Date of Submission

Spring 2017

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Literature; Written Arts

Project Advisor 1

Peter L'Official

Project Advisor 2

Asma Abbas

Abstract/Artist's Statement

A large number of Afro-Caribbean thinkers belong to the Black Radical Tradition. Among them, many identify both as intellectuals and artists, particularly literary writers. In questioning why and how artistic production is significant to Black Radicalism, especially among radical Caribbean intellectuals as writers, this thesis looks at the relationship between artistic production, and the possibilities of inciting institutional change against Western hegemonic social structures. This describes a relationship between aesthetics, to convey cultural production in both intellectual and artistic forms, and the material, to convey the socioeconomic institutions that make up society, and the material conditions lived by those on the margins of the margins. By placing Sylvia Wynter’s 1962 novel, The Hills of Hebron, in conversation with Frantz Fanon, Claudia Jones, Edouard Glissant, Michelle Cliff, and Cedric Robinson, the aim is to push against Western dominant modes of thinking about culture as something that exists outside of social and economic realities, as if art can transcend the political and has little to offer communities most oppressed. Instead, we might think of this relationship through an understanding of aesthetics as material, which is to say that they are one and the same. This alternative framework of thought is integral to the project of reviving and reconceptualizing the Black Radical Tradition in the present historical context.

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On-Campus only

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