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The Global South Atlantic$
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Kerry Bystrom and Joseph R. Slaughter

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823277872

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823277872.001.0001

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Scheherazade in Chains

Scheherazade in Chains

Arab-Islamic Genealogies of African Diasporic Literature

Chapter:
(p.65) Scheherazade in Chains
Source:
The Global South Atlantic
Author(s):

Jason Frydman

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823277872.003.0004

The understudied archive of Muslim slave narratives demands a reconfiguration of the early history of New World Black literature, on the one hand asserting Arabic letters and Orientalist mediations as foundational discursive sources while on the other hand directing greater attention to narrative production in West Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Consistently marked in their time and ours by a racist dialectic of amnesia and surprise, these Muslim narrators draw upon devices of the Arab-Islamic tradition even as they anticipate the experiences of administrative detention, of the expired visa, of deportation, and of repatriation. In their enduring oscillation between obscurity and legibility, and in our own efforts to assemble their traces, we must confront and honor these narrators’ eventual retreat from interpellation, a reticence that vexes even as it structures the archive of the Global South Atlantic: resistant, dispersed, decentered, and opaque.

Keywords:   administrative detention, Arab-Islamic, archive, Muslim slave narratives, New World Black Literature, Orientalism, slave narratives

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