"Black Canadian Literature as Diaspora Transgression: The Second Life of Samuel Tyne" in TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, 17, 31-49
This paper attempts to interrogate some of the challenges involved in the ar-ticulation of a black Canadian literature and suggests that such a literature may best be understood not as a set of “coherent” national narratives but as a complex engagement of the multiple diasporic experiences that inform and influence understandings of Canadian-ness. The study argues, therefore, that the very diasporic character of black Canadian literature—its pluralism and heterogeneity—articulate a deliberately transgressive Canadian-ness. By linking narrative and social geographies, the paper situates the works of black women writers in the Americas as part of a tradition of the counter-novel, involved in acts of boundary crossing and cultural and textual unmanageability. The paper explores finally the disruptive, but also potentially liberating, function of the literature by engaging in a detailed discussion of Esi Edugyan’s novel The Second Life of Samuel Tyne.
Andrea A. Davis is an associate professor in Black cultures of the Americas in the Department of Humanities at York University and co-editor of the Journal of Canadian Studies.
Other publications from this author include:
- Horizon, Sea, Sound: Caribbean and African Women's Cultural Critiques of Nation (2022)
- "Celebrating Austin Clarke: The Man and the Body of His Work" in TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, 42 (2021)
- "Which Scandalous Bodies? Black Women Writers Refuse Nation Narratives" in Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review, 243, 146-152 (2020)
- "Un/Belonging in Diasporic Cities: A Literary History of Caribbean Women in London and Toronto" in Caribbean Review of Gender Studies, 13, 17-50 (2019)
- "The Black Woman Native Speaking Subject: Reflections of a Black Female Professor in Canada" in Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, and Social Justice, 39 (1), 70-78 (2018)
- "'The Real Toronto': Black Youth Experiences and the Narration of the Multicultural City" in Journal of Canadian Studies, 51 (3), 725-748 (2017)
- James, Carl E. and Andrea Davis, "Instructive Episodes: The Shifting Positions of the Jamaican Diaspora in Canada" in Journal of Education and Development in the Caribbean, 14 (1), 17-41 (2012)
- Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence (2012)
- "Diaspora, Citizenship and Gender: Challenging the Myth of the Nation in African Canadian Women's Literature" in Canadian Woman Studies, 23 (2), 64-69 (2004)