Into the Interior of Cultural Affiliations: Joan Anim Addo’s Imoinda and the Creolization of Modernity

Published: May 1, 2015
Imoinda creolization hybridity interculturality Edward Said Aphra Behn Oroonoko minority literature
Mina Karavanta

If creolization was represented as the property of the postcolonial world, the sign of hyphenated cultures emerging from the slave plantation economy and the slave trade, it has become a concept that names the transformation of the dominant cultures from within the other “minor” cultures and histories with which they have been living. Creolization emerges as the urgency to develop new concepts and disseminate “contrapuntal” and “affiliated” histories (Said) in order not only to narrate the Caribbean diaspora but also the social, political, and historical development of a wider British culture. In this light, this essay examines Imoinda: Or She Who Will Lose Her Name as a text that mediates between cultures represented as oppositional and operates as a site where their discrepant histories are translated, written anew, and rethought. The text as a site of translation and affiliation of different aesthetics, genres and traditions represents a new poetics of the human whose history is now narrated by the formerly dispossessed and expropriated other. The history of imperialism and slavery narrated of imperialism and slavery is an old narration but its telling is new for it generates new ways of understanding this history in the present where constituencies and communities of different cultural practices, often speaking different languages while sharing the language(s) of the dominant culture, are called forth to live together and live well.

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Author Biography
Mina Karavanta, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Mina Karavanta is assistant professor of English and Postcolonial Studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Her work has appeared in mosaicFeminist ReviewModern Fiction Studiesboundary 2Journal of Contemporary Thought and other journals and essay collections. She has coedited Edward Said and Jacques Derrida: Reconstellating Humanism and the Global Hybrid(with Nina Morgan) and Interculturality and Gender (with Joan Anim-Addo & Giovanna Covi). 
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