Creole Testimonies: Slave Narratives from the British West Indies, 1709-1838

Hardcover | December 15, 2011

byNicole N. Aljoe

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This original study analyses the relationships among the socio-historical contexts, generic forms, and rhetorical strategies of British West Indian slave narratives (all of which are dictated, rather than self-written texts). Grounded by the syncretic theories of creolization and testimonio, as well as more flexible understandings of slave voice and slave narrative form, Nicole N. Aljoe breaks new ground by reading these dictated and often fragmentary narratives on their own terms as examples of 'creole testimony'. In addition to revealing the complex patterns of representation that developed out of the discontinuities and disjunctures that were inherent to British West Indian culture during the slave era, these 'creole testimonies' of slave life in the British West Indies illuminate the crucial hybrid foundations of the slave narrative genre and highlight the generic complexity of slave narratives circulating across the Black Atlantic.

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This original study analyses the relationships among the socio-historical contexts, generic forms, and rhetorical strategies of British West Indian slave narratives (all of which are dictated, rather than self-written texts). Grounded by the syncretic theories of creolization and testimonio, as well as more flexible understandings of s...

Nicole N. Aljoe is an assistant professor of English at Northeastern University. Her research centers on eighteenth and nineteenth-century Black Atlantic literatures with a particular focus on the Caribbean.

other books by Nicole N. Aljoe

Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas
Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas

Kobo ebook|Nov 14 2014

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:198 pages, 9.48 × 5.67 × 0.68 inPublished:December 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230338100

ISBN - 13:9780230338104

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Table of Contents

"So Much Things to Say": The Creole Testimonies of British West Indian Slaves * The Forms of Creole Testimony: A Poetics of Fragmentation * The Creole Voices of West Indian Slave Narratives * "Going to Law": Legal Discourse and Testimony in Early West Indian Slave Narratives * Zombie Testimony: Creole Religious Discourse in West Indian Slave Narratives * Creole Testimony and the Black Atlantic: Re-Mapping the Early Slave Narrative

Editorial Reviews

'Creole Testimonies will become the standard work on West Indian slave narratives and ex-slave narratives. Aljoe accurately points out that scholars and readers have long preferred the North American ex-slave narratives, such as Frederick Douglass's, because through them shines a single seemingly authentic author . . . Creole Testimonies argues for the centrality of these narratives based on their collaborative nature, in which several voices, including the slave's or freed-person's, argued about black humanity and the legitimacy of slavery and based on their reflection of West Indian culture and even Caribbean topography - fragments assembled by men and women into a meaningful whole.' - John Saillant, professor of English and History, Western Michigan University