First published in 1993, Paul Gilroy's The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness launches a compelling two-part argument. First, Gilroy argues against narrow national and regional ... read more
First published in 1993, Paul Gilroy's The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness launches a compelling two-part argument. First, Gilroy argues against narrow national and regional confines and for a fundamentally hybrid Black Atlantic culture. That is, as the blurb on the book jacket proclaims, "a culture that is not specifically African, American, Caribbean or British, but all of these at once." Secondly and equally importantly, The Black Atlantic asserts the fundamental significance of this culture for the constitution of historical modernity.
This interdisciplinary seminar sets out to revisit Gilroy's landmark study, but also to test its proposals by honing in on particular configurations of Black Atlantic connection from the 18th century to the present. Planned foci include: circulations and insurgencies of the Caribbean, American hemispheric dimensions of race chattel slavery and abolitionism, "Back to Africa" movements, and, in conclusion, revisitations and refinements of Gilroy's arguments in recent work such as Lisa Lowe's The Intimacies of Four Continents (2015) and Alexander G. Weheliye's Habeas Viscus (2014).
The seminar will be both reading and research intensive. Independent work in expert groups is planned. The seminar concludes with a two-day conference on February 2nd and 3rd that will bring together established researchers with the contributions of younger scholars from the course.