Recent Books byJouvert Board Members

Volume 2

Allen, Paula Gunn. Life is a Fatal Disease: Collected Poems 1962-1995. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996.

More than eighty poems are collected in Life is a Fatal Disease; the volume both records Paula Gunn Allen's poetic trajectories during the past four decades and consolidates her reputation as a major voice in American Indian Literature. Although much of the work addresses aspects of Indian cultures, the book also includes excursions into other areas of experience in the Americas, including the autobiographical.

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies. New York: Routledge, 1998.

As a subject, post-colonial studies stands at the intersection of debates about race, colonialism, gender, politics and language. This volume provides an essential guide to understanding these intersections and the issues that characterize post-colonialism: explaining what it is, where it is encountered, and why it is crucial in forging new cultural identities. There are suggestions for further reading at the end of each entry, a comprehensive glossary, and a bibliography of essential writings.

Brown, Stewart, ed. The Art of Kamau Brathwaite. Chester Springs PA: Dufour, 1998.

This collection assembles an impressive group of Caribbean scholars--including Gordon Rohlehr, Maureen Warner-Lewis, Mervyn Morris, and Elaine Savory--in order to analyze and assess the work of Kamau Brathwaite, one of the Americas' most important poet-critics. Essays examine Brathwaite's work in regional and global contexts; the volume also includes an interview with the artist, conducted by Nathaniel Mackey, and a new work by Brathwaite entitled "Metaphors of Underdevelopment: a Proem for Hernan Cortez."

Churchill, Ward. A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1998

Ward Churchill makes forceful claims about genocide in the Americas, most particularly concerning the extermination of millions of American Indians during the 'work' of conquest, colonization, and nation-building. He does not hesitate to interrogate notions of Holocaust--including Holocaust denial and Holocaust uniqueness--in order to rewrite the colonial history of North America, a history that continues to be inscribed through contemporary political, cultural, and ecological war against indigenous peoples.

Clark, Vévé, Shirley Nelson Garner, Margaret Higgonet, and Ketu H. Katrak, eds. Antifeminism in the Academy. New York: Routledge, 1996.

Essays in this volume investigate academic antifeminism from a variety of angles. They look at phenomena such as the 'culture wars,' student resistance, intellectual harassment, and gendered publishing practices considering, for example, how race, homophobia, and ageism traverse other antifeminist discourses to create hostile terrain for female teachers and scholars. Among the contributors are Moira Ferguson, Annette Kolodney, Valerie Miner, and Patricia Williams.

Lawson, Alan, Leigh Dale, Helen Tiffin, and Shane Rowlands. Post-Colonial Literatures in English: General, Theoretical and Comparative, 1970-1993. An Annotated Bibliography. New York: G. K. Hall/Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1997.

Post-colonial scholars will welcome this bibliography, which contains annotations to 1315 books, essays, chapters, dissertations, and articles of general, theoretical and comparative criticism on post-colonial literatures. The annotations range from three lines to three-quarters of a page. Helen Tiffin's introduction provides an extended historical survey of post-colonial criticism.

Mudimbe, V. Y. Tales of Faith: Religion as political performance in central Africa. London: Athlone, 1998.

V. Y. Mudimbe's earlier books (e.g. The Invention of Africa and The Idea of Africa) have included analyses of religion in their investigations of colonial and indigenous practices. Tales of Faith makes religion its central focus, presenting a phenomenological description of adaptations of Christianity in Africa and exploring their political, cultural, spiritual, and philosophical implications.

Mudimbe, V. Y., ed. Nations, Identities, and Cultures. Durham NC: Duke University Press, 1997.

This collection of essays interrogates concepts of nation, identity, and culture as they have evolved within the contexts of exile and the ethnicization of the political. The contributors explore various theoretical issues involved in reconfiguring these by exploring theoretical concepts since the 19th century, as well as the manifestation of these issues in specific regions of the world. Approaches to these issues range from broad perspectives on global culture, civil society, liberalism, and dialectical identity to specific case studies on the politics of Quebec, the Russian muzhik, Israel's borders, the ancient Greek origins of European culture, Kongo nationalism, the women of Lebanon, and the Danish/Swedish border.

Nwankwo, Chimalum. Voices from Deep Water. Lagos: Malthouse Press, 1997.

Through an orchestration of voices, these poems celebrate and lament Nigeria's histories, cultures, conflicts, and hopes. Recurrent images--as various as water, dance, the iroko tree, and Lord Lugard--unite these visions of a distant yet immediate home. As Nwankwo's final poem states, "It is time to look homeward,/To the shadows beyond the festival/It is time to look homeward/Toward the rafters of memory."

Wyrick, Deborah. Fanon for Beginners. New York: Writers & Readers Press, 1998.

This book provides a clear, detailed, and accessible examination of the life and work of Frantz Fanon. It opens with a biography, then covers the three principal stages of Fanon's thought: the search for Black identity, as presented in Black Skin, White Masks; the struggle against colonialism, as explained in A Dying Colonialism and Toward the African Revolution; and the process of decolonization, as analyzed in The Wretched of the Earth. It concludes by examining Fanon's influence on political practice, literary theory, and postcolonial studies. Illustrations by the author.

Young, Robert J. C. Torn Halves: Political Conflict in Literary and Cultural Theory. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996.

Politics and theory, like high art and popular culture, are marked by a common dialectic. In Adorno's famous phrase, they bear the stigmata of capitalism; they are torn halves of a system, which doesn't add up. Robert Young's powerful critique of the politics of theory shows how the dynamics of this schism are repeated in contemporary debates about historicism, psychoanalysis, racism, and the academic institution itself. In their dialectics of identity and difference, power and resistance, subversion and containment, North and South, centre and margin, today's cultural theories themselves act out the torn halves of a conflictual culture. Young argues that if theory repeats the irreconcilable antagonisms of late capitalism, it must also renew its politics of protest against diaspora, deprivation, and despair.

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