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1. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory
2. Toward the Decolonization of African
3. Black, White, and in Color : Essays
$8.25 $5.00 list($11.00)
4. Playing In The Dark : Whiteness
$45.00 $44.97
5. American Lazarus: Religion and
$30.00 $28.95
6. African American Literary Theory:
$13.00 $12.35
7. Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance
$16.95 $7.63
8. Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation
$21.95 $17.99
9. Black Culture and the Harlem Renaissance
10. The Black Arts Movement : Literary
$60.00 $54.89
11. Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance:
12. Multicultural Detective Fiction:
$23.95 $22.50
13. Toni Morrison and Motherhood:
$65.00 $62.96
14. The Poetics of National and Racial
$11.20 $7.00 list($16.00)
15. The New Negro
$75.00 $74.71
16. Black Women Intellectuals : Strategies
$15.72 $13.75 list($24.95)
17. The Practice of Diaspora: Literature,
$59.95 $58.00
18. Black and White Women's Travel
$180.00 $145.35
19. The Cambridge History of African
20. Remembering the Harlem Renaissance

1. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism
by Henry Louis Gates
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Asin: 019506075X
Catlog: Book (1989-12-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 304609
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s original, groundbreaking study explores the relationship between the African and African-American vernacular traditions and black literature, elaborating a new critical approach located within this tradition that allows the black voice to speak for itself.Examining the ancient poetry and myths found in African, Latin American, and Caribbean culture, and particularly the Yoruba trickster figure of Esu-Elegbara and the Signifying Monkey whose myths help articulate the black tradition's theory of its literature, Gates uncovers a unique system of interpretation and a powerful vernacular tradition that black slaves brought with them to the New World.His critical approach relies heavily on the Signifying Monkey--perhaps the most popular figure in African-American folklore--and signification and Signifyin(g).

Exploring signification in black American life and literature by analyzing the transmission and revision of various signifying figures, Gates provides an extended analysis of what he calls the "Talking Book," a central trope in early slave narratives that virtually defines the tradition of black American letters. Gates uses this critical framework to examine several major works of African-American literature--including Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo--revealing how these works signify on the black tradition and on each other.

The second volume in an enterprising trilogy on African-American literature, The Signifying Monkey--which expands the arguments of Figures in Black--makes an important contribution to literary theory, African-American literature, folklore, and literary history. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Important Work on the African Roots of American Folklore
Professor Gates' tome on the Signifying Monkey is a thoughtful and fascinating exposition on some of the West African sources of American folklore that are seldom appreciated as a result of the forced expatriations involved in the slave trade. Unfortunately, the book is just slightly dry unless accompanied by a first rate recitation of the Signifying Monkey legend as it is retold in the milieu of the Twentieth Century African American "Toast." I am delighted to report that this can now be experienced by newcomers through the wonderful performance of Rudy Ray Moore, which is available on the CD Greatest Hits. When Dr. Gates' reader is able to reread his Signifying Monkey in light of Mr. Ray Moore's, a whole new world of perception and enjoyment will follow. The synergy of these two works is splendid and neither one is quite so valuable without the other.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rocks!
Gates is a clear thinker and a subtle stylist in the great tradition of other New Yorker writers like EB White and John McPhee. For a book of Lit crit, this has some neat tricks up its sleeve.

5-0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking
I purchased Gates' "Signifying Monkey" and found myself nodding at almost every paragraph. I was nodding in appreciation of the clarity, nodding in recognition of meaning that I had lost that freshman year but eventually found upon reading "The Signifying Monkey", and nodding because literary theory was being applied to African-American literature. Mimesis and Gates finally came together. The chapter on the trope of the "talking book" is my favorite. Bakhtin (did I spell that correctly?) himself a literary theorist became even more palatable as a result of my reading this text. I'm glad that I own this book. I'm constantly referring to it. It's turned into a "pleasure-reading" book for me. It can for you as well. Thanks Professor Gates ... Read more

2. Toward the Decolonization of African Literature (Toward the Decolonization of African Literature)
by Onsucheka J. and Madubuike, Ihechukwu Chinweizu
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Asin: 0882581236
Catlog: Book (1983-03-01)
Publisher: Howard University Press
Sales Rank: 811588
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Book Description

