HENB0T191U Engelsk - Valgfag 2 - Emne i postkoloniale studier B: The Black Atlantic: A cultural continuum of roots and routes

Årgang 2013/2014
Engelsk titel

Elective 2: The Black Atlantic: A cultural continuum of roots and routes


This course is inspired by Paul Gilroy’s seminal work The Black Atlantic: Modernity & Double

Consciousness (1993).Gilroy re-employs the routes of the Transatlantic Triangular Trade between Europe, Africa and the ‘New World’ (America and theCaribbean) along which manufactured goods, slaves and cash crops were trafficked between continents in imperial times. In his book,Gilroy explores the former Triangular Trade Routes as significant ‘cultural’ trade routes that initiated a vibrant global spreading and transformation of African-derived cultures in new geographical domains. This prompted a creolising (or hybridising) dialogue between the roots and routes of black culture during modernity. Gilroy employs ‘the ship’ as an emblem of cultural passage and of a discursive process through which black peoples, cultures and ideas came to influence both Western (European) culture and meanings associated with race, blackness, and identity. The Black Atlantic refers to a transnational and transcultural, if not a globalising, perception of identity which is dynamic, fluid and constantly in process - like ‘the ship’ always in transit and passage. Black Atlantic culture is thus always ‘in-between’ departure and arrival, it is neither purely African, American or European - all these ‘presences’ must, as the Caribbean poet Derek Walcott has remarked, be taken in ‘at once’ as one must always seek to  ‘triangulate’ the black experience. From this vantage point we will study a diverse selection of texts (from slave narratives and colonial documents, to contemporary literature, film and music as well as critical writings) in the attempt to understand the hugely significant dialogical relationship between roots and routes, History and story, home and belonging that was first set in motion by the slave trade of imperial times.


This course may both be taken in tandem with or independently from ‘Introduction to Postcolonial Studies’. It will build on the specific approaches to cultural and textual analysis that were part of the last section of modul 4 inthe 2nd semester.


Den studerende vælger ét blandt de udbudte kurser inden for amerikanske studier, postkoloniale studier eller britisk litteratur, historie og samfundsforhold
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7,5 ECTS