New Book: Perspectives on the “Other America”


Perspectives on the ‘Other America’: Comparative Approaches to Caribbean and Latin American Culture is a new interdisciplinary collection of essays edited by Michael Niblett and Kerstin Oloff.

Rodopi describes it thus: Uniting critical writing on novels, poetry, painting, and ritual, this volume takes a regional approach to the cultures of the Caribbean Basin. Ranging across the linguistic spectrum of the area, it examines cultural production from the Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanophone islands, Suriname and the Guyanas, and ‘Latin’ and Central America. The interdisciplinary nature of the collection and the challenge it poses to the balkanization of the region within academic discourse will make it of especial interest to students and scholars of the Caribbean. Inspired by the category of the ‘Other America’ as developed by Édouard Glissant, the book offers a series of original and stimulating engagements with topics that include nationalism, migration and exile, landscape and the environment, gender and sexuality, and Postcolonial Studies and ‘world literature’. [. . .] Underpinning the collection is an interrogation of received ideas of the nation-state and a suggestion that regionalism might provide a better optic through which to view the circum-Caribbean – that national consciousness, in other words, must always also be a regional consciousness.

This provocative collection is organized around four major categories: The ‘Other America’ and Representation; Otherness, Gender and Sexuality in the Expanded Caribbean; Location, Region and Culture; and Caribbean Writing in a Global Context. In addition to contributions by leading scholars such as Peter Hulme, Theo D’haen, and (my dear friend, colleague, and co-blogger) Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, it contains interviews with novelists Lawrence Scott and Mayra Santos-Febres.

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