In this illuminating analysis of African literature and the African writer's responsibility to society, the authors critique the dominant trends in contemporary African literature and literary criticism by highlighting the aims and techniques of such pan-African writers as Achebe, Senghor, Sembene, Maran, and Langston Hughes. ... Read more

3. Black, White, and in Color : Essays on American Literature and Culture
by Hortense J. Spillers
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Asin: 0226769801
Catlog: Book (2003-04)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 480768
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Black, White, and in Color offers a long-awaited collection of major essays by Hortense Spillers, one of the most influential and inspiring black critics of the past twenty years. Spanning her work from the early 1980s, in which she pioneered a broadly poststructuralist approach to African American literature, and extending through her turn to cultural studies in the 1990s, these essays display her passionate commitment to reading as a fundamentally political act-one pivotal to rewriting the humanist project.

Spillers is best known for her race-centered revision of psychoanalytic theory and for her subtle account of the relationships between race and gender. She has also given literary criticism some of its most powerful readings of individual authors, represented here in seminal essays on Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks, and William Faulkner. Ultimately, the essays collected in Black, White, and in Color all share Spillers's signature style: heady, eclectic, and astonishingly productive of new ideas. Anyone interested in African American culture and literature will want to read them.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Courageous book by a towering intellectual.
The publication of Prof. Spillers' book hopefully signals a more widespread dissemination of her extraordinary intellectual and imaginative work. Bringing together some very familiar (and endlessly cited) essays, such as "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe...", as well as essays from more obscure locations, and unpublished work, 'Black, White, and in Color...' illuminates Prof. Spillers' resolutely unorthodox and powerful thinking around the racialization and gendering of the brutal history of the United States, from the genocide of American Indians to the enslavement of Africans in the "New World". She brings a vast historical knowledge to bear on her brilliantly idiosyncratic literary critical enterprise. The ways in which she intertwines feminisms, psychoanalysis, and literature, and then proceeds to re-weave them, stuns. Edmund Burke is an influence, and she turns the latter, canonical critic's ideas upside down such that Burke and William Faulkner can never be seen the same way again. Though finding occasional recourse to post-structuralism, Spillers is, in no way, an acolyte of Derrida and his followers. This is an indispensable book which, had it not appeared, would have to be written. It follows Marx's injunction to carry out "a ruthless critique of all that exists". ... Read more

4. Playing In The Dark : Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
list price: $11.00
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Asin: 0679745424
Catlog: Book (1993-07-27)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 66642
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Beloved and Jazz now gives us a learned, stylish, and immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that promises to change the way we read American literature even as it opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race.

Toni Morrison's brilliant discussions of the "Africanist" presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition. She shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree--and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires.

Written with the artistic vision that has earned Toni Morrison a pre-eminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Dark will be avidly read by Morrison admirers as well as by students, critics, and scholars of American literature.

"By going for the American literary jugular...she places her the very heart of contemporary public conversation about what it is to be authentically and originally American. [She] boldly...reimagines and remaps the possibility of America."
--Chicago Tribune

"Toni Morrison is the closest thing the country has to a national writer."
The New York Times Book Review
... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Leave the reducing for the experts
If Morrison is playing in the dark, then indeed there are those who are angry in the light, so to give a negative reduction of what morrison was clearly stating about how blacks are viewed speaks in high volume, besides i dont know of many japanese who pinpointed out black ppl to enslave them............. even if they did have three eyes, two mouths, or whatever else. lol Another prime example that denial always ends with a bad term......... More emotional baggage disguised as constructive critism..........yawn....................

2-0 out of 5 stars More Heat than Light
Playing in the Dark is a revelation, but not the one intended by its author. What is revealed mainly is just how close to hopeless race relations in this country have come to be. Here we have a writer of nearly undisputed stature, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, who yet cannot summon objectivity on the subject of race, and who offers what seems essentially a bit of personal venting disguised as a serious academic proposal. Not that there isn't an interesting idea at the core of the book, but it's offered up as far more grand than it is, and with such thorough disingenuousness that the reader's main focus is changed very early on from an evaluation of her idea to a voyeuristic obsessing about Ms. Morrison's indecent exposure. Why would she let this book be printed?

