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CLA JOURNAL 3 2 CLA JOURNAL Editor’s Note: CLA Journal Enters ‘Fourth Stage of Evolution’ will be seamless, we pledge to remain responsive to questions or concerns that may arise from any of our many subscribers. The seven essays in this double issue of CLAJ simultaneously herald its“fourth stage of evolution” and draw attention to multiple genres of usual interest to its “diverse, international membership” and “community of scholars.” Thomas Edison’s essay, “Ashe-Caribbean Imagery and Folklore in Four Poems of Nicolas Guillen,” focuses on Afro-Caribbean spiritual elements that are influenced by AshéCaribbean aesthetics. He argues that Cuban poet, Nicolás Guillén, uses elements of African-descended spiritual characteristics to acknowledge the African-descended community that was historically frowned upon by members of the white sector on the island. Marie Sairsingh’s essay,“Erna Brodber’s Myal Principle in Afro-Caribbean Literary/PhilosophicalDiscourse,”continuesinthisinternationalveinassheexamines ways in which Erna Brodber’s 1988 novel, Myal advances an alternative worldview outside the logic of strictly Westernist theoretical models often privileged in the still-emerging field of academic Afro-Caribbean philosophy. Her premise is that the novel invokes the Afro-Caribbean syncretic religion, Myal, and presents a rearticulation of African/Afro-Caribbean cosmogony and worldview. Robert Fillman rescues Harlem Renaissance poet, Helene Johnson, from the margins in his essay, “Toward an Understanding of Helene Johnson’s Hybrid Modernist Poetics.” He effectively argues against her label as a “minor poet of the New Negro era” in his close examination of her modernist formal experiments. His essay reframes Johnson as a technically versatile poet who—by employing a wide range of poetic strategies, tonalities, and idioms—created a hybrid modernist poetics that became a window to examine black female subjectivity in an era of racial violence and male dominance. Stacie McCormick argues in her essay, “August Wilson and the Anti-spectacle of Blackness and Disability in Fences and Two Trains Running,” that two of playwright August Wilson’s often-misunderstood characters—Gabriel of Fences and Hambone of Two Trains Running—deserve greater critical attention as subjects of spectacle and disability. She asserts that, because of their resistance to regulation, rationalization, and containment in the face of their perceived disruption of various sensorial fields, Gabriel’s and Hambone’s performances constitute antispectacle (an enactment of presence that does not conform to the desires or expectations of the viewer) in that they force the characters within the texts as well as the audiences viewing the dramas to engage with them as subjects rather than individuals to be relegated to the margins of the action. In her essay,“Performing Black British Male Identity,”Tosha Sampson-Choma highlights both subtle and not-so-subtle workings of cultural appropriation in Andrea Levy’s novel, Fruit of the Lemon. She asserts that the novel borrows heavily Note from the Editor: The CLA Journal’s“Fourth Stage of Evolution” Sandra G. Shannon, Editor On the first two pages of the 1957 inaugural issue of the College Language Association Journal, respected professor, noted scholar, and CLAJ’s highly optimistic first Editor, Therman B. O’Daniel, wrote, This inaugural issue of it [the CLA Journal] represents the third stage in the evolution of the College Language Association’s official publication, which has slowly, but steadily developed from the mimeographed Newsletter, in the beginning, to the printed Bulletin, at a later date; and now, to the CLA Journal, of the present time. A new journal, like a new Broadway play, often needs three things to determine its fate: a trial run in order to work the kinks out of its joints; a philanthropic angel to free it from worry about that mundane commodity called money; and the courage to face both the pleasant possibility of enjoying a long run, and the embarrassing possibility of being an overnight flop. This first issue demonstrates that we have the courage to face the aforementioned possibilities by experimenting with the trial run, and we believe that success will await us if we can get the full support of the angel, which, in our case, wears the insignia of our CLA members upon its robe.1 With the digital-born publication of double issue 61...


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