College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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Glissant, aesthetics, philosophy of history, decolonial thought, Caribbean


This dissertation follows the possibilities of a specific form of Caribbean thought that arises out of the particularities of Antillean history: Édouard Glissant’s notions of antillanité and an archipelagic thought. By means of a critical analysis of one of the “beginnings” of the history of the Caribbean (the slave trade and in particular the Middle Passage), and the way in which they configure a paradoxical, abyssal experience, I show why it is imperative for Glissant to challenge a traditional account of history that he connects with a Western conception of temporality and spatiality. In this confrontation, Glissant’s philosophy of Caribbean history becomes not only a form of comprehension of the colonized present out of a disruptive, abyssal history, but also a possibility for its transformation, for decolonization. Such approach to history constitutes, according to Glissant, a poetic endeavor, and not a historical, disciplinary one.

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