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Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination: Notes on Fleeing the Plantation (John Hope Franklin Center Book)by Michaeline A. Crichlow
Synopses & Reviews
Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination is a major intervention into discussions of Caribbean practices gathered under the rubric of “creolization.” Examining sociocultural, political, and economic transformations in the Caribbean, Michaeline A. Crichlow argues that creolization—culture-creating processes usually associated with plantation societies and with subordinate populations remaking the cultural forms of dominant groups—must be liberated from and expanded beyond plantations, and even beyond the black Atlantic, to include productions of “culture” wherever vulnerable populations live in situations of modern power inequalities, from regimes of colonialism to those of neoliberalism. Crichlow theorizes a concept of creolization that speaks to how individuals from historically marginalized groups refashion self, time, and place in multiple ways, from creating art to traveling in search of homes. Grounding her theory in the material realities of Caribbean peoples in the plantation era and the present, Crichlow contends that creolization and Creole subjectivity are constantly in flux, morphing in response to the changing conditions of modernity and creatively expressing a politics of place.
Engaging with the thought of Michel Foucault, Michel Rolph-Trouillot, Achille Mbembe, Henri Lefebvre, Margaret Archer, Saskia Sassen, Pierre Bourdieu, and others, Crichlow argues for understanding creolization as a continual creative remaking of past and present moments to shape the future. She draws on sociology, philosophy, postcolonial studies, and cultural studies to illustrate how national histories are lived personally and how transnational experiences reshape individual lives and collective spaces. Critically extending Bourdieu’s idea of habitus, she describes how contemporary Caribbean subjects remake themselves in and beyond the Caribbean region, challenging, appropriating, and subverting older, localized forms of creolization. In this book, Crichlow offers a nuanced understanding of how Creole citizens of the Caribbean have negotiated modern economies of power.
Argues that creolization is world-wide and not just specific to cultures which arose within the plantations of the Americas among African descended populations.
An interdisciplinary argument that the concept of cultural creolization must be expanded to encompass cultural productions by vulnerable populations living in situations of modern power inequalities anywhere in the world.
About the Author
“Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination is a brilliant piece of work that engages with an extensive volume of transdisciplinary scholarship related to fundamental issues of modern subjectivity and subjecthood. Its point of departure is the place of modern subjects in the spaces occupied particularly by the Caribbean subaltern of former English colonies.”—Percy C. Hintzen, author of West Indian in the West: Self-Representations in an Immigrant Community
“This is an exceptional book. Michaeline A. Crichlow juxtaposes erudite knowledge about several specialized fields with an experimental stance that aims at detecting the making of conditions often seen as a mere attribute. She shows us how creolization is made, thereby becoming much more than disadvantaged status. In this making lies the possibility that powerlessness can be complex and in this complexity lie the elements for making the political, whether expressed in cultural or recognizably political vocabularies. This book opens up a new terrain for inquiry and interpretation.”—Saskia Sassen, author of Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages
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