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Creolizing the Metropole

Migrant Caribbean Identities in Literature and Film

H. Adlai Murdoch

Publication Year: 2012

Creolizing the Metropole is a comparative study of postwar West Indian migration to the former colonial capitals of Paris and London. It studies the effects of this population shift on national and cultural identity and traces the postcolonial Caribbean experience through analyses of the concepts of identity and diaspora. Through close readings of selected literary works and film, H. Adlai Murdoch explores the ways in which these immigrants and their descendants represented their metropolitan identities. Though British immigrants were colonial subjects and, later, residents of British Commonwealth nations, and the French arrivals from the overseas departments were citizens of France by law, both groups became subject to otherness and exclusion stemming from their ethnicities. Murdoch examines this phenomenon and the questions it raises about borders and boundaries, nationality and belonging.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: Blacks in the Diaspora

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes

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pp. ix

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pp. xi-xiv

As might be imagined in a work of this size and scope, there are many people and institutions to be thanked, without whom this work would even now not be complete. I would like to begin by acknowledging the generosity of the French...

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INTRODUCTION: The Caribbean Diaspora and the Metropoles

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pp. 3-18

This book seeks to come to terms with two related issues: the ramifications of the cultural and demographic phenomenon of Caribbean postwar migration that took thousands of West Indians to the former colonial capitals of Paris and London between 1948 and 1998, and the ways in which these new inhabitants...

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pp. 19-80

Any attempt to come to grips with the limits, implications, and resonances that the term “diaspora” embodies in the Caribbean context must begin by confronting the imbrication of this term with the varied inscriptions of identity that frame the concept of Caribbeanness. Ineluctably bound up with the...

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2 BEYOND A BOUNDARY: Constructing Anglo-Caribbean and Franco-Antillean Identity

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pp. 81-132

Perhaps the most pressing issue raised in the myriad forms of representation adopted and adapted by the Anglo-Caribbean community is that of identity: Whose identity is it? Whose story is being told? Or, put another way, are we being confronted with narratives of Englishness or of Caribbeanness? Before...

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3 MIGRAION PLURALIZES THE METROPOLE: How a Small Island Revealed Its White Teeth

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pp. 133-206

The quest for new demographic ground mirrored in the geographic and cultural displacement to the European metropoles that we have traced thus far was accompanied by a search for new discursive ground as well. It is important to bear in mind the geopolitical context within which such moves were instantiated. In the...

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4 CREOLIZING THE HEXAGON: Periphery and Place in Desirada and Exile According to Julia

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pp. 207-282

In a useful paradox, the use of the term “postcolonial” within a Caribbean context frames precisely those ambiguities of politics, culture, and language that simultaneously join and separate the cultural identities of the French- and English-speaking sectors of the region. This double dimension of the Caribbean...

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5 PLAYING AT INTEGRATION: Confrontation and Conflict in the Metropolitan Suburbs

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pp. 283-352

If one result of decades of Afro-Caribbean migration to many of Europe’s formerly colonizing capitals was a burgeoning multiethnic Europe, then a parallel phenomenon was certainly the growth of exclusionary perspectives and practices and their corollaries of ethnic and racial conflict. In the French Caribbean, the much...

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CONCLUSION: (Re)Colonizing the Metropole

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pp. 353-360

These inscriptions and elaborations of Caribbean transnational and diasporic identity within the border/lines of the former imperial centers frame their Caribbeanness – an antillanité defined in its broadest sense–through a distinctive...


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pp. 361-364

Works Cited

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pp. 365-376


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pp. 377-392

About the Author

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pp. 393

E-ISBN-13: 9780253001320
E-ISBN-10: 0253001323
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253001184

Page Count: 408
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Blacks in the Diaspora