Classicisms in the Black Atlantic

Edited by Ian Moyer, Adam Lecznar, and Heidi Morse

The historical and cultural space of the Black Atlantic - a diasporic world of forced and voluntary migrations - has long provided fertile ground for the construction and reconstruction of new forms of classicism. From the aftermath of slavery up to the present day, black authors, intellectuals, and artists in the Atlantic world have shaped and reshaped the cultural legacies of classical antiquity in a rich variety of ways in order to represent their identities and experiences and reflect on modern conceptions of race, nation, and identity. The studies presented in this volume range across the Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanophone worlds, including literary studies of authors such as Derek Walcott, Marlene NourbeSe Philip, and Junot Diaz, biographical and historical studies, and explorations of race and classicism in the visual arts. They offer reflections on the place of classicism in contemporary conflicts and debates over race and racism, and on the intersections between classicism, race, gender, and social status, demonstrating how the legacies of ancient Greece and Rome have been used to buttress racial hierarchies, but also to challenge racism and Eurocentric reconstructions of antiquity.  

Part I: Wakes
1. Middle Passages: Mediating Classics and Radical Philology in Marlene NourbeSe Philip and Derek Walcott, Emily Greenwood
2. "Nero, the mustard!" The Ironies of Classical Slave Names in the British Caribbean, Margaret Williamson
3. Athens and Sparta of the New World: The Classical Passions of Santo Domingo, Dan-el Padilla Peralta
Part II: Journeys
4. In Search of Henry Alexander Saturnin Hartley, Black Classicist, Clergyman, and Physician, Michele Valerie Ronnick
5. Roman Studios: The Black Woman Artist in the Eternal City, from Edmonia Lewis to Carrie Mae Weems, Heidi Morse
6. Africana Andromeda: Contemporary Painting and the Classical Black Figure, Kimathi Donkor
Part III: Tales
7. The Tragedy of Aime Cesaire, Adam Lecznar
8. Bernardine Evaristo's The Emperor's Babe: An Account of Roman London from the Black British Perspective, Tracey L. Walters
9. Myth and the Fantastic in the Work of Junot Diaz, Justine McConnell
10. Classics for All? Liberal Education and the Matter of Black Lives, Patrice D. Rankine