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Print Send Add Share. Notes Abstract: This study demonstrates how theconcept of utopia offers new insights into the convergence of art and politicsin black literature.
- The Politics of Utopia and Dystopia in Late Twentieth-Century Black Literature
- The Politics of Utopia and Dystopia in Late Twentieth-Century Black Literature
- Teaching Gender
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The Politics of Utopia and Dystopia in Late Twentieth-Century Black Literature
Print Send Add Share. Notes Abstract: This study demonstrates how theconcept of utopia offers new insights into the convergence of art and politicsin black literature. To doso, it places the ideas of black studies scholars like Paul Gilroy, FrantzFanon, and others in conversation with utopian studies scholars like RuthLevitas, Fredric Jameson, and Ernst Bloch.
General Note: Includes vita. Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references. Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis Ph. I owe the deepest gratitude to Phillip Wegner of the University of Florida, the Chair of my dissertation committee.
I came to Florida specifically in hopes of doing my doctoral work under his supervision, and I still cannot believe my good fortune. From the very beginning, Professor Wegner has been an irreplaceable and a patient teacher, mentor, adviser, advocate, collaborator, colleague, role model, and friend.
His contributions to this project have been immense and profound This is true of both the remarkable and rigorous intellectual insights he has so generously shared and the personal support with which he has been equally generous. I could not have asked for a better mentor. I am also deeply indebted to the oth er membe rs of my dissertation committee: Apollo Amoko, Malini Johar Schueller and Sheryl Kroen of the University of Florida, and Naomi Jacobs of the University of Maine, all of whom have contributed invaluable knowledge, advice, and time to this project, and all of whom I greatly admire.
Ideas that would become Chapter 3 Professor African Literature seminar; lengthy and memorable later discussions helped improve these ideas drast ically. S everal conversations with Professor Schueller have contributed to my scholarship in ways she may not fully realize.
I am especially grateful to her for her insights about C hapter s 1 and 4 and for what may be the most influential piece of advice I ever received about my prose I am grateful to Professor Kroen for her willingness to be a part of my committee for her contributions to Chapter 1 for sharing her own work with me, and for her sincere support for this project.
I owe Professor Jacobs a s pecial debt of gratitude. H er contributions to this work are the most recent examples of the guidance she has given me so kindly and freely throughout my PAGE 4 4 entire career as an English scholar a career which she helped make possible. Not only has she gently s hared her vast knowledge and experience during the past six years.
I t was she who first taught me, and who introduced me to the concept of utopia; to utopian literature, theory, and scholarship; to the Society for Utopian Studies; and to Professor Wegner a nd his work. This dissertation would have been unthinkable without her.
Many others at the University of Florida have made important contributions to t his project Mark Reid read and commented on early versions of what would later become some of Chapter 1 s material on Martin Delany, Chapter 2 Blues and Chapter 4 on Toni Cade Bambara The research that became Chapter 4 section on Toni Morrison began with the assistance of Debra Walker King, who also r ead a later draft and allowed me to present these ideas in her spring seminar on Toni Morrison an opportunity that provided useful feedback.
I am especially grateful to Emily McCann not only for being an intelligent and incisive interlocutor, but also for her support during the long months it took to bring this project to completion. PAGE 5 5 This work also testifies to the lasting influence of mentors and colleagues at other institutions. This is especial ly true of Carla Billitteri of the University of Maine, who taught me what it means to do rigorous work in the humanities.
If indeed I can think about, write about, and quest ion the world, it is because of this man. I am also grateful to colleagues at the Society for Utopian Studies, a utopian community of scholars who welcomed me, who sponsor thought provoking scholarly conversations year after year, and who provided an oppor tunity at the Annual Meeting to gain feedback on Chapter 4 Wegner, I would especially like to thank Stephanie Boluk, Brian Greenspan, Gib Prettyman, Peter Sands, and Corina Kesler, whose nfluenced the ideas in Chapter 5.
Lastly, family and friends deserve my gratitude for their support during the past four years. I also extend my thanks to Ben Kearns for fielding many late night phone calls, and to Annette Kesgen. There are others too numerous to name to whom I owe my thanks, but they know who they are, and they know I am grateful. Tabone D ecember Chair: Phillip E. Wegner Major: English This study demonstrates how the concept of utopia offers new insights into the convergence of art and politics in b lack literature.
It is in part a resp s the b lack literary utopia I t takes an interdisciplinary and transnational approach to elucidating how b lack authors use d utopian and dystopian literary forms to work for social transfo rmation during the last third of the twentieth century, and historicizes their relationship to the social, racial, and political realities of Chapter 1 introduces this project and develop s a comprehensive theoretical framework for reading black utopian literature.
