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New from OUSE: Colonialism and Slavery in Performance:Theatre and the 18th Century French Caribbean

New from Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment:

Colonialism and Slavery in Performance: Theatre and the Eighteenth-Century French Caribbean


Edited by Jeffrey M. Leichman and Karine Bénac-Giroux


This volume brings together new research on eighteenth-century performance in and about the slave-based societies of Saint-Domingue and the Francophone Caribbean for the English-language public. Together, these studies recast early modern France as a trans-Atlantic space whose theatrical culture serves as an index of the tensions of identity and politics resulting from imperial expansion, a legacy that continues to reverberate in contemporary Antillean artistic practice.


· Analyses performances in Saint-Domingue, the most prosperous French colony, to illustrate how the crucible of a brutally racialized colonial space gave rise to a new French identity

· Discusses how European theatregoers reconciled the contradiction inherent in the eighteenth century’s progressive embrace of human rights, with an increasing dependence on the economic spoils of slavery

· Explores the place of performance in representations of the Old Regime Antilles, from the Haitian literary diaspora to contemporary performing artists from Martinique and Guadeloupe