The author's claimed intention is stated relatively plainly: " examine the impact of notions of racial hierarchy, racial exclusion, and racial vulnerability and availability on nonblacks who held, resisted, explored, or altered those notions." (Page 11.) But much of the book reads for all the world like the work of a sophomore who has learned that her instructor fancies Martin Heidegger and who has checked out a translation of Being and Time to serve as a model for her first essay. Here's a fairly typical example: "For excellent reasons of state - because European sources of cultural hegemony were dispersed but not yet valorized in the new country - the process of organizing American coherence through a distancing Africanism became the operative mode of a new cultural hegemony." (Page 8.) This is the writing of a Nobel laureate? Heidegger's writing was required, it seems to me, by his inaccessible subject; by comparison, Ms. Morrison's subject is elementary.

This is not to say that the author doesn't occasionally reach the levels of creative expression for which she is justly so well known, it's just that in this work her gift seems impotent against her anger. Try though she does to disguise her feelings ("My project rises from delight, not disappointment." Page 4.), it doesn't work, and its failure manifests itself in the oddest ways ("It was not simply that this slave population had a distinctive color; it was that this color "meant" something.... One supposes that if Africans all had three eyes or one ear, the significance of that difference from the smaller but conquering European invaders would also have been found to have meaning." Page 49. Presumably the Japanese would have been, racially, even less appropriate as slave owners).

It seems, finally, that it is Ms. Morrison who is playing in the dark. She senses it, but she can't find the words to say it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Morrison offers "food" for the thought processes!
I always felt that to truly say that one is literate is to be able to state equivocally that one has read a book by Toni Morrison or Stephen Hawking. Sure, Aristotle and Shakespeare are giants, but they were from ages ago. Morrison and Hawking are contemporary thinkers.

Instead of dealing with Morrison the storyteller, I chose to read Morrison the academic analyst in the form of "Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination". And, boy, could I not have chosen a more challenging book.

Morrison skillfully directs the reader's attention to how American literature abounds with overt and/or covert attempts to perpetuate the white male's superiority and the black man's inferiority. She shows how the "Africanist" influence can be found in the respective characters, their dialogues, and their interaction with their white counterparts. By citing examples from Hemingway, Poe, and Cather, the author makes a reader contemplate the author's symbolism and intent. I know that I will look at "great" American works with increased scrutiny.

I wish that she had tackled Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind".

As one of America's most respected writers and a proponent of civil and women's rights, Miss Morrison uses her talent wisely here in this riveting exposé.

Mind you, there are a few words that not even the context will reveal their meanings; therefore, a dictionary would be handy to have around. But, the "research" is well worth it for the book is a feast for the mind.

Bring on Stephen now!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Importance of Seeing in the Dark
When I first read this amazing criticism on American literary history, I finally got it. A huge cloud of misunderstanding and empty justifications lifted from above my head, and I, for the first time, learned how to critically analyze a text. Much more, I learned how to engage with a history of texts. Playing in the Dark effectively chronicles the absence or misconstruction of African-Americans in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemmingway. Morrison's illuminations on how the presence of black is often conflated with evil and lurking metaphores, while white is typically reduced to all that is pure is truly brought to life through the literary examples she utilizes. Further, her argument concerning how Africanism was/is used as a distancing mechanism to ensure hegemony retains its power is most likely the most well developed argument of its kind.

All of Morrison's thoughts are hopefully (and I stress hopefully with utopian blinders on) already flying through the psyches of Americans, but Playing in the Dark gives concrete words to abstract thoughts. This book is an absolute must read for anyone who plans to critically engage in literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening
Playing in the Dark is without a doubt, the most informative critique of the use of the African American presence in American literature. Morrison critiques the work of some of the most famous American novelist and points out how their work is influenced by blackness. Her critique is sharp and forthright. She challenges writers and critics alike to reevaluate their use of language, coding, and imagery as it relates to characters or situations of an "Africanist" nature. The critique identifies specific instances where negative imagery and characterizations are used by writers to help solidify whatever point being made, or image being created. Playing in the Dark should be required reading for any literature curriculum and any critic or writer who dare place pen to paper in an effort to inform or enlighten the reading public. ... Read more