To do so, it places the ideas of black studies scholars like Paul Gilroy, Frantz Fanon, and others in conversation with utopian studies scholars like Ruth Levitas, Fredric Jameson, and Ernst Bloch. Chapter 2 explores t he dialectic of dystopia and utopia in the fiction of American author John A. A postscript no tes the political shifts in the more sober later novels Ladder and It argues that the drastic aesthetic fiction are related to his utopian politics Chapter 4 discusses Ali Meridian , The Salt Eaters Paradise It argues form and that these novels attempt to revive the waning uto pian des ires of the s while critiquing the problematic gender 5 concludes by speculating about the shape of black utopian literature after the millennium through readings of Nigerian British author Ben In Arcadia , Jamaican Me Be Lonely Apex Hides the Hurt Paul Gilroy has repeatedly remarked that the racial conflicts of modernity have given rise to black cultures 1 For Gilroy, these desires are readable throughout the p an African cultural landscape in a myriad of communities, political movements, modes of identity and solidarity, and aesthetic forms of expression that all bespeak deep longings for a radically transfigured society.
Although the discrete utopian praxes thr ough which these desires take form can be widely divergent, utopia has nonetheless been at the very epicenter of countless efforts to achieve better ways of life. Utopian desires are discernible in pan Africanist movements dating back to the s They fu eled slave revolts, spurred the Haitian revolution of , and propelled nineteenth century abolition movements. In nationalisms, and in mid century Black Freedom Movements.
They are still palpable in local coalitions and alterglobalization movements. Yearnings for better forms of collectivity have forged affirmative and often subversive alternative communities in hush h arbors, maroon enclaves, churches, un iversities, all black towns, and liberation organizations.
They have molded Harlem in the s, 2 Arts 3 and the progressive transcontinental hip hop culture that resisted the neo 4 Echoing Black Arts proponents like Larry Neal, Gilroy insists that culture, politics, performativ ity, social action, and aesthetics are running through a long history, and a vast geography, of black aesthetic and expressive forms PAGE 12 12 Atlantic Whether this politics is militantly announced or carefully disguised, it is widely evident in music, philosophy, oral storytelling, and written literature.
This project focuses on literature by African American and African authors and demonstrates how an emphasi s on utop ia offers new insights into the black literary tradition and its politics To paraphrase Neal, it conceptualizes black utopian literature as a particular form of art in politics created to engage in the real world art of liberatory politics. U topi an literature is an aesthetic vehicle in which desires for soci opolitical transformation have found some of their most powerful and enduring expressions.
In it, the political and the aesthetic converge in pursuit of transforming the course of history and t he contours of society, and historically, the communities depicted in literary utopias have influenced the shape of modern social organization. Works of b lack utopia n literature can alter social consciousness by offering radical new perspectives on the world they desire to change, a s well as compelling intimations of what a changed world might look like, particularly with respect to racial divisions and other systemic forms of hierarchy that affect local, national, and global communities.
This utopian archive, however, remains largely unexamined. Despite the fact that the r area Ahmad 5. In Landscapes of Hope, a first of its kind study of anti colonial utopianism in America, Dohra opia has yet evaded PAGE 13 13 length small corpus of essay length works does not represent a coordinated effort, nor do th ese studies share an agreed upon methodology.
When it has been broached, it has remained largely a peripheral concern when not dismissed entirely as hopeless i dealism. Conversely, while the field o social upheavals of the s, there is little published utopian scholarship on literature by black authors with the notable exceptions of novels by Oc tavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, and Nalo Hopkinson. However, studies of their work tend to concern themselves foremost with its generic status as science fiction sf due to the fact that many utopian scholars, following Darko Suvin, approach the literary chapter on colonial and postcolonial u topias in The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature is indicative of a developing strand of utopian scholarship that is turning its attention to literature outside the Anglo American tradition, but this remains in its early stages.
This project then, reflects a utopian desire to demo nstrate how a focus on the concept of utopia can offer new insights into the intersection of politics and aesthetics in black literature, and, in turn, how black literature offers a wealth of resources that can enhance our understanding, and practice, of u topia. The Scope and Shape of this Project What follows is a n attempt at further progress toward defining, theorizing, cataloging, historicizing, and above all, reading black utopian literature.
No inquiry can be truly comprehensive of course and this is particularly the case given the vast array of under examined literary texts in play here. While Chapter 1 provides a general framework for reading black utopian literature, Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5 offer extensive analyses of individual texts. Additionally, rather than offering a historical or comparative survey, this project inclines toward in depth analyses and largely confines its attentions to a single period amid a rich history of utopian writing: the decades between the s and the millennium.
Howeve r, while these employ political and aesthetic elements with roots in a long tradition of literary and cultural expression This introduction elaborates an op erative definition of utopia and develops the utopian theory that will be put to use in subsequent readings of specific literary works.
