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Aaron Kamugisha

Sylvia Wynter’s Black Metamorphosis and the Emergence of African Diaspora Studies in the Caribbean (09.05.2017)

In my lecture, I discuss the path-breaking importance of Sylvia Wynter’s Black Metamorphosis: New Natives in a New World, an unpublished 900-page manuscript written by her in the 1970s. Black Metamorphosis is a remarkable manuscript, and deserves close study for a number of reasons. It is arguably the most important unpublished non-fiction work by an Anglophone Caribbean intellectual, and the major guide to the transition in Wynter’s thought between her work mainly on the Caribbean and Black America in the 1960s and 1970s, and her theory of the human from the early 1980s onwards. A close study of Black Metamorphosis also reveals that it is a crucial text for comprehending the emergence of African diaspora studies in the post-independence Anglophone Caribbean, and is in fact the most sustained, and compelling interpretations of the black experience in the Western hemisphere ever written by a Caribbean intellectual.

Main Research Interests

  • Anti-colonial thought
  • Caribbean cultural studies
  • The coloniality of citizenship in the contemporary Anglophone Caribbean

Publications (selected)

  • With Yanique Hume, Caribbean Popular Culture: Power, Politics and Performance. Jamaika: Ian Randle Publishers, 2016.
  • With Yanique Hume, Caribbean Cultural Thought: From Plantation to Diaspora. Jamaika: Ian Randle Publishers, 2013.
  • Caribbean Political Thought: The Colonial State to Caribbean Internationalisms. Jamaika: Ian Randle Publishers, 2013.


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