Two New Series: Creolizing the Canon & Global Critical Caribbean Thought

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Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

From R&L International and Neil Roberts, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty Affiliate in Political Science, Williams College:

I am delighted to announce the launch of two book series dedicated to path-breaking work in the areas of Caribbean philosophy, creolization, and political theory. These are one result of an intellectual collaboration between Roman & Littlefield International and the Caribbean Philosophical Association (CPA), of which I serve as Chair of Publishing Partnerships.

The CPA is an international organization of scholars, artists, and community activists dedicated to articulating a place for ideas in the Caribbean context and their global significance. Our central goal is encapsulated in our motto: “Shifting the Geography of Reason.” Dominant models of reason have located thought in First World nations and mere experience and mimicry elsewhere. The CPA has been working actively to de-legitimize this framework, demonstrating instead how theoretical investigations and critical scholarship forged within the Caribbean shape the interpretations of regional and global challenges faced by the twenty-first century as humanity struggles toward the twenty-second.

The first series, edited by Jane Anna Gordon and Neil Roberts, is Creolizing the Canon. It seeks to revisit the thought of canonical philosophers and political theorists in the humanities and social sciences through the lens of creolization. This means offering fresh readings of familiar figures and presenting cases for the study of formerly excluded ones. Our approach does not follow a comparative model, however. Creolization means that intellectual resources are mixed and explored even at methodological levels.

Beginning with the familiar and working its way out to the more surprising exemplars, books published in Creolizing the Canon will be edited anthologies. We welcome proposals that consider questions of method and the formation of academic disciplines as well as those focused on questions of political and social life such as problems of freedom, inequality, and justice. We expect the series audience to include, though not be limited to, the fields of philosophy, political science, Caribbean studies, comparative literature, cultural studies, English, French and Francophone studies, and German studies.

Jane Anna Gordon, Lewis R. Gordon, and Nelson Maldonado Torres are editors for the second series, Global Critical Caribbean Thought. They underscore how W.E.B. Du Bois, writing at the dawn of the twentieth century, described a color line dividing the world in two. Potentiated double consciousness emerged when someone could interpret what it was to occupy and to know both sides—the first moved by the avowed aspirations and ideals of a society and the other by their many contradictions and failures. A significant portion of Caribbean writing exemplifies this form of consciousness. Viewing the globe forged by European modernity through the tumultuous seas and grounds out of which it was birthed, scholars are increasingly revealing the predicament of the Caribbean as prototypical, showing that the region, as a geopolitical space, has anticipated what is now a shared global condition of constant migration, dislocation, and creolization.

In spite of the notable intellectual production from the region hitherto, the Caribbean continues to be the focus of primarily empirical and literary study rather than theoretical and philosophical engagement. Global Critical Caribbean Thought foregrounds scholarship exemplifying potentiated double consciousness, turning this lens on the unfolding nature and potential future shape of the globe by taking concepts and ideas that while originating out of very specific contexts share features that lend them transnational utility.

We anticipate that work in this series will engage a range of figures integral to modern Caribbean thought and explore concepts such as coloniality, decoloniality, double consciousness, and la facultdad. Whereas Creolizing the Canon will consist of edited volumes, Global Critical Caribbean Thought will include monographs and anthologies.

Creolizing the Canon and Global Critical Caribbean Thought together seek to broaden the horizon of thinking and shift reason’s geography, thereby fundamentally refashioning existing insular narratives about what ideas we study and how we are to analyze them.

We encourage anyone interested in proposing monographs and edited collections to contact us: jane.gordon@uconn.edu, lewis.gordon@uconn.edu, Neil.Roberts@williams.edu, and nmtorres7@gmail.com

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