Chapter 2 examines the dialectic of dystopia and utopia in four novels by American author John A. It s analysis of these texts tracks variations in and is particularly concerned w ith the relationships between these works and the political turmoil of the s, as well as its aftermath Chapter 3 PAGE 15 15 Petals of Blood , Devil on the Cross , and Matigari It argues that the drastic aesthetic transformations me ssianic utopian novels are deeply related to the problems of utopian representat ion F urther, it explores how these problems intertwine with world historical context of post s neocolonial Kenya Chapter 4 explores three novels by African American women: Meridian The Salt Eaters , and Toni Paradise T form.
D uring the last quarter of the twentiet h century, these three novels attempt to revive, but also revise the waning utopian desires of the s, as well as the problematic gender politics of that 5 concludes by speculating about the shape of black utopi an literature after the millennium through readings of Nigerian British author Ben In Arcadia , Jamaican Apex Hides the Hurt All of these readings are faithful to the individual texts, but they are not intended to stand alone.
Rather, in combination with the theory elaborated in this introduction it is hoped that these analyses will provide useful too ls for further reading. While th e rationale for choosing these texts will ultimately best come into focus through the analyses of the texts themselves, it is worth a few comments at this point. Foremost, these texts have deep ties to a l ong history of black utopianism a history that ove rflows any single multiple nations reflects an approach that crosses national borders for a number of r easons Not the least is a gesture toward a pan PAGE 16 16 Postcolonialism However, t his doe s not entail uprooting these texts from their historical, material, and cultural contexts quite the contrary.
The readings conducted here are locally situated and deeply historically embedded. Just as they avoid universalizing abstra ctions, they ces and critical paradigms rooted in the A transnational purview reflects a fidelity to the texts themselves, m ost of which explicitly thematize the very ways in ecoming increasingly difficult to understand without recognizing its relationship to a complicated web of transnational histories linked to the historical process of on local conditions while also showing how ind ividual texts dramatize the ways in which these racial economic, social and political conditions that traverse national and continental boundaries.
Indeed, such a perspective in black literature can be traced back at least as far as The Life of Olaudah Equiano , but it is ever more crucial in the context of late capitalist globalization amidst which these texts were written and received, and amidst which th ey are being reconsidered here. Finally, and most significantly, this work agrees with the position that PAGE 17 17 cultures draw inspiration from those B lack utopianism has always had the form of transnational mo vements for self twentieth century texts examined below represent localized calls for liberation that are informed by the transnational polit acknowledge global interconnections for the specific purpose of militating against capitalist globalization itsel f.
The international opposition to slavery and colonialism speaks to the fact that an intrinsi cally 8 9 late twentieth century black utopian literature bears out the claims made by thinkers like Gilroy, W. Du Bois, Immanuel Wallerstein, Arjun Appadurai, Howard Winant, Bret Benjamin, Michael Denning, and Fredric Jameson who argue that a radical restructuring of the world system began around 10 This restructuring was marked by an acc elerating transition from inte r national toward supranational or multinational systems of political economy, and became truly global after the end of the Cold War in The following are the characteristics of globalization most pertinent to this study: y the actions of social agents in one locale can come to have 11 fostered by communications technologies.
According to Winant, since the po from a system of domination to a system of hegemony ability t Ghetto , emphasis in original. Bret Benjamin further observes that the changing racial dynamics of the postwar years were influenced by a new set of nomic order and a in the following pages B. Benjamin 69, xxxii. Globalization, cult ure, race, and utopia are bound up in an intricate relationship, and this project explores how authors have negotiated these intricacies in order to forge a contemporary black utopian literary politics.
For the purpose of tracking these developments it wi ll prove PAGE 19 19 two dist inct sub periods the second of which is our primary concern Scholars in the fields of economics, African American studies, postcolonial studies, and utopian stud ies alike locate the dividi ng line that separates these periods somewhere between and Th is historical juncture witnessed an economic crisis in the world system, the stallin g of the American Civil Rights M ovement, the collapse of African anticolonial nationalisms, and the ascension of new political radicalisms around the world.
Ahmad follows transnational developments and concentrates on dev elopmental ism the ideology of teleological soc ial and technological i n several utopias, black and white, during rise and fall of high colonialism between the s and the beginning of World War II. However, subsequent to her reading of George Black Empire , Ahmad make s a foray into the age of globalization in her discussion of The Color Curtain African Conference at Bandung, Indonesia.
Arnold Rampersad has argued that the Conference represents novel Dark Princess really controlling the shape of Bandung is. To be sure, ist Keynesian economic paradigm rage and utopian longings of decolonization into forms more palatable to a world capitalist anticolonial intellectuals like Frantz Fanon and Aim Csaire B. Benjamin 97, The Bandung Conference thus already embodied the fissures and contradictions that would cause the end of one cycle of utopianism and the beginning of another.
