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Beyond WindrushRethinking Postwar Anglophone Caribbean Literature$
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J. Dillon Brown and Leah Reade Rosenberg

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628464757

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628464757.001.0001

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Federated Ocean States: Archipelagic Visions of the Third World at Midcentury

Federated Ocean States: Archipelagic Visions of the Third World at Midcentury

(p.222) Federated Ocean States: Archipelagic Visions of the Third World at Midcentury
Beyond Windrush

Michelle A. Stephens

University Press of Mississippi

Placing CLR James’s utopian plan for Caribbean federation alongside Indonesia’s self-presentation as an archipelagic state, this chapter illuminates a critical but overlooked element in the history of midcentury decolonization and Caribbean thought: the conceptualization of Caribbean identity and political unity as a relation among islands, outside of the limiting frameworks of nation states and continents and of colonies and Empires. While seldom seen as central to Caribbean literature and thought of the 1950s, James’s work, particularly Mariners, Renegades, and Castaways (1952) articulated this concept more fully. This chapter places James’s thought in relation the Bandung Conference, UN debates on ocean states, and international law. It concludes that James’s vision is important to reintegrate into our understanding of the 1950s because it corroborates scholars’ sense that nationalism on the one hand, and exile and diaspora on the other, are not the only frames within which to understand Caribbean literature.

Keywords:   CLR James, Bandung, Ocean States, International Law, Nationalism

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