The Other Hybrid Archipelago presents the postcolonial literatures of the Francophone Indian Ocean islands to an Anglophone audience. The islands of Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, the Comoros, and the Seychelles form a region that has a particular cultural identity because of the varied mixture of populations that have settled there and the dominant influence of French colonialism. This survey concentrates on the period since the Second World War, when most of the islands achieved independence, except for Reunion and Mayotte, which maintain a regional status within the French Republic. The postcolonial approach suggests certain recurrent themes and preoccupations of the islands' cultures and an appropriate way to define their recent cultural production, while taking account of the burden of their colonial past. The rich cocktail of cultural and linguistic influences surveyed is situated in relation to the contemporary political and social context of the islands and their marginal status within the global economy.
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Peter Hawkins is senior research fellow in the Department of French, University of Bristol.Review:
Scholars and newcomers to this body of work will appreciate Hawkins's pedagogical approach....The Anglophone community will discover in The Other Hybrid Archipelago a welcome introductory work and an important resource for future scholarly endeavors. (Research in African Literatures, Fall 2008)
His discourse is informative. (Marie-Agnes Sourieau The French Review, April 2009, Vol 82 No 5)
The cultures of the Indian Ocean have rarely attracted the attention they urgently merit in postcolonial criticism. In this timely volume, Peter Hawkins offers a welcome introduction to the 'Francophone' literature and music of the region. He reflects on the historical and political complexity of these diverse islands, suggesting pertinent comparisons with other areas of cultural hybridization such as the Caribbean. The Other Hybrid Archipelago is essential reading for all those committed to exploring and expanding the current boundaries of Francophone postcolonial studies. (Charles Forsdick, University of Liverpool)
With the publication of The Other Hybrid Archipelago, Peter Hawkins' book on Francophone Indian Ocean literature and culture, the long search by scholars and students alike for substantial, survey-course material on the Francophone postcolonial world beyond the better-known Caribbean and sub-Saharan African regions is over. This book is as much a model of historically-grounded and theoretically-informed criticism as it is of pedagogical clarity. Not the least of the book's strengths is its illuminating use of key categories of postcolonial theory such as migration and diaspora, hybridity, subalternity, and subversive mimicry to interpret the historical experience and cultures of the Francophone Indian Ocean. Hawkins presents the Francophone Indian Ocean as a geocultural region with shared characteristics but also as a collection of islands sufficiently distinct from each other, historically and culturally, to merit individual treatment. But The Other Hybrid Archipelago is more than just a book about an unjustifiably neglected area in Francophone studies. It is also about the global relevance of that region's relatively harmonious experience―multilingual, multiethnic and multiconfessional―to more homogenous societies such as those of the region's former imperial powers (France and Britain) in the throes of crises of identity due in part to the mass influx of former subjects of empire. (John Conteh-Morgan, Ohio State University)
This is a necessary...resource....Recommended (. CHOICE, April 2008)
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