5. American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African-American and Native American Literatures
by Joanna Brooks
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Asin: 0195160789
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 362079
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The 1780s and 1790s were a critical era for communities of color in the new United States of America. Even Thomas Jefferson observed that in the aftermath of the American Revolution, ""the spirit of the master is abating, that of the slave rising from the dust."" This book explores the means by which the very first Black and Indian authors rose up to transform their communities and the course of American literary history. It argues that the origins of modern African-American and American Indian literatures emerged at the revolutionary crossroads of religion and racial formation as early Black and Indian authors reinvented American evangelicalism and created new postslavery communities, new categories of racial identification, and new literary traditions. While shedding fresh light on the pioneering figures of African-American and Native American cultural history--including Samson Occom, Prince Hall, Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and John Marrant--this work also explores a powerful set of little-known Black and Indian sermons, narratives, journals, and hymns. Chronicling the early American communities of color from the separatist Christian Indian settlement in upstate New York to the first African Lodge of Freemasons in Boston, it shows how eighteenth-century Black and Indian writers forever shaped the American experience of race and religion. American Lazarus offers a bold new vision of a foundational moment in American literature. It reveals the depth of early Black and Indian intellectual history and reassesses the political, literary, and cultural powers of religion in America. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars An incredible story
My minister mentioned this book in a recent sermon. As a Christian living in the 21st Century, I realize that there is so much that I can take for granted. The trials and tribulations and triumphs that people like Samson Occom and John Marrant went through were inspiring to say the least. I had no idea that one of America's first hymnals was compiled by a Native American, nor did I discover until reading this book how much American Christianity is so entwined in Black and Indian struggles. I learned so much from this book. I'm not a reader of literature, but now I want to find out more about these people. I can say that it's made me a better Christian. I'm so grateful to these American saints. Thank you, Joanna Brooks, for opening my eyes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intellectual work and discovery at its best
With AMERICAN LAZARUS, Brooks recovers, or might I say, revives either long-forgotten or oft-misunderstood religious writings by eighteenth-century African Americans and Native Americans. And the story she tells through their works is as relevant in the 21st century as it was during theirs: God takes sides, and God's side is with the poor, the enslaved, the colonized. And these writers, like Brooks, ask: which side are you on? AMERICAN LAZARUS shows us the debt we owe to these innovative ancestors of color--politically, culturally, spiritually. And for that, we are indebted to Brooks as well. ... Read more

6. African American Literary Theory: A Reader
by Winston Napier
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Asin: 081475810X
Catlog: Book (2000-06-30)
Publisher: New York University Press
Sales Rank: 219771
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Book Description

"African American Literary Theory is an extraordinary gift to literary studies. It is necessary, authoritative and thorough. The timing of this book is superb!"

--Karla F.C. Holloway, Duke University

"The influence of African American literature can be attributed, in no small part, to the literary theorists gathered in this collection. This is a superb anthology that represents a diversity of voices and points of view, and a much needed historical retrospective of how African American literary theory has developed."

--Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan

"A volume of great conceptual significance and originality in its focus on the development of African American literary theory."

--Farah Jasmine Griffin, University of Pennsylvania

African American Literary Theory: A Reader is the first volume to document the central texts and arguments in African American literary theory from the 1920s through the present. As the volume progresses chronologically from the rise of a black aesthetic criticism, through the Blacks Arts Movement, feminism, structuralism and poststructuralism, and the rise of queer theory, it focuses on the key arguments, themes, and debates in each period.

By constantly bringing attention to the larger political and cultural issues at stake in the interpretation of literary texts, the critics gathered here have contributed mightily to the prominence and popularity of African American literature in this country and abroad. African American Literary Theory provides a unique historical analysis of how these thinkers have shaped literary theory, and literature at large, and will be a indispensable text for the study of African American intellectual culture.

Contributors include Sandra Adell, Michael Awkward, Houston A. Baker, Jr., Hazel V. Carby, Barbara Christian, W.E.B. DuBois, Ann duCille, Ralph Ellison, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Addison Gayle Jr., Carolyn F. Gerald, Evelynn Hammonds, Phillip Brian Harper, Mae Gwendolyn Henderson, Stephen E. Henderson, Karla F.C. Holloway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Joyce A. Joyce, Alain Locke, Wahneema Lubiano, Deborah E. McDowell, Harryette Mullen, Larry Neal, Charles I. Nero, Robert F. Reid-Pharr, Marlon B. Ross, George S. Schuyler, Barbara Smith, Valerie Smith, Hortense J. Spillers, Sherley Anne Williams, and Richard Wright.

