Caribbean Modernism: Plantation to Planetary

Mary Lou Emery

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195338904
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Caribbean Modernism: Plantation to Planetary

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  • Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)
  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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The concept of the planetary appears frequently in appeals for newer models of modernism, often with different meanings and implications. The planetary registers possibilities of multiple spatial and temporal dimensions beyond the rational ordering of the global. Through alternate temporalities and evoking an ecological imagination, the planetary vision becomes especially compelling in the context of the Caribbean. It is from Caribbean writers that this concept first emerged in literary studies. In their writings, one can find dynamic transitions from global to planetary readings of modernity and modernism. One can see the beginnings of this planetary alterity in the contramodernist Relational disorderings of identity, place, and time in Banjo and Voyage in the Dark. Caribbean writers' versions of the plantation's cry displace the global by transfiguring Caribbean icons of the exchange of commodified human beings into gateways for new webs of historical and geographical relations.

Keywords: Caribbean writers; modernity; planetary alterity; Banjo; Voyage in Dark

Article.  13212 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature) ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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