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Displaying: 1-20 of 27 documents


1. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Paget Henry Editor's Note
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tributes to wilson harris and v. s. naipaul
2. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Paget Henry Wilson Harris: A Quantum Tribute
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3. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Paget Henry V. S. Naipaul: A Half-made Tribute
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tributes to abiola irele
4. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Lewis Gordon For ‘Biola
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5. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Teodros Kiros It Was Many Years Ago, But, It Feels As If It Was Very Recent
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6. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Paget Henry Caribbean Reflections: For Abiola Irele
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with and about sylvia wynter
7. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Sylvia Wynter Beyond Liberal and Marxist Leninist Feminisms: Towards an Autonomous Frame of Reference
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This paper attempts to outline an autonomous feminism; a feminism with its own voice, and one that will transcend the binaries in which Marxism and liberalism are still caught. Its first step is to make clear the semio-linguistic foundations of all human social systems. These foundations consist of an open-ended set of social imaginary signifiers embedded in complex abduction or analogy-producing schemas, the creative conjugating of which makes possible the establishing of social orders such as families, monarchies or patriarchies. The second is to show that the semiotics of these orders require dominant or central signifiers, such as father or king, that must be supported by subordinate or peripheral ones. Third, the paper shows that women have consistently functioned as subordinate signifiers in these order-producing semio-linguistic codes. Fourth and finally, the paper details the semiotic difficulties of overthrowing this underlying governing code and thus breaking women out of their assigned subordinate positions.
8. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Anjuli I. Gunaratne “Writing Traumatic Time”: The Tragic Art and Thought of Sylvia Wynter
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This essay reads Sylvia Wynter’s only novel The Hills of Hebron (1962) as a modern tragedy, one that both challenges and builds upon Raymond Williams’s concept of modern tragedy. The essay’s main argument is that tragedy, as a literary form, and the tragic, as a philosophical concept, are fundamental to Wynter’s project of creating forms of counterpoieses. Engaging Wynter’s interlocution with tragedy is crucial for comprehending how she is able to transform loss into a condition of possibility, primarily for the writing of what she calls “traumatic time.” Instead of only blocking mental representation, traumatic loss in Wynter becomes the first gesture of a philosophical activity that makes presentable that which has been lost or abandoned to a state of ruin, an argument that Walter Benjamin, another writer in dark times, had earlier made in The Origin of German Tragic Drama. Occupying the temporality of the tragic, Wynter has always made the re-assumption of the past—“slave, slave masters and all,” as she says—central to her project of critiquing and dismantling the “descriptive statement” of Man as the only permissible version of the Human. In my reading of The Hills of Hebron, I show how the novel utilizes the aesthetic, particularly the medium of theatricality, as the grounds for a theoretical framework that makes, in a manner redolent of Antigone, “the wretched of the earth” presentable not as “symbolic death” but rather as allegories of resistance.
9. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Shawn Gonzalez Counter-Novels: Sylvia Wynter’s Fictional and Theoretical Disenchantment of the Novel Form
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While Sylvia Wynter emphasizes the written word’s capacity to transform our systems of organizing knowledge, she repeatedly questions the extent to which novels can have this transformative capacity. Both her theoretical writing and the plot of her 1962 novel The Hills of Hebron emphasize the novel’s limitations. However, Wynter does not totally reject the form. Instead, she reimagines the novel through the idea of the “counter-novel,” developed in conjunction with her close reading of Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man. This essay considers The Hills of Hebron as a counter-novel by analyzing the connections between novel’s two artist characters, The Hills of Hebron, and Wynter’s reading of The Invisible Man. Through this analysis, I argue that Wynter’s novel can be read as a substantial contribution to her theoretical corpus that has continued relevance to her challenge to transform dominant systems of knowledge production.
10. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Ege Selin Islekel Totalizing the Open: Roots and Boundary Markers in Wynter and Glissant
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This essay focuses on the spatial organization of the genre of ‘Man.’ In particular, I investigate the spatial attitudes through which the genre of Man emerges as a racialized, geographically determined, and gendered category. There are two main arcs of analysis provided: the first arc follows the relation between the space of exploration and the space of totalization. The second arc focuses on the role of boundary markers such as the ‘Other’ and the ‘Outside,’ in the spatial organization of Man. I argue, overall, that the totalitarian spatial attitude of the Modern State is formed on the basis of the transformation of the cosmogeny of Man from a spatially limited earth to one open to exploration. The racialized ladder of the State rests on such production of a spatial attitude that is at once open and totalitarian.
essays on race, literature, philosophy, and economic development
11. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Paget Henry Samir Amin and the Future of Caribbean Philosophy
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This paper attempts to deepen the already rich exchange between Caribbean scholars and the distinguished African scholar Samir Amin. In particular, it attempts to expand the exchanges on the relations between philosophy, economics and culture. The expansion uncovers hidden but significant complementary relations between the contributions of Caribbean scholars, such as C.L.R. James, Lloyd Best, and Sylvia Wynter, and the work of Amin on philosophy economics and culture.
12. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Alyssa Adamson C.L.R. James’s Decolonial Humanism in Theory and Practice
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This paper argues for the concept of a decolonial humanism at the heart of C.L.R. James’s theoretical and political engagements. In exploring the concept of decolonial humanism, the paper moves through three major sections dealing with some of the definitive epistemic and political aspects of James’s work: (i) a critique of Enlightenment Humanism and European Marxism without disavowing the aspirations of universal human emancipation; (ii) James’s work with the Johnson-Forest Tendency, the Pan-Africanist movement, and his attempts at labor organizing in Trinidad first alongside Eric Williams in the People’s National Movement (PNM) and later in his own Workers and Farmer’s Party (WFP); and (iii) the practicality of decolonial humanism in terms of its adoption by Tim Hector and the Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement (ACLM).
13. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò Excluded Moderns and Race/Racism in Euro-American Philosophy: James Africanus Beale Horton
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The literature on race/racism and modern Euro-American philosophy obscures a category of continental African thinkers who not only embraced modernity and its core tenets but used them as the metric for judging their societies and self-making. Their embrace of modernity led them to share certain assumptions about their societies’ past like those that ground the racism of modern Euro-American philosophy. The literature has not attended to their ideas. The obscuring arises from racializing the discourse of philosophy and race/racism within a black-white/white-nonwhite schema. We, instead, historicize the discourse and show how, in embracing modernity, Africans managed, simultaneously, to repudiate modern philosophy’s racism. African thinkers never saw modernity as white or quintessentially European: it is the latest iteration of the human march to a better life for the species; they historicized it. The paper concludes with an exegesis of one such thinker from nineteenth century West Africa, James Africanus Beale Horton.
14. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Victor Peterson II Black Not
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The Afro-Pessimist contends the impossibility of building a movement from “absolutely nothing.” This assumption comes from a misreading of Franz Fanon’s proposition in Black Skin, White Masks, “The Negro is not. Any more than the white man.” This paper analyzes the structure of Fanon’s proposition by considering ‘not’ as an operator while challenging and setting limits to the function of Identity utilized by the Pessimist. The way in which Fanon puts to use the elements of his proposition functions as that statement’s meaning, rather than assuming a dictionary definition for each word whose sum presupposes a definition of the sentence. Where the Afro-Pessimist treats the period in Fanon’s assertion as a full stop, intending Black Identity’s interchangeability with “absolutely nothing,” I take the logical structure of Fanon’s assertion as a conditional, illustrating the fallacy inherent to the Pessimist position. In all, the structure of a proposition begets its expressive capacity.
15. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Shawn Gonzalez Ethics of Opacity in Harold Sonny Ladoo’s No Pain Like This Body
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Harold Sonny Ladoo’s 1972 novel No Pain Like This Body has been analyzed for its seminal representation of the traumas experienced by a formerly indentured Indo-Trinidadian family in the early twentieth century. However, relatively little attention has been given to Ladoo’s experimentation with multiple languages, particularly English, Trinidadian Creole, and Hindi. This article argues that Ladoo’s multilingualism offers a guide for approaching the traumatic experiences he represents. While some aspects of the novel, such as its glossary, make the characters’ language more comprehensible, others, such as the orthography Ladoo chooses to represent Creole speech, deliberately distance the reader. Using decolonial theorists of language, particularly Édouard Glissant's writing on multi­lingualism and opacity, this article considers Ladoo’s use of multilingualism both as a limit to readers’ understanding as well as an invitation to continued engagement with those aspects of the text that are resistant to easy comprehension. This article contrasts opacity as a reading methodology with some of the dominant paradigms for understanding linguistic difference in the field of comparative literature, which rely on linguistic and textual mastery. Ultimately, the article proposes reading multilingual texts through opacity as a model for decolonial reading in which creative, active engagement with the text can produce solidarity without requiring complete transparency.
16. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Johman Carvajal Godoy Well Chosen White Blood: About the Illusion of Racial Equality in Colombia
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This paper examines the discourse of white supremacy in the intellectual history and socio-historical development in the nation of Colombia. In particular, it focuses on the period after the gaining of political independence from Spain in 1819. Further, the paper focuses on the texts of two writers who spanned late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These writers are Miguel Jiménez López and Luis López de Mesa. The paper develops in detail the white supremacist discourses of these two writers, along with their views of the indigenous people of Colombia, the mestizos, and the Africans who were imported as slaves and racialized as Blacks. Finally, the paper examines the pro-white immigration policies of the authors, which they believed would improve the intelligence, the entrepreneurial capability and beauty of Colombia, and thus its prospects for development.
17. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Kathleen Gyssels Bit in the Mouth, Death in the Soul: Remembering the Poetry of Léon-Gontran Damas
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Sixty years after the famous ‘Conférence des écrivains et artistes noirs at the Sorbonne’, and sixty years after Black-Label, the third collection of poetry by French Guianese Leon-Gontran Damas, the word “nègre” and “nigger” remain offensive words all too much used in postcolonial Europe today. Even after the short lived Obamamania, Damas’s poetry remains actual as it expresses the censorship all too many times endured by the lyrical voice who cannot speak out loud against those violent verbal, physical, and thus psychological assaults. Consequently, his “mors dans la bouche”, or “bit in the mouth” is incoporated in his less wellknown work which testifies to the “mort dans l’âme”, it is the constant feeling of depression and blues lurking on the Black or coloured citizen of France and the West Indies. Standing in the shadow of the cofounders, and quite neglected by the leading Martinicans of the post-Négritude era, Damas nevertheless understood the urgency of transcontinental and transcultural solidarities in this battle and wrote against the dichotomies of race, class, and gender. Damas (b. 1912) and James (b. 1901) knew each other for over forty years. Damas read James’s novel, Minty Alley (published in 1936) before they met in Paris when James was doing the research for The Black Jacobins (published in 1938), his landmark history of Tousssaint L’Ouverture and the revolution in the French colony of Saint-Domingue. Damas helped James with translations and discovering documents at the Bibliothèque Nationale. On one occasion, Damas brought James to the home of Robert Desnos. Both lived in Washington, DC, in the 1970s when Damas was at Howard University and James taught at Federal City College/University of the District of Columbia.
book discussion: jane gordon's creolizing political theory
18. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Drucilla Cornell No Revolutionary Decolonization without Creolization
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19. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Douglas Ficek Creolization and Philosophical Anthropology: The Humanism of Creolizing Political Theory
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20. The CLR James Journal: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1/2
Michael J. Monahan Creolizing History and Identity: On the Subject of History in Jane Gordon’s Creolizing Political Theory
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