... Read more

7. Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance
by Jr., Houston A. Baker
list price: $13.00
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Asin: 0226035255
Catlog: Book (1989-01-15)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 542589
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Book Description

"Mr. Baker perceives the Harlem Renaissance as a crucial moment in a movement, predating the 1920's, when Afro-Americans embraced the task of self-determination and in so doing gave forth a distinctive form of expression that still echoes in a broad spectrum of 20th-century Afro-American arts. . . . Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance may well become Afro-America's 'studying manual.'"--Tonya Bolden, New York Times Book Review

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8. Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945-1970
by Morris Dickstein
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Asin: 0674006046
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 531908
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Book Description

The twenty-five years after the Second World War were a lively and fertile period for the American novel and an era of momentous transformation in American society. Taking his title from the Kafka parable about the leopards who kept racing into the courtyard of the temple, disrupting the sacrifice, until they were made part of the ritual, Morris Dickstein shows how a daring band of outsiders reshaped the American novel and went on to dominate American fiction for the rest of the century. In fluid prose, offering a social as well as a literary history, Dickstein provides a wide-ranging and frank reassessment of more than twenty key figures—including Jewish writers like Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth, African-Americans such as Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin, colorful emigres like Vladimir Nabokov, and avatars of a new youth culture, including J.D. Salinger and Jack Kerouac. Disputingthe received wisdom aboutthe culture of the cold war, Dickstein shows why artists turned inward after the war and demonstrates how the writing of the 1960s emerged from the cultural ferment of the preceding decades, includingroad novels, avant-garde painting, bebop, film, psychoanalysis, and social changes that continue to affect us today. ... Read more

9. Black Culture and the Harlem Renaissance
by Cary D. Wintz, Texas A&m University Press
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Asin: 089096761X
Catlog: Book (1997-02-01)
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Sales Rank: 877373
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

From the close of the 19th century, when the first pre-Renaissance writers began to be published for the dominating white readers, to the Depression era that marked the demise of the movement, Cary D. Wintz analyzes the emergence of the Harlem Renaissance as the attempt of black writers to come to terms with the social issues of the 1920s-1930s through their writing.

Being his approach both literary and social, he does not neglect the different positions of politics and philosophers, highlighting the non-unanimity of views on the goals the participants should aim at and the ensuing strains arising from within the movement.

Wintz sublty depicts an intertwining net of relationships: black community and its literature, black artists and their target, black protégés and white patrons, black authors and white publishing houses, emphasising that it was this sheer interplay between the black intelligentsia and the white community that kept alive the vitality of the movement, despite the inevitable disagreements among the participants. Notwithstanding the fact that the Harlem Renaissance was led by a "loose coalition" of intellectuals, Wintz detects its "uniqueness" and bound in the "shared undertaking" of those same intellectuals who became aware of creating a "revolution in American literature".

Wintz's particular ability is of investigating the Harlem Renaissance in all its nuances, including in his portrayal both the remote rise of the movement, with the analysis of the impact on the white-dominated scene of major black writers such as Chestnutt and Dunbar, the reasons of its fall and its effects on the following generations of writers, besides the accurate report of the hey-day of the movement.

Special attention must be drawn on the sources consulted by the critic. As a matter of fact, most of the correspondence exchanged among the participants is scattered all over the United States, kept in several Libraries, Centers and Collections. Therefore, the consultations of such sources underline a work of precision and refinement and an attempt of restoring the live voices of the Renaissance makers.

As a student and researcher on the topic of the Harlem Renaissance, I found this book exceptionally useful, detailed and clear. The author's style is straight-to-the-point and pragmatic. He wisely avoids any overlapping digression to the main subject matter and makes the reader understand his outlooks with clear images. I warmly recommend this text to any reader who feels like enriching his / her knowledge about this enlighting phase of American literature! ... Read more

10. The Black Arts Movement : Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)
by James Edward Smethurst
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Asin: 080782934X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-18)
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Sales Rank: 380356
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Book Description

Emerging from a matrix of Old Left, black nationalist, and bohemian ideologies and institutions, African American artists and intellectuals in the 1960s coalesced to form the Black Arts Movement, the cultural wing of the Black Power Movement. In this comprehensive analysis, James Smethurst examines the formation of the Black Arts Movement and demonstrates how it deeply influenced the production and reception of literature and art in the United States through its negotiations of the ideological climate of the Cold War, decolonization, and the civil rights movement.

