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Caribbeing; Comparing Caribbean Literatures and Cultures

From wide-ranging overviews of the entire region to close readings of specific works, this volume  opens a fascinating window on the literatures and cultures of the Caribbean, covering texts in the multiplicity of languages used in the wider Caribbean: Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and the region’s many creoles.

Caribbeing - omslag

Cover image: Afro-Healing (2012, assemblage) by Tirzo Martha, Curaçao.

Authors and works discussed range from luminaries such as Derek Walcott to hitherto practically unknown works in Antillean creole languages. Underlying is the idea to foster the study of the Caribbean literary, artistic and visual text through a comparative lens, a firm proposal to think beyond the persisting linguistic barriers and scholarly divides in the field. As such, Caribbeing: Comparing Caribbean Literatures and Cultures brings a new approach to the Caribbean embracing the region’s linguistic multiplicity and complexity without eschewing the many theoretical challenges and obstacles such a scholarly endeavor entails. Because of its ample scope this book will appeal to scholars and students working on the Caribbean and Latin America, but also to those interested in the broader fields of postcolonial and cultural studies.

‘This book is much more than a book on the Caribbean: it underlines the global dimensions and relevance of Caribbean Studies in the twenty-first century. Following carefully the crossroads of literatures and cultures, it shows new routes allowing us to rethink our world(s) in a transarchipelagic mode. An eye-opener: accelerated globalization is unthinkable without the Caribbean.’ (Ottmar Ette, University of Potsdam)

‘Rarely have the multiple flows and enduring traumas of Caribbean culture been explored from such a boldly wide-ranging and profoundly comparative set of perspectives. An indispensable work that sets a new standard for Caribbeanist scholarship.’ (Maarten van Delden, Universtiy of California, Los Angeles)

Kristian van Haesendonck and Theo D’haen (eds.), Caribbeing; Comparing Caribbean Literatures and Cultures. Amsterdam/New York, NY: Rodopi, 2014. 341 pp; zie:

Going Caribbean, 2009 - Kristian van Haesendonck . Aart G. Broek

In this volume the following contributions are on Dutch colonial past and the (former) Dutch Caribbean, see:

Ineke Phaf-Rheinberger, ‘The “Dutch Period”: A Missing Link in Caribbean Cultural History”, pp. 41-56;
Aart G. Broek, ‘Creative and Destructive Powers of Shame; Moulding Caribbean Writing and Ideology”, pp. 79-95;
Michiel van Kempen, ‘Shattered Heads; On the Earliest Dutch West Indian Migrant’s Text’, pp. 341-55;
Guiselle Starink-Martha, ‘The Real Yu di Korsou; Migrant Construction of Curaçaoan Cultural Identity through Performance’, pp. 281-93.

The present collection of articles is based on speeches and papers at the International Conference ‘Going Caribbean; New Perspectives on Caribbean Literature and Art’, organized by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon, November 2-4, 2009.


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