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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Shepherd, Verene A.
Author Role
Presenter
Author Affiliation
Department of History and Archaeology
Paper/Section Title
Knowledge production in the Caribbean: Contemporary writings, the contruction of 'Africa(n)' and the task of reconstruction
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Proceedings Title
Centre for African Renaissance Studies conference on 'African renaissance Studies: Multi-, Inter- and Trans-Disciplinary Paradigm'
Date of Meeting
Jun 13- 16 2005
Place of Meeting
University of South Africa, Petoria
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Abstract
The Caribbean has been affected by a historically constructed image that still influences self-knowledge as well as global attitudes towards its citizens. This image, paraded as 'truth’ and ‘knowledge,’ was the product of the minds and pens of generations of writers from the North Atlantic System, from Christopher Columbus through Edward Long to Lowell J. Ragatz and beyond. They appropriated the project of producing knowledge on the Caribbean for overseas consumption, introducing the Caribbean and its people to a wider public. What colonial writers presented as knowledge about Africa and diasporic Africans was not allowed to go unchallenged. On the contrary, as this paper shows, Caribbean scholars have engaged in an opposite project of reconstruction, constructing indigenous interpretations of the Caribbean experience, fashioned by explicit formulations and theoretical constructs and offering the antithesis to the imperialist view of the Caribbean world....
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