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Interplay of Cultural Narratives
French, African and Indian Journeys
Mahadevi Ramakrishnan, senior lecturer in French,
Interplay of Cultural Narratives in Martinique, Mahadevi Ramakrishnan and R. Scott Smith • Caribbean Studies Press • 2015 • ISBN 978-1-62632-370-4 • 300 pages • $24.50.
This book explores the history of immigration and development of cultural identities on the island of Martinique from 1635 to the present, with particular attention to the major cultural groups-African, French, and Indian-as well as the role of the indigenous Caribs in cultural hybridization. This interdisciplinary study of intertwined adaptive strategies to emigration and resettlement provides insight into the complicated tapestry of contemporary Martinican identity, including Martinique's chosen status as an Overseas Department of France. To help students navigate nearly 400 years of complex history, the authors provide a glossary and questions for reflection at the end of each chapter.
Praise for the Book
"An effective survey of Martinique's hybrid, and indeed multifaceted, cultural identity through the thematic prisms of resettlement and migration.... The complex issues marking the post-emancipation period receive thoroughgoing treatment as well, particularly the contributions of the island's Indian, Congolese, Chinese, and Syro-Lebanese arrivants.... It will be valuable reading for scholars in Caribbean Studies,
French Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and related fields." - H. Adlai Murdoch, professor of Francophone Studies and director of Africana Studies, Tufts University
"A long-needed and much-welcome introductory volume on Martinique and the French Caribbean more broadly. Tracing the development of Martinican culture and identity from the Caribs to the present, Drs. Ramakrishnan and Smith show how this culture, despite a painful history of violence, enslavement, displacement, and exclusion, drew on these histories to forge a powerful and supple hybrid culture and identity that links together the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Without shying away from Martinique's difficult history nor the challenges facing contemporary Martinique, the authors emphasize what has worked in Martinique, centering the processes of creolization and cultural mixture that have produced a modern, pluralistic, and resilient culture that, in many ways, augurs the future of us all." - Andrew Daily, assistant professor of Modern French and Global History, University of Memphis
Caribbean Studies Press, May 2015
300 pages, softcover, with b & w illustrations
Cat # CSP3704