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Constructing Vernacular Culture in the Trans-Caribbean (Caribbean Studies) [Paperback]

Holger Henke , Karl-Heinz Magister , Anton Allahar , Carol Bailey , Curwen Best , Melvin L. Butler , Raphael Dalleo , Maarit Forde , Wendy Knepper , Patricia Mohammed , Lyndon Phillip , Elaine Savory , Bettina E. Schmidt , Mimi Sheller , Tanya Shields , Constance R. Sutton , Mies van Niekerk

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Book Description

November 13, 2007 0739121618 978-0739121610
In this volume, the editors and authors strive to understand the evolving Trans-Caribbean as a discontinuous, displacing and displaced, transnational space. It considers the imagined community in the islands as its psycho-social homeland, while simultaneously pursuing different cultural strategies of redefining and resisting colonial 'homeland' conventions (which Kamau Brathwaite appropriately termed the 'inner plantation'). Thus, the Trans-Caribbean is suspended in a double-dialectic, which opposes both the hegemonic metropolitan space inhabited, as well as the romanticized, yet colonialized, 'inner plantation,' whose transcendence via migration perpetually turns out to be an illusion. Given this, cultural production and migration remain at the vortex of the Trans-Caribbean. The construction of cultural products in the Trans-Caribbean? understood as a collection of social and new migratory practices? both reflects and contests post-colonial metropolitan hegemonies. Following Arjun Appadurai's distinction, these homogenizing and heterogenizing counter-trends in Trans-Cariabbean spaces can be observed through cultural transactions manifesting themselves as ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes, cityscapes, ideoscapes, etc. For the purposes of this book the editors invited anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, linguists, liberal arts and gender studies specialists, as well as cultural and literary historians to begin drawing some of the diasporic trajectories on the huge canvas of cultural production throughout the Trans-Caribbean.Constructing Vernacular Culture in the Trans-Caribbean will find its audience among scholars in cultural studies, migration, literary theory, and cultural criticism who have a special interest in Caribbean and Latin American Studies, as well as among students and scholars of migration and postcolonialism and postmodernity in general.

Editorial Reviews


This volume is an excellent addition to the literature on Caribbean and trans-nationalism. Its pluri-disciplinary approach bridges several academic fields and provides provocative reflections on the interweaving of varied trans-national cultural practices. Its well-written essays are grounded in cogent sociological and literary analyses as well as rich ethnographic data from various trans-Caribbean locations. (Anthropological Quarterly)

All of the authors advance the idea of a trans-Caribbean as an effective way of discussing new movements, migrations, and hybridities.... I would highly recommend the book as a reader in courses focusing on Caribbean studies and the Caribbean and/or African disapora. (Kimberly Eison Simmons, 2010 New West Indian Guide)

Holger Henke and Karl-Heinz Magister have done a masterful job in bringing together the intellectual energies of fifteen scholars grappling with the process of identity formation, transnationalism, and hybridity within Caribbean disporas in locations like New York, Toronto, and London.... (Dwaine Plaza, Oregon State University)

Holger Henke and Karl-Heinz Magister have done a masterful job in bringing together the intellectual energies of fifteen scholars grappling with the process of identity formation, transnationalism, and hybridity within Caribbean disporas in locations like New York, Toronto, and London. (Dwaine Plaza, Oregon State University)

The collection provides rich material to fuel ongoing discussions about the interaction between national and transnational aspects of Caribbean culture. Its breadth is a clear strength, with the cross-disciplinary nature of the contributions offering a refreshingly broad approach. (H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online)

About the Author

Holger W. Henke is assistant professor of political science at Metropolitan College of New York and editor of Crossing Over: Comparing Recent Migration in the United States and Europe (Lexington 2005). Karl-Heinz Magister is a researcher at the Center for Literary Studies in Berlin.

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More About the Author

Holger Henke is a political scientist and works as assistant provost at York College, City University of New York. He has previously taught as a professor (assistant professor, 2004-08; associate professor, 2008) at Metropolitan College of New York.

He grew up in Viersen and since 1972 in Haar (Munich). Henke attended the Geschwister-Scholl-Institute for Political Science at the University of Munich, where he obtained a Magister Artium (Political Science, Modern German Literature, and Communication Sciences) in 1987. He subsequently emigrated and lived for seven years in Jamaica. In 1996 he earned a Ph.D. in Government at the University of the West Indies (Mona) with a dissertation about the foreign relations of that country between 1972 und 1989. Since 1995 he lives near New York City.

Henke studies international relations (Caribbean, Europe, USA, und Asia), migration, political culture and development (political economy). He has published six books and numerous scholarly articles. Henke is the editor of the peer-reviewed journal "Wadabagei: A Journal of the Caribbean and its Diasporas." He currently serves as the President of the Caribbean Studies Association (2010-2011). Henke is also a Senior Fellow of the Caribbean Research Center at Medgar Evers College (City University of New York), where he previously had worked as assistant director, and a Senior Research Fellow of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs in Washington (D.C.). In August 2010, he received the honorary citizenship of Jamaica.

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