Caribbean Literature from Anticolonial to Postcolonial


ACLS Fellowship Program




In the Caribbean, where some nations (Haiti, Dominican Republic) achieved formal independence in the nineteenth century, while others islands (Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Martinique) remain under outside control, the term postcolonial hardly works as a political designator. Because of this heterogeneity, the region can be an ideal test-case for pressing the precise signification of the term “postcolonial.” This project situates the term historically, contrasting Caribbean postcolonial literature with its anticolonial predecessor. Rather than doing this via formal characteristics or thematic concerns, the study argues that the fundamental difference is literature’s place in society, both in terms of what roles are available to writers and how writers define what they do within that field of possibilities.