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Gender and Cultural Studies in Africa and the Diaspora

Madness in Black Women’s Diasporic Fictions

Aesthetics of Resistance

Editors: Brown, Caroline A., Garvey, Johanna X. K. (Eds.)

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  • Offers a set of new critical approaches to understanding the figures of madness as the concept moves across literary and cultural traditions in the African Diasporic world
  • Applies literary and cultural analyses to audiences engaged with understandings of psychological wellness, social justice, race, and gender
  • Connects existing sociological work to literary understandings of madness via differing sites of geographic migration
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eBook $109.00
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-58127-9
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-58126-2
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About this book

This collection chronicles the strategic uses of madness in works by black women fiction writers from Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, Europe, and the United States. Moving from an over-reliance on the “madwoman” as a romanticized figure constructed in opposition to the status quo, contributors to this volume examine how black women authors use madness, trauma, mental illness, and psychopathology as a refraction of cultural contradictions, psychosocial fissures, and political tensions of the larger social systems in which their diverse literary works are set through a cultural studies approach.

The volume is constructed in three sections: Revisiting the Archive, Reinscribing Its Texts: Slavery and Madness as Historical Contestation, The Contradictions of Witnessing in Conflict Zones: Trauma and Testimony, and Novel Form, Mythic Space: Syncretic Rituals as Healing Balm. The novels under review re-envision the initial trauma of slavery and imperialism, both acknowledging the impact of these events on diasporic populations and expanding the discourse beyond that framework. Through madness and healing as sites of psychic return, these novels become contemporary parables of cultural resistance.

About the authors

Caroline A. Brown is Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Montreal, Canada. She is author of The Black Female Body in American Literature and Art: Performing Identity (2012). Her articles have appeared in African American Review, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, National Women’s Studies Association Journal, and several other journals and edited collections.

Johanna X. K. Garvey is Associate Professor of English at Fairfield University, USA, where she was founding Co-Director of the Women’s Studies Program and the Program in Black Studies: Africa and the Diaspora. She has published on Ann Petry, Michelle Cliff, Merle Collins, Paule Marshall, Dionne Brand, Shani Mootoo, Patricia Powell, Maryse Condé, and others, in Callaloo, The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literature, Textual Practice, Anthurium, and elsewhere. She is completing a book manuscript on Caribbean women writing diaspora.

Table of contents (11 chapters)

  • Introduction: Women, Writing, Madness: Reframing Diaspora Aesthetics

    Brown, Caroline A.

    Pages 1-16

  • Resisting Displacement in Bernardine Evaristo’s The Emperor’s Babe

    Caronia, Nancy

    Pages 19-50

  • Madness and Translation of the Bones-as-Text in M. NourbeSe Philip’s Experimental Zong!

    Douglass-Chin, Richard

    Pages 51-74

  • Embodied Haunting: Aesthetics and the Archive in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

    Papa, Victoria

    Pages 75-99

  • Fissured Memory and Mad Tongues: The Aesthetics of Marronnage in Haitian Women’s Fiction

    Garvey, Johanna X. K.

    Pages 103-138

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-58127-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-58126-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Madness in Black Women’s Diasporic Fictions
Book Subtitle
Aesthetics of Resistance
Editors
  • Caroline A. Brown
  • Johanna X. K. Garvey
Series Title
Gender and Cultural Studies in Africa and the Diaspora
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-58127-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-58127-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-58126-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 326
Topics