By , it was clear that developmentalist utopianism h ad failed to deliver the transformed, egalitarian world it seemed to promise and the tension between this reality and unfulfilled utopian desires fomented a new, more radical era.
This utopianism found its way into new for ms of literary expressi on The sweeping global changes during the span of a very few years. The literary works under consideration here were written by a generation of authors who witnessed, and in many cases participated i n, tectonic between and 19 explosions of utopian energy. Black liberation movements frequentl which also gave rise to the Marable, Race Jameson is one of many who argue that the process of globalization at once in global economy.
Ahmad and other utopian scholars 23 opts the language and imagery o f ad
The Politics of Utopia and Dystopia in Late Twentieth-Century Black Literature
Identity navigation: rethinking languages, literatures and cultures between challenges and misinterpretations edited by Nino Arrigo, Annalisa Bonomo e Karl Chircop Edizioni Sinestesie. Non ho dubbi che il potere oggi vincente in Italia, e non solo in Italia, liquiderebbe questa indicazione come un puro vezzo intellettuale e snobistico. Emma Bonino. This means that the truth about immigration and all its pertaining issues sometimes emerges more strongly in literary representation and crea- tion rather than in demographic and economic statistics, even though the former and the latter should suffice to undermine the predominant perception of the toxic and conspirational nature of a process which has always been associated with human experience and artistic crea- tion. As with all deepest fears, even that of the foreigner is a cultural con- cern and, to a large extent, its political antidotes have to be cultural ones. What is usually written and successfully spread about the phenomenon is most of the time false or commonly propagandistic.
The coral trees genus Erythrina have been fostering great interest among the botanists and gardeners of Naples, since their arrival in Europe in the second half of the 18th century. Numerous species were present in the royal and private botanical gardens of the region, but their number has decreased today. The purpose of this work was to verify which species occur nowadays in the public areas of Naples and associate them with the historical information about their introduction. The identification was carried out also by molecular methods, by means of sequencing nuclear and chloroplast DNA markers. The comparison of the sequences obtained for the specimens present in Naples with those present in the literature, together with a morphological examination, allowed us to identify with accuracy the species anciently introduced or nowadays cultivated in Naples.
In philosophy , naturalism is the idea or belief that only natural laws and forces as opposed to supernatural or spiritual ones operate in the universe. Naturalism is not so much a special system as a point of view or tendency common to a number of philosophical and religious systems; not so much a well-defined set of positive and negative doctrines as an attitude or spirit pervading and influencing many doctrines. As the name implies, this tendency consists essentially in looking upon nature as the one original and fundamental source of all that exists, and in attempting to explain everything in terms of nature. Either the limits of nature are also the limits of existing reality, or at least the first cause, if its existence is found necessary , has nothing to do with the working of natural agencies.
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И на пейджер. - На пейджер, - повторил Джабба. - Я думал, что… - Ладно, не в этом. В главном банке данных происходит нечто странное. Джабба взглянул на часы.
В шифровалке не было ни души. Хейл замолк, уставившись в свой компьютер. Она мечтала, чтобы он поскорее ушел. Сьюзан подумала, не позвонить ли ей Стратмору. Коммандер в два счета выставит Хейла - все-таки сегодня суббота. Но она отдавала себе отчет в том, что, если Хейла отправят домой, он сразу же заподозрит неладное, начнет обзванивать коллег-криптографов, спрашивать, что они об этом думают, В конце концов Сьюзан решила, что будет лучше, если Хейл останется.
- Он перевел взгляд на схему. - Там темно как в преисподней! - закричала .
Наконец она остановилась, и дверь открылась. Покашливая, Сьюзан неуверенно шагнула в темный коридор с цементными стенами. Она оказалась в тоннеле, очень узком, с низким потолком. Перед ней, исчезая где-то в темноте, убегали вдаль две желтые линии. Подземная шоссейная дорога… Сьюзан медленно шла по этому туннелю, то и дело хватаясь за стены, чтобы сохранить равновесие.
Я преподаватель, а не тайный агент, черт возьми. И тут же он понял, почему все-таки Стратмор не послал в Севилью профессионала. Беккер встал и бесцельно побрел по калле Делисиас, раздумывая на ходу, что бы предпринять. Мощенный брусчаткой тротуар под ногами постепенно сливался в одну темную гладкую полосу.
Ненависть в его сердце уступила место преданности Будде. Еще через четыре месяца Энсей Танкадо приступил к работе в Отделении криптографии Агентства национальной безопасности США. Несмотря на солидный заработок, Танкадо ездил на службу на стареньком мопеде и обедал в одиночестве за своим рабочим столом, вместо того чтобы вместе с сослуживцами поглощать котлеты из телятины и луковый суп с картофелем - фирменные блюда местной столовой.