologies.

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Nov 8th, 1:30 PM Nov 8th, 5:30 PM

Revealing Silences: The Representation of Black Identity in Afro-Caribbean Literature from the 19th to the 21st century

This project explores how the historical contexts of the Hispanic Caribbean, including the regions of the Circum-Caribbean and the Caribbean Diasporas in the United States, have sustained dominant racial and nationalist ideologies that continue to silence or negate the identity of Afro-Caribbean subjects in national letters. My research focuses on the autobiographies and biographies of four Afro-Caribbean men dating from the 19th to the 21st century to explore how they reproduce, negotiate, and contest notions of race and nation through the representation of each author’s identity. One might argue that in the context of a social history of marginalization and the silencing of black voices in national cultures, these autobiographies represent a contestation of modern ideals of national unity as authors call attention to their racial alterity. At the same time, the multiple positionalities of black writers—along lines of gender, class, and national identity—complicate the process of the constitution of Black identities. In other words, resistance is likely to be articulated through dynamics of fragmented reproduction and strategic negotiations with dominant ideas. This work will examine how autobiographical and biographical narrations encode discursive silences that, when read contextually, can uncover black resistance to or acceptance of oppressive ideologies.