Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination

Notes on Fleeing the Plantation

Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination

Book Pages: 328 Illustrations: 3 figures Published: July 2009

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Caribbean Studies, Sociology

Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination is a major intervention into discussions of Caribbean practices gathered under the rubric of “creolization.” Examining sociocultural, political, and economic transformations in the Caribbean, Michaeline A. Crichlow argues that creolization—culture-creating processes usually associated with plantation societies and with subordinate populations remaking the cultural forms of dominant groups—must be liberated from and expanded beyond plantations, and even beyond the black Atlantic, to include productions of “culture” wherever vulnerable populations live in situations of modern power inequalities, from regimes of colonialism to those of neoliberalism. Crichlow theorizes a concept of creolization that speaks to how individuals from historically marginalized groups refashion self, time, and place in multiple ways, from creating art to traveling in search of homes. Grounding her theory in the material realities of Caribbean peoples in the plantation era and the present, Crichlow contends that creolization and Creole subjectivity are constantly in flux, morphing in response to the changing conditions of modernity and creatively expressing a politics of place.

Engaging with the thought of Michel Foucault, Michel Rolph-Trouillot, Achille Mbembe, Henri Lefebvre, Margaret Archer, Saskia Sassen, Pierre Bourdieu, and others, Crichlow argues for understanding creolization as a continual creative remaking of past and present moments to shape the future. She draws on sociology, philosophy, postcolonial studies, and cultural studies to illustrate how national histories are lived personally and how transnational experiences reshape individual lives and collective spaces. Critically extending Bourdieu’s idea of habitus, she describes how contemporary Caribbean subjects remake themselves in and beyond the Caribbean region, challenging, appropriating, and subverting older, localized forms of creolization. In this book, Crichlow offers a nuanced understanding of how Creole citizens of the Caribbean have negotiated modern economies of power.


Globalization and the Post-creole Imagination is an important addition to the corpus of studies about Caribbean creolization. It will be of immense interest not just to scholars and students of the Caribbean, but also, more generally, to colonial historians, and specialists of cultural studies and postcolonial studies.” — Pratima Prasad, Journal of Colonialism & Colonial History

Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination invites us to move creolization debates beyond the plantation and the ideological constructions of Caribbean national identity, which have generated numerous exclusions and misrecognitions to the meaning of creole culture and citizenship. . . . [I]t raises questions both thought-provoking and challenging. . . .” — Raquel Romberg, New West Indian Guide

“Crichlow’s foray is well worth reading. Her critiqueof some of the sacred cows of creolization studies and suggestions for alternative conceptualizations, drawn primarily from literary criticism and philosophy but enhanced with anthropological and historical works, are thoughtful and provocative.” — Aisha Khan, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

“One of the prominent features of Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination is its narrative, methodology, and eclectic approach. Instead of one grand narrative, the book contains many narratives embodying multiple ideas and viewing angles. These narratives present different rich ethnographies, each of which is fundamental to explaining creolization as an open and liberated concept and the post-creole imagination. Also prominent is the simmering of multi disciplinary varieties of theories and concepts. Borrowing from Glissant, Trouillot, Bhabha, Derrida, Foucault, Bourdieu, Lefebvre, and Mbeme, among others, Crichlow creates a unique yet complicated theoretical approach. Moreover, the multidisciplinary profile of the author and contributor Patricia Northover add a new element in the eclectic academic approach of the book.” — Milagros Ricourt, SX Salon

“This is a demanding and provocative text. . . . Crichlow makes a number of insightful interventions, usually by way of pinpointing a problem in how creolization has been used and then bringing new analogies into play.” — Huon Wardle, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“This provocative book will surely attract attention with its signal contribution to the rich interdisciplinary arena of scholarship on colonial and postcolonial discourse, history, anthropology, philosophy, political science, literary criticism, and of course Caribbean studies. . . . The book is dense, and not something to absorb in one sitting; it savors like a fine wine.” — Aníbal José Aponte Colón, Caribbean Studies

Crichlow brings an extensive knowledge of postcolonial, diaspora, transnational, and globalization theory to debates over the historical specifi city and generalizability of creolization, and her ambitious work opens up new paths for the study of agency and cultural transformation in globalized time and space.”
— Nicole Simek, Symploke

Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination is a brilliant piece of work that engages with an extensive volume of transdisciplinary scholarship related to fundamental issues of modern subjectivity and subjecthood. Its point of departure is the place of modern subjects in the spaces occupied particularly by the Caribbean subaltern of former English colonies.” — Percy C. Hintzen, author of West Indian in the West: Self-Representations in an Immigrant Community

“This is an exceptional book. Michaeline A. Crichlow juxtaposes erudite knowledge about several specialized fields with an experimental stance that aims at detecting the making of conditions often seen as a mere attribute. She shows us how creolization is made, thereby becoming much more than disadvantaged status. In this making lies the possibility that powerlessness can be complex and in this complexity lie the elements for making the political, whether expressed in cultural or recognizably political vocabularies. This book opens up a new terrain for inquiry and interpretation.” — Saskia Sassen, author of Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages


Availability: In stock
Price: $27.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Michaeline A. Crichlow, an historical sociologist, is Associate Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University. She is the author of Negotiating Caribbean Freedom: Peasants and the State in Development and a co-editor of Informalization: Process and Structure. Patricia Northover is a Fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface ix

Prologue. Globalization and Creole Identities: The Shaping of Power in Post-Plantation Spaces 1

1. Locating the Global in Creolization: Ships Sailing Through Modern Space 15

2. Creole Time on the Move 41

3. Decentering the "Dialectics of Resistance" in the Context of a Globalizing Modern: Afro-Creoles under Colonial Rule 73

4. Power and Its Subjects in Postcolonial Performance 107

5. "Gens Anglaises": Diasporic Movements Remixing the World with Post-Creole Imaginations 135

6. An eBay Imaginary in an Unequal World: Creolization on the Move 171

Epilogue. Rethinking Creolization through Multiple Présences: Masks, Masquerades, and the Making of Modern Subjects 201

Notes 221

Index 281
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4441-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4427-8
Publicity material