Category Archives: slavery

Mama Day: The Tempest in the Global South

October 2, 2014 Her name is Miranda (“Mama”) Day — yes, that Miranda, the one who said, “Oh, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is!” Gloria Naylor is not the first to take on Shakespeare, of course. … Continue reading

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Zora Neale Hurston: American literature as World Literature?

August 14, 2013 The polemical essay, “World Lite,” just out in n+1, is perhaps generating more heat than light.  But it does raise an interesting question: what exactly is “world literature”?  How broad its scope, and what could be in … Continue reading

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Robert Pinsky, Ginza Samba

July 24, 2013 For years I hadn’t gone much beyond his translation of the Inferno.  I’d noticed a couple of things I didn’t like (might even have gone looking for them), and just stopped there, his own poetry getting all … Continue reading

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Beyond a Boundary: C. L. R. James in Glasgow

May 13, 2013 Scotland and the Caribbean?   The architecture of Glasgow tells a dramatic story.   Here, in the center of town, is  the many-pillared Gallery of Modern Art,  monumental  even for a museum, which used to be the … Continue reading

Posted in Americas, architecture, Atlantic, Caribbean literature, Cities, Colonization, Contemporary Art, film medium, Global South, oceans, Race, scale, slavery, Sports, Twentieth century literature, Universities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philip K. Dick, Octavia Butler: Kindred

March 6, 2013 His middle name is Kindred.   Philip Kindred Dick. I find that hard to believe.   How could anyone’s middle name be a capsule summary of a large body of work still to be written? Do Androids … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Canada, Contemporary literature, Ethnicity, Science fiction, slavery, Twentieth century literature | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ishmael Reed’s Canada: black, Jewish, indigenous

February 20, 2013 Ishmael Reed isn’t into tragedy, so Flight to Canada is funny about the African-American presence up North. Raven Quickskill is there of course, having flown in “non-stop/ Jumbo jet this A.M.  Had Champagne/ Compliments of the Cap’n/ … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Black-Jewish alliances, Canada, Climate change, Environmentalism, Ethnicity, indigenous communities, planet, slavery, Twentieth century literature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jane Austen’s Philadelphia, Toni Morrison’s Denver

January 30, 2013 2013  is the bicentennial of Pride and Prejudice, so I’ve been learning new things about Jane Austen — for instance, the fact that her aunt was named Philadelphia, Phila for short.  Phila never saw Philadelphia; no, at … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Cities, Classics, collaboration, Contemporary novel, Ethnicity, Race, slavery, Twentieth century literature, Vernacular dialects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Frederick Douglass, H.D.: Egypt Again

Janurary 2, 2013 She never mentioned him and probably never read him.  Still, he anticipated her. Visiting Egypt in 1887, Douglass wrote: “I do not know of what color and features the ancient Egyptians were, but the great mass of … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, ancient Greece, Christianity, Classics, Comparative literature, Egypt, Gender, Global South, Islam, Modernist poetry, Poetry, Race, slavery, Translation, Twentieth century literature, Wars, world literature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soul food: Jack Kerouac, Charles Johnson

October 17, 2012 Japhy – Gary Snyder – has no interest in the Buddhism of Chinatown, he likes only the real thing, the Zen taught in Japan.   But Kerouac likes everything, especially after a feast of dim sum at Nam … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Afro-Asian alliances, Buddhism, Catholicism, Christianity, Contemporary novel, Diaspora, Ethnicity, Food in literature, jazz, peripheral networks, Race, Religion, slavery, Twentieth century literature, World religions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Maya Angelou, Walt Whitman: Songs of Myself

September 19, 2012 As of today, “Still I Rise” has 743,494 views on YouTube.  There are 1,113 comments, some vituperative, including this one: “What the fuck kind of poetry is this? John Milton would rise from the dead to kill … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, African-American music, contemporary poetry, digital platforms, Genre, Interdisciplinarity, lyric, Media, Music, Nineteenth-century literature, Race, slavery, Twentieth century literature, YouTube videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment