Brown Bag Lecture series. . .
“Triangulation of the Diaspora: Afro-Caribbean Writers in America”
Sara Bagby Farmer
Feb. 13, 2008
Sara Bagby Farmer spoke of the complexity of writers Paule Marshall and Edwidge Danticat and their novels, respectively, Praisesong for the Widow and The Dewbreaker through Gilroy and Edwards' concepts of diaspora. But the second-year MA student challenged the limitations of those concepts, as well, by showing that the lives of these women, in addition to their novels, "demonstrate that the diaspora is not a binary relationship between Africa and the nation-state culture of her people outside of the continent." Farmer said that Marshall and Danticat expand "both Gilroy and Edwards conceptualization of the diaspora by pushing it into the Caribbean," illustrating how the diaspora "is created by a complexity of cultural layers joined with each other."
The relationship formed among Africa, the Caribbean, the African Caribbean, the United States, African America, and the Afro-Caribbean in America inform and define the cultural identities of the two writers, and, through their novels, the "richness of this union reveals a small snapshot into the brilliant profundity of the African diaspora."
Framer's argument that the diaspora has cultural layers beyond the Africa/nation-state binary and that a complexity and richness come from migration in the diaspora were well received by the audience, which concluded the brown bag session with enthusiastic questions and comments for the speaker.