Bookbeat

Bookbeat: February 2009

Beyond Douglass: New Perspectives on Early African-American LiteratureBeyond Douglass: New Perspectives on Early African-American Literature

Ed White and Michael Drexler, Eds.
(Bucknell University Press, 2008)
Available through Amazon

The starting point for Beyond Douglass is an institutional paralysis in the study of early African-American literature. Over the past decade, literary anthologies have codified this tradition through the exemplary figures of Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Jacobs, and Frederick Douglass. Ironically, scholars have continued the valuable work of reclamation, a warrant for new approaches to slave narratives, protest literature, autobiography, poetry, and fiction. The danger, however, is that these more recently presented works will remain texts for the specialist and will neither enter nor modify the newly established canon. Beyond Douglass seeks to intervene in this premature canonization, inviting a pedagogical communication between teachers of American literature. These essays explore both newly recovered texts and new scholarly approaches, and represent a powerful call to revise what we think we know about this rich vein in American letters.

- Publisher

Locating Race: Global Sites of Post-Colonial CitizenshipLocating Race: Global Sites of Post-Colonial Citizenship

by Malini Johar Schueller, Department of English
(State University of New York Press, 2009)
Available through Amazon

Locating Race provides a powerful critique of theories and fictions of globalization that privilege migration, transnationalism, and flows. Malini Johar Schueller argues that in order to resist racism and imperialism in the United States we need to focus on local understandings of how different racial groups are specifically constructed and oppressed by the nation-state and imperial relations. In the writings of Black Nationalists, Native American activists, and groups like Partido Nacional La Raza Unida, the author finds an imagined identity of post-colonial citizenship based on a race- and place-based activism that forms solidarities with oppressed groups worldwide and suggests possibilities for a radical globalism.

- Publisher

"This is an interesting and well-researched contribution to postcolonial and postnationalist American Studies. Schueller's argument is clear and important: postcolonial theories have tended to universalize gender, sexuality, race, class, and other modes of identification, and we need more detailed studies of `local, situated knowledge' dealing with how such subalterns are specifically constructed."

- John Carlos Rowe, author of The New American Studies

"Written with impressive clarity and a strong sense of ethico-political urgency, Locating Race facilitates a lively and argumentative conversation among post-coloniality, American Studies, and critical race theory. Maintaining a rich conjunctural focus on theory, history, and the discursive economy of literary texts, Schueller demonstrates persuasively the perilous predicaments of citizenship during these, our times of uneven and asymmetrical globalization."

- R. Radhakrishnan, author of History, the Human, and the World Between

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