Going beyond the conventional focus on works of literature in Caribbean studies this lecture course explores a range of diasporic Caribbean representations of the 20th and 21st centuries (including works of theory and cultural criticism as well as art works, film and music) produced at and in-between several locations, including the Caribbean itself, the UK, Europe, North America, and Africa. Based on selected readings it provides a decisively relational diasporic studies perspective (rather than a strictly regional Caribbean studies or British/American immigrant studies perspective). Stressing the interconnectedness of disparate Caribbean cultural geographies it transcends linguistic, ethnic or nation-state analytical frameworks prevalent in regional studies and ethnic immigrant studies approaches alike. The lecture focuses on the multi-directional diasporic binds of an overarching Caribbean cultural practice. Its dialogic and necessarily interdisciplinary approach locates Caribbean cultural discourse in relation to different national and transnational directions of critical and creative practices related to anti-colonialism, anti-racism, pan-Africanism, the Harlem Renaissance, or Black feminism. At the same time the lecture explores the importance of Caribbean diasporic thought for the development of epistemological concepts that disentangle the conventional separation of regions and cultural realms, such as transculturation, the Black Atlantic or creolization and underlines its impact on the formation of academic movements in literary and cultural studies like Postcolonialism, Diaspora Studies, or Critical Race Studies.
First session on 17 October.