Taking a regional approach, Smethurst examines variations in the character of the local expressions of the nascent Black Arts Movement, a movement distinctive in its geographical reach and diversity, while always keeping the frame of the larger movement in view. The Black Arts Movement, he argues, fundamentally changed American attitudes about the relationship between popular culture and "high" art and dramatically transformed the landscape of public funding for the arts. ... Read more

11. Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance: The Invention of Cultural Identities in African, African-American, and Caribbean Drama
by Tejumola Olaniyan
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Asin: 0195094050
Catlog: Book (1995-06-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 760772
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Book Description

This original work redefines and broadens our understanding of the drama of the English-speaking African diaspora.Looking closely at the work of Amiri Baraka, Nobel prize-winners Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott, and Ntozake Shange, the author contends that the refashioning of the collective cultural self in black drama originates from the complex intersection of three discourses:Eurocentric, Afrocentric, and Post-Afrocentric.

From blackface minstrelsy to the Trinidad Carnival, from the Black Aesthetic to the South African Black Consciousness theatres and the scholarly debate on the (non)existence of African drama, Olaniyan cogently maps the terrains of a cultural struggle and underscores a peculiar situation in which the inferiorization of black performance forms is most often a shorthand for subordinating black culture and corporeality.

Drawing on insights from contemporary theory and cultural studies, and offering detailed readings of the above writers, Olaniyan shows how they occupy the interface between the Afrocentric and a liberating Post-Afrocentric space where black theatrical-cultural difference could be envisioned as a site of multiple articulations: race, class, gender, genre, and language. ... Read more

12. Multicultural Detective Fiction: Murder from the "Other" Side (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities)
list price: $95.00
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Asin: 0815331533
Catlog: Book (1998-12)
Publisher: Garland Publishing
Sales Rank: 660842
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Book Description

This collection of original essays is the first to evaluate multicultural detective fiction from a scholarly perspective.The contributors tackle such issuesas postcolonialism, feminist theory, gay/lesbian perspectives, and ethnic and cultural confrontations as they show the range of frequencies on which multicultural mystery writing sounds, beyond simply escape and entertainment.This anthology began as a special session at the 1995 Modern Language Association conference. ... Read more

13. Toni Morrison and Motherhood: A Politics of the Heart
by Andrea O'Reilly
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Asin: 0791460762
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Sales Rank: 86467
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Book Description

Traces Morrison's theory of African American mothering as it is articulated in her novels, essays, speeches, and interviews. ... Read more

14. The Poetics of National and Racial Identity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)
by John D. Kerkering
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Asin: 0521831148
Catlog: Book (2003-12-11)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 1286384
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Book Description

Examining the literary history of racial and national identity in nineteenth-century America, John Kerkering argues that writers such as DuBois, Hawthorne and Whitman used poetic effect to emphasize the distinctiveness of certain groups against a diffuse social landscape. Kerkering tells the story of how poetry helped define America as a nation before helping to define America into distinct racial categories.He concludes that through a shared reliance on formal literary effects, national and racial identities become related elements of a single literary history. ... Read more

15. The New Negro
by Alain Locke
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Asin: 0684838311
Catlog: Book (1999-03-01)
Publisher: Touchstone
Sales Rank: 119689
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Caution..........
This book is a remarkable example of the time period. Before reading this, one must understand the logic and the use of words during the renaissance. Understanding this is imperative in order to avoid becoming upset with the literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bible of the Harlem Renaissance
This anthology contains works by many of the most important contributers to the Harlem Renaissance. The best parts of the volume are the poetry selections by poets such as Hughes, Cullen, and McKay as well as the essays by Alain Locke. The works by Hurston and Toomer are also quite good. The essays by Locke (especially the New Negro) feature insight into many of the ideas and developments that took place in order to bring about this important historical and cultural movement. This book is a definite must read. ... Read more

16. Black Women Intellectuals : Strategies of Nation, Family, and Neighborhood in the Works of Pauline Hopkins, Jessie Fauset, and Marita Bonner (Studies in African American History and Culture)
by Carol Allen
list price: $75.00
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Asin: 0815331126
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Garland Publishing
Sales Rank: 718104
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Book Description

