In Horizon, Sea, Sound: Caribbean and African Women’s Cultural Critiques of Nation, Andrea Davis imagines new reciprocal relationships beyond the competitive forms of belonging suggested by the nation-state. The book employs the tropes of horizon, sea, and sound as a critique of nation-state discourses and formations, including multicultural citizenship, racial capitalism, settler colonialism, and the hierarchical nuclear family.
Drawing on Tina Campt’s discussion of Black feminist futurity, Davis offers the concept future now, which is both central to Black freedom and a joint social justice project that rejects existing structures of white supremacy. Calling for new affiliations of community among Black, Indigenous, and other racialized women, and offering new reflections on the relationship between the Caribbean and Canada, she articulates a diaspora poetics that privileges our shared humanity. In advancing these claims, Davis turns to the expressive cultures (novels, poetry, theater, and music) of Caribbean and African women artists in Canada, including work by Dionne Brand, M. NourbeSe Philip, Esi Edugyan, Ramabai Espinet, Nalo Hopkinson, Amai Kuda, and Djanet Sears. Davis considers the ways in which the diasporic characters these artists create redraw the boundaries of their horizons, invoke the fluid histories of the Caribbean Sea to overcome the brutalization of plantation histories, use sound to enter and reenter archives, and shapeshift to survive in the face of conquest. The book will interest readers of literary and cultural studies, critical race theories, and Black diasporic studies.
“Horizon, Sea, Sound: Caribbean and African Women’s Cultural Critiques of Nation is an indispensable, trenchant discourse on nation, gender, and Blackness. Literary scholar Andrea Davis ‘set(s) out trying to do some of the hard work of thinking and caring Blackness’ and in doing so she gets at the interstices of these ragged and troubled terms and clears out a place for thinking and living. Reading works by Erna Brodber, Dionne Brand, M. NourbeSe Phillip, Grace Nichols, Canisia Lubrin, Sylvia Wynter, Tina Campt, and more, Horizon, Sea, Sound thinks questions of affiliation outside of hierarchy and charts coexistence and resistance across space and geohistories. With this elegant and profoundly important work, Davis deepens the world-breaking of Black scholarship that is so vital for our futures.” —Christina Sharpe, author of In the Wake: On Blackness and Being.