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Research Guides

Caribbean and Atlantic Studies at Texas A&M University (CAST)

Selected Books

Making the Black Atlantic

The British role in the shaping and direction of the African diaspora was central both in execution and in terms of numbers. The British carried more Africans across the Atlantic than any other nation, and British colonial settlements in the Caribbean and North America absorbed vast numbers of Africans. The crops produced by those slaves helped to lay the foundations for Western material well-being, and their associated cultural habits shaped key areas of Western sociability that survive to this day.

Radical Narratives of the Black Atlantic

*Broad-based survey of trans-Atlantic black culture*Newest book in the popular Black Atlantic seriesRadical Narratives of the Black Atlantic is a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary take on trans-Atlantic black culture. Alan Rice engages fully with Paul Gilroy's paradigm of the Black Atlantic through examination of a broad array of cultural genres including music, dance, folklore and oral literature, fine art, material culture, film and literature. The aspects of black culture under discussion range from black British gravesites to sea shanties, from the novels of Toni Morrison to the paintings of the Zanzibar born black British artist Lubaina Himid and from King Kong to the travels of Frederick Douglass and Paul Robeson. The book places such figures as the African American traveller and Barbary slave narrator Robert Adams and the West Indian slave narrator Mary Prince in a Black Atlantic context that explicates them fully. A chapter on the Titanic disaster shows how diasporan Africans composed oral poems about the disaster to criticise the discriminatory practices of its owners and racial imperialism. Overall, the book argues for the crucial importance of Black Atlantic cultures in the formation of our modern world. Moreover, it argues that looking at Black culture and history through a national lens is distorting and reductive.

The Black Atlantic

Afrocentrism. Eurocentrism. Caribbean Studies. British Studies. To the forces of cultural nationalism hunkered down in their camps, this bold hook sounds a liberating call. There is,Paul Gilroy tells us, a culture that is not specifically African, American, Caribbean, or British, but all of these at once, a black Atlantic culture whose themes and techniques transcend ethnicity and nationality to produce something new and, until now, unremarked. Challenging the practices and assumptions of cultural studies, The Black Atlantic also complicates and enriches our understanding of modernism. Debates about postmodernism have cast an unfashionable pall over questions of historical periodization. Gilroy bucks this trend by arguing that the development of black culture in the Americas arid Europe is a historical experience which can be called modern for a number of clear and specific reasons. For Hegel, the dialectic of master and slave was integral to modernity, and Gilroy considers the implications of this idea for a transatlantic culture. In search of a poetics reflecting the politics and history of this culture, he takes us on a transatlantic tour of the music that, for centuries, has transmitted racial messages and feeling around the world, from the Jubilee Singers in the nineteenth century to Jimi Hendrix to rap. He also explores this internationalism as it is manifested in black writing from the "double consciousness" of W. E. B. Du Bois to the "double vision" of Richard Wright to the compelling voice of Toni Morrison. In a final tour de force, Gilroy exposes the shared contours of black and Jewish concepts of diaspora in order both to establish a theoretical basis for healing rifts between blacks and Jews in contemporary culture and to further define the central theme of his book: that blacks have shaped a nationalism, if not a nation, within the shared culture of the black Atlantic.

Black Atlantic Writers of the Eighteenth Century

This book brings together for the first time works by four Afro-Anglican writers who published between 1774 and 1789: Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, John Marrant, Ottobah Cugoano, and Olaudah Equiano. These men share a dramatic story of captivity and liberation, wayfaring and adventure.