From 1880 to 1940, Hopkins, Fauset, and Bonner shaped an African American female response to national and global issues as they fought to rid the world of racism, restrictive gender roles, and oppression.Between 1880 and 1916, using traditional 19th-century literary genres spliced with modern techniques, Hopkins roused her peers to resist segregation and to end reconstruction and the objectification of black women. Serving as the editor for The Colored American Magazine from 1900 to 1904 and writing novels, plays, short stories, anthropological pieces, and historical tributes, Hopkins evoked the fiery spirit of abolitionism, claiming that the battle had not yet been completed. From 1912 through 1932, Fauset wrote in a variety of genres, including the novel, children's literature, travelogs, poetry, and editorials. While working as literary editor for The Crisis, she wrote about her own special concern: the machinations of middle class black communities and the manner in which popular racist and sexist images bombarded and destroyed the integrity of the black self. Bonner composed 25 pieces between 1925 and 1949, examining the urban environment and exposed the triple threat of segregation, sexism, and ghettoization.
(Ph.D. dissertation, Rutgers University, 1997; revised with new introduction, afterword)
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17. The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism
by Brent Hayes Edwards
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Asin: 0674011031
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 84392
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Book Description

A pathbreaking work of scholarship that will reshape our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance, The Practice of Diaspora revisits black transnational culture in the 1920s and 1930s, paying particular attention to links between intellectuals in New York and their Francophone counterparts in Paris. Brent Edwards suggests that diaspora is less a historical condition than a set of practices: the claims, correspondences, and collaborations through which black intellectuals pursue a variety of international alliances.

Edwards elucidates the workings of diaspora by tracking the wealth of black transnational print culture between the world wars, exploring the connections and exchanges among New York�based publications (such as Opportunity, The Negro World, and The Crisis) and newspapers in Paris (such as Les Continents, La Voix des Nègres, and L'Etudiant noir). In reading a remarkably diverse archive--the works of writers and editors from Langston Hughes, René Maran, and Claude McKay to Paulette Nardal, Alain Locke, W. E. B. Du Bois, George Padmore, and Tiemoko Garan Kouyaté--The Practice of Diaspora takes account of the highly divergent ways of imagining race beyond the barriers of nation and language. In doing so, it reveals the importance of translation, arguing that the politics of diaspora are legible above all in efforts at negotiating difference among populations of African descent throughout the world. ... Read more

18. Black and White Women's Travel Narratives: Antebellum Explorations
by Cheryl J. Fish
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Asin: 081302711X
Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Sales Rank: 675717
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cheryl J. Fish argues that the concept of mobility offers a significant paradigm for reading literature of the United States and the Americas in the antebellum period, particularly for women writers of the African diaspora. Charting journeys across nations and literary traditions, she examines works by three undervalued writers--Mary Seacole, an Afro-Jamaican; Nancy Prince, an African American from Boston; and Margaret Fuller, a white New Englander and Transcendentalist--in whose lives mobility, travel literature, and benevolent work all converge.

Refiguring the forms of domesticity, they traveled to the outposts of conflict and imperial expansion--colonial crossroads in Panama, Tsarist Russia, the Crimean War front, the U.S. frontier, and Jamaica after emancipation--and worked as healers, educators, and reformers. Each writer blended themes from exploration literature and various autobiographical genres to reconfigure racial and national identities and to issue a call for social action. They intervened strategically into discourses of medicine, education, religion, philanthropy, and emigration through a shifting and mobile subjectivity, negotiating relationships to various institutions, persons, and locations.

For each woman, travel removed her from the familiar and placed her in a position of risk, "out-of-bounds," emotionally or physically. Seeking their own vision of the territories, they came to see themselves as citizens of the world, deeply involved in the causes they witnessed. As Fish documents, their desire to improve the quality of life for oppressed and wounded peoples distinguishes their works from other popular travel writers of the time.

