Drawing on rich insights from cultural, post-structural and postcolonial studies, this book demands that we rethink Carnival and the carnivalesque as not just celebratory moments or even as critical subtext, but also as insightful performatives of social life anywhere, given the entangled times and spaces of these performances. The authors review Carnival’s performative aspects not merely as a calendrical festival, but rather center attention on the relationship between carnival and everyday life, and on how people negotiate their social spaces and possibilities in the context of modern power. The book therefore seeks to highlight the knotted time-spaces of power and to demonstrate the dynamic interplay between state spaces and people’s spaces that are being weaved by carnival's interlocutors. It demonstrates how Carnival and the Carnivalesque become analytic optics through which the relations of power in the social and political life of subjects who seek to tacitically or strategically vary their given identities, can be productively engaged.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Carnival Praxis, Carnivalesque Strategies and Atlantic Interstices Michaeline A. Crichlow, Duke University, USA; and Piers Armstrong, California State University, USA
2. Carnival Time Versus Modern Social Life: A False Distinction Gerard Aching, Cornell University, USA
3. Feathered Footsteps: Mythologizing and Ritualizing Black Indian Processions in New Orleans Stephen C. Wehmeyer, Champlain College, USA
4. Bahian Carnival and social Carnivalesque in Transatlantic Context Piers Armstrong, California State University, USA
5. ‘The Return of Crazy Mother’: the Cultural Politics of Carnival in 1930s Dijon Philip Whalen, Coastal Carolina University, USA
6. Ethnic Identity and Elite Idyll: A comparison of carnival in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay, 1900-1920 Kristen McCleary, George Mason University, USA
7. Carnival time in the Kingdom of Coal Mary Hufford, University of Pennyslvania, USA
8. Carnivals against Capital: Radical Clowning and the Global Justice Movement L. M. Bogad, University of California Davis, USA
9. Incremental Art: Negotiating the Route of London’s Notting Hill Carnival Lesley Ferris, Ohio State University, USA
Michaeline A. Crichlow is an historical sociologist in the African and African American Studies department at Duke University, USA, and is the author of Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination: Notes on Fleeing the Plantation (2009) and Negotiating Caribbean Freedom: Peasants and the State in Development (2005). She has written and published on informality, creolization, development in several journals, and is currently researching for book projects on citizenship and migration and the question of place and space.