Nicole Aljoe

Project Description

Travelling Genres: Virality and the Neo-Slave Narrative

This project analyses the formal, aesthetic, political and social resonances, as well as the global movements and translations of the neo-slave narrative form by focusing on a case study of Caribbean texts. Though the genre has been extensively explored as engagements with the discursive manifestation of structural racisms in the United States, its relationships to issues of colonialism and neo-colonialism outside of the US context have not been extensively explored. My study of the numerous permutations of neo-slave narratives by Caribbean artists working in a variety of media highlights the myriad ways in which contemporary artists engage with the continuing impacts of the colonial era and reveals the inherent transnationality and malleability of the genre.

Viral Culture Lecture


Lecture Slides

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Nicole Aljoe received her Ph.D. from Tufts University, her  Masters at University of Vermont, and her B.A. in Art History at Vassar College. Her research and teaching focuses on 18th and 19th Century Black Atlantic and Caribbean literatures with a specialization on the slave narrative. She has published essays and chapters in The Journal of Early American Literature, African American Review, Anthurium, The Oxford Companion to African American Slave Narratives, and Teaching Anglophone Caribbean Literature. Nicole is the author of Creole Testimonies: Slave Narratives from the British West Indies, 1709-1836 (Palgrave 2012) and co-editor of Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas (UVA Press, forthcoming).


Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press 1981.

Benitez-Rojo, Antonio. The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Condition. Trans. James E. Maraniss. 2 ed. Durham: Duke University Press, 1996.

Blasini, Gilberto M. “Caribbean Cinematic Creolité.” Black Camera. 1.1 (Winter 2009): 70-90.

Brown, Vincent. The Reaper’s Garden: Death and power in the World of Atlantic Slavery. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010.

Cooper, Carolyn. Noises in the Blood: Orality and Popular Culture in Jamaica. Durham: Duke, 2000.

Copeland, Huey and Krista Thompson, eds. Representations:113. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.

Davis, David Brion. “AHR FORUM: Looking at Slavery from Broader Perspectives.” American Historical Review. April 2000: 452-66.

Doyle, Laura. Freedom’s Empire: Race and Rise of the Novel in Atlantic Modernity. Durham, NC: Duke, 2007.

Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993.

Glissant, Edouard. Poetics of Relation. Trans. Betsy Wing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

Halloran, Vivian. Exhibiting Slavery: The Caribbean Postmodern Novel as Museum. Charlottesville, University of Virginia Press, 2009.

Hebdige, Dick. Cut ‘n’ Mix: Culture, Identity and Caribbean Music. 1987. London: Routledge, 2000.

Keizer,  Arlene R. Black Subjects: Identity Formation in the Contemporary Narrative of Slavery. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2004.

Rohlehr, Gordon. “Articulating a Caribbean Aesthetic: The Revolution of Self-Perception.” My Strangled City and Other Essays. Port-of-Spain: Longman Trinidad Limited, 1992: 1-16.

Rushdy, Ashraf. The Neo-Slave Narrative: Studies in the Social Logic of a Literary Form. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Ryan, Marie-Laure, Ed. Narrative Across Media: The Languages of Storytelling. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.

Scott, David. Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of the Colonial Enlightenment. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004.

Sheller, Mimi. “Virtual Islands: Mobilities, Connectivity, and the New Caribbean Spatialities.” Small Axe. 11.3 (October 2007): 16-33.

Spaulding, A. Timothy. Re-Forming the Past: History, the Fantastic, and the Postmodern Slave Narrative. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2005.

Spivak, Gayatri C. “Can the Subaltern Speak?” In Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, Eds. G Nelson, L Grossberg. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988.

Taylor, Diana. The Archive and The Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas. Charlotte, NC: Duke University Press, 2003.

Thompson, Krista. An Eye for the Tropics: Tourism, Photography, and Framing the Caribbean Picturesque. Durham: Duke UP, 2006.

Veal, Michael. Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae. Middleton, CT: Wesleyan Press, 2007.

Wood, Marcus. Blind Memory: Visual Representations of Slavery in England and America. New York: Routledge, 2000.