Beyond the Black Atlantic : Relocating Modernization and Technology book cover
1st Edition

Beyond the Black Atlantic
Relocating Modernization and Technology

ISBN 9780415397988
Published June 13, 2006 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Debates about the ‘Black Atlantic’ have alerted us to an experience of modernization that diverges from the dominant Western narratives of globalization and technological progress. This outstanding volume expands the concept of the Black Atlantic by reaching beyond the usual African-American focus of the field, presenting fresh perspectives on postcolonial experiences of technology and modernization. A team of renowned contributors come together in this volume in order to:

  • redefine and expand ideas of Black Atlantic
  • challenge unified concepts of modernization from a postcolonial perspective
  • question fashionable concepts of the transnational by returning to the local and the national
  • offer new approaches to cross-cultural mechanisms of exchange
  • explore utopian uses of technology in the postcolonial sphere.

Exploring a variety of national, diasporan and transnational counternarratives to Western modernization, Beyond the Black Atlantic makes a valuable contribution to the fields of postcolonial, literary and cultural studies.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements  Introduction  Negotiating African Modernities  The Presence of the Past in Peripheral Modernities.  Black Modernity, Nationalism and Transnationalism: The Challenge of Black South African Poetry.  Failure to Connect – Resistant Modernities at National Crossroads: Solomon Plaatje and Mohandas Gandhi.  Township Modernism  Caribbean (in)Versions of Modernity.  Ulysses and the Shape-Shifter: Caribbean Modernity in Pauline Melville’s Writings.  V.S. Naipaul: The Limitations of Transnationalism and Technological Progress.  Colonial Creations of the West  The Technology of Publicity in the Atlantic Semi-Peripheries: Benjamin Franklin, Modernity, and the Nigerian Slave Trade.  Spectrality’s Secret Sharers: Occultism as (Post)Colonial Affect.  Peripheral Interpretations of Technology.  Transitionality at Home and Abroad: Some Examples from India and its Virtual Diaspora.  Technologies in Hanif Kureishi’s ‘The Body’.  Travels in Technotopia: Modernization and Technology in Postcolonial Utopian and Dystopian Writing

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Walter Goebel is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Stuttgart. He has published in the fields of the modern African-American novel, and postcolonial and gender studies. Saskia Schabio is also based at the University of Stuttgart and is working on studies of postcolonial aesthetics and early modern colonial encounters.


'This is both an intellectually serious book and an informative one. The depth of its many arguments give real teeth to its claim of revisiting peripheral modernity – both as an important sign of value separating the "West" from its former colonies, and as a deeply detailed and tactile set of real-life situations, literary texts, and still-developing social settings. The book is much, much more informed, analytically sharp, factually substantial, and generously outward-looking than anything of its type.'  - Timothy Brennan, University of Minnesota, USA

'This book performs a vital role in challenging and developing the ideas surrounding, and emerging from, Paul Gilroy's The Black Atlantic. From its opening, it establishes itself as an important volume for postcolonial and literary studies, but also, more broadly, for understading the global impact of modernity and modernization' - Sarah Dauncey, Journal of American Studies