Lecture: “Creole Noise”

The Eugene Lang College’s Department of Literary Studies (The New School) presents a lecture by Belinda Edmondson, Distinguished Professor in the Departments of English and Africana Studies at Rutgers University. The talk is entitled “Creole Noise,” and will take place on March 21, 2023, at 6:00pm (EDT) at Starr Foundation Hall (102), at 63 5th Avenue. The event will be moderated by Carolyn Vellenga Berman, Chair of Literature and Co-Chair of Literary Studies. It is cosponsored by the Program in Liberal Studies at The New School for Social Research. Dr. Edmondson discuss her most recent book Creole Noise: Early Caribbean Dialect Literature and Performance, published by Oxford University Press in 2022. Register for the event at https://event.newschool.edu/creolenoise.

Professor Edmondson is the author of several ground-breaking books on Caribbean literature and culture, including Caribbean Romances, Making Men, and Caribbean Middlebrow. She is Chair of English at Rutgers and an elected member of the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars.  She will discuss her most recent book, Creole Noise: Early Caribbean Dialect Literature and Performance (Oxford University Press, 2022). This project furnishes a history of Creole, or ‘dialect’, literature and performance in the English-speaking Caribbean, from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. [. . .]

Book Description: Creole Noise is a history of Creole, or ‘dialect’, literature and performance in the English-speaking Caribbean, from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. By emphasizing multiracial origins, transnational influences, and musical performance alongside often violent historical events of the nineteenth century – slavery, Emancipation, the Morant Bay Rebellion, the era of blackface minstrelsy, indentureship and immigration – it revises the common view that literary dialect in the Caribbean was a relatively modern, twentieth-century phenomenon, associated with regional anti-colonial or black-affirming nationalist projects. It explores both the lives and the literary texts of a number of early progenitors, among these a number of pro-slavery white creoles as well as the first black author of literary dialect in the English-speaking Caribbean. Creole Noise features a number of fascinating historical characters, among these Henry Garland Murray, a black Jamaican journalist and lecturer; Michael McTurk, the white magistrate from British Guiana who, as ‘Quow’, authored one of the earliest books of dialect literature; as well as blackface comedian and calypsonian Sam Manning, who along with Marcus Garvey’s ex-wife, Amy Ashwood Garvey, wrote a popular dialect play that traveled across the United States. In so doing it reconstructs an earlier period of dialect literature, usually isolated or dismissed from the cultural narrative as racist mimicry or merely political, not part of a continuum of artistic production in the Caribbean.

For more information, and to register for the event, visit see https://event.newschool.edu/creolenoise and https://global.oup.com/academic/product/creole-noise-9780192856838

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