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Thursday, 13 November 2008

"Space for the quiet epiphanies"

The current issue of the International Journal of Scottish Literature takes for its theme the topic of "Caribbean-Scottish passages". The scholarly papers and other essays collected by editors Gemma Robinson (best known as a Martin Carter scholar) and Carla Sassi are drawn from a conference hosted a few months ago by the University of Stirling.

In their editorial note, Robinson and Sassi ask:

Who is involved in making the passage between the Caribbean and Scotland, historically, culturally and politically? How can we understand the significance of these passages between nations, histories, art-forms, languages and literatures?... To think about the Caribbean and Scotland in the same horizon of vision is to recognise it as part of a shared world. At times this shared world and horizon of vision might have been described in terms of plantation and Empire. Perhaps now we think in terms of the postcolonial, the transatlantic, circumatlantic, the Black Atlantic, the Commonwealth, the transnational, the post-national. To turn our attention to the networks of people and places that link the Caribbean to Scotland is to confront our conceptual mappings of nation, ‘race’ and identity. It is also to make space for the quiet epiphanies about culture that are no less significant.

The content you can read online (or download in PDF format) includes a paper that connects modern Scottish fiction with the work of Wilson Harris, another on "Scottish poetic responses to slavery in the West Indies", an essay by Glasgow-based Jamaican writer Kei Miller, and another by Andrew O. Lindsay, author of the novel Illustrious Exile (which imagines what might have become of Robert Burns had he followed through with his plan to emigrate to the West Indies).

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