Drawing upon unpublished archival material such as letters, journals, and abolitionist periodicals, Fish incorporates print culture and theory into her discussion. She also examines historical accounts of the events and places with which these women were associated. She describes how Prince draws on the Bible and missionary discourse to make corrective readings of emigration policy and the lives of former slaves; Seacole appropriates the picaresque to embed her knowledge of Afro-Jamaican and Western medical tradition, and Fuller combines Romanticism and a fascination with racial science in her analysis of the American Midwest and in her evolving feminist critique. While writing in the popular 19th-century genre of the travelogue, Fish says, these black and white women were able to talk back, make and lose money, challenge stereotypes, and inform and entertain people with their adventures and benevolent work. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mobile Subjects in a Dynamic Age
With its unassuming title, Cheryl Fish's examination of travel narratives by three mid-nineteenth century women might seem of interest only to specialists. Yet by interweaving historical contextualization, attentive close reading, and theoretical agility, Fish at once reveals the intriguing tensions and assertions to be found in texts that have been dismissed as extraliterary, marginal, or dry. More important, Fish reaches beyond current critical clichés to construct richly textured, nuanced portraits of nineteenth century female identities-- identities that, while circumscribed by economic and ideological limitations, comprised genius, resistance, and astonishing adventures.
The three authors Fish discusses, Nancy Prince, Mary Seacole, and Margaret Fuller, led exceptional lives for their times. Fuller participated in Boston's predominantly masculinized circle of Transcendentalists. Nancy Prince, a Massachusetts-born African American, moved as a newlywed to St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lived for nine years; upon her return to the United States she relocated to Jamaica to establish a mission school. Mary Seacole, the daughter of a Jamaican Creole mother and a Scottish father, traveled as a "doctress"or professional healer to Panama and the Crimea. Yet although these experiences were hardly typical of nineteenth-century women, Fish demonstrates that the juxtapositions and dislocations produced by their unusual mobility and their complex racial and social identities were paradoxically representative, epitomizing "mobile subjectivity"in an era of more general mobility and flux.
In marked contrast to critics who equate literary greatness with anachronism, Fish situates the texts within-not above or beyond-mainstream nineteenth-century discourse. Drawing on a remarkable range of historical sources, Fish traces each author's location amid genres often unappreciated by more recent critics, including the conversion narrative, theological and domestic instructional literature. The narratives participate in and diverge from generic conventions in fascinating ways: Prince's domesticized spiritual memoir "negotiate[s] with the white cult of true womanhood" to legitimize her activity outside the boundaries of the home; Seacole merges the persona of "the picara-heroine," roving the world in search of adventure, with the more socially palatable icon of the "ministering angel" nursing soldiers; the more privileged Fuller incorporates the rapidly gelling tropes of nineteenth-century tourism into her introspective representations of the Great Lakes and Niagara.
Historical contextualization is complemented by Fish's sensitive attention to each author's language, even-perhaps especially-when the text might seem skimpy or inexpressive. Fish single-handedly redeems the sexualized interpretation of feminist critics of the 1980s in her flat-outwonderful analysis of Fuller's description of Niagara Falls, foregrounding Fuller's wild tangle ofimages connoting both gender and sexuality. But Fish is just as appreciative of Prince's and Seacole's less eroticized narratives, scrupulously noting both their repeated motifs and provocative lacunae to illuminate Prince's haunting evocation of "the body in pain," and Seacole's "witty dialectic between imperial conflict and the power of woman to heal." The recovery of these suppressed voices and their relationship to the dynamic and fascinating age that produced them is aunique gift offered by an insightful and generous literary scholar. ... Read more

19. The Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature Two Volume Hardback Set
by F. Abiola Irele, Simon Gikandi
list price: $180.00
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Asin: 0521594340
Catlog: Book (2004-03-11)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 475614
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Book Description

Featuring new perspectives on African and Caribbean literature, this History explores the scope of the literature (variety of languages, regions and genres); nature of composition; and complex relationship with African social and geo-political history. It comprehensively covers the field of African literature, defined by creative expression in Africa as well as the black diaspora.This major history of African literature will be an essential resource for specialists and students. ... Read more

20. Remembering the Harlem Renaissance (The Harlem Renaissance, 1920-1940)
list price: $145.00
our price: $145.00
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Asin: 081532216X
Catlog: Book (1996-06)
Publisher: Garland Publishing
Sales Rank: 488277
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Book Description

This volume tracks the many surveys of black literature created during the Harlem Renaissance.Noted works by such authors as Sterling Brown, Benjamin Brawley, and Langston Hughes are covered.Retrospectives also appeared in the journal Phylon, and many of those also appear in this collection. ... Read more

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