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Race, Culture, and Identity - Shireen K. Lewis

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Race, Culture, and Identity - Francophone West African and Caribbean Literature and Theory from NZgritude to CrZolitZ
Shireen K. Lewis
Paperback / softback
Lexington Books
UK Publication Date

In this groundbreaking book, Shireen Lewis gives a comprehensive analysis of the literary and theoretical discourse on race, culture, and identity by Francophone and Caribbean writers beginning in the early part of the twentieth century and continuing into the dawn of the new millennium. Examining the works of Patrick Chamoiseau, Raphal Confiant, Aim Csaire, Lopold Senghor, Lon Damas, and Paulette Nardal, Lewis traces a move away from the preoccupation with African origins and racial and cultural purity, toward concerns of hybridity and fragmentation in the New World or Diasporic space. In addition to exploring how this shift parallels the larger debate around modernism and postmodernism, Lewis makes a significant contribution by arguing for the inclusion of Martinican intellectual Paulette Nardal, and other women into the canon as significant contributors to the birth of modern black Francophone literature.

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Dr. Shireen K. Lewis is Executive Director of EduSeed, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., and the Founder of EduSeed's SisterMentors program. Her scholarship and university teaching is in Francophone West African and Caribbean Literature.

Not everyone who's talking about the space of contemporary black consciousness knows how it evolved. Shireen K. Lewis does. Her analysis of how Black Francophone Caribbean intellectuals and writers made the twentieth-century transition from advocating negritude to trumpeting creolite illuminates our current debates about cultural 'authenticity' and multicultural hybridity.
George Elliott Clarke, University of Toronto

Race, Culture, and Identity crosses a crucial bridge from Africa to the Caribbean. The reader travels from postcolonial Afrocentrism to a cross-cultural global perspective. Lewis was the first to illuminate the important position of Paulette Nardal, a Martinican feminist active in the Negritude movement. This dramatic discovery, which reveals black women's full contribution to Francophone culture, exposes a new world in French literature.
Linda Orr, Duke University

A highly readable book that allows the reader to play a role in discovery of another time and place. By demystifying her theme, she presents ideas that everyone can understand about what lies beneath the complex world that shapes the destinies of so many. How those ideas are in turn reflected in contemporary culture is, of course, where readers can begin to discover for themselves.
Hispanic Outlook

Race, Culture, and Identity will be useful to scholars, teachers and students who seek to understand the history of black modernity and post-modernity, and the role of some prominent Francophone Antillean and African writers.
The French Review, February 2008

An eloquently written and path-breaking analysis of black identities in the Francophone world with significant relevance for contemporary discussions of globalism and the Black diaspora.
Katya Gibel Azoulay, Grinnell College

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