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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

While the writings by people of African descent living in English Canada have been published for over two hundred years, and comprise an archive of several thousand texts, the critical category “Black Canadian literature” or “African Canadian literature” has only recently secured widespread public and academic recognition. This chapter identifies two prominent and intermingling “schools” of analysis that have shaped academic discussions of the category and field—an emphasis on diasporic routes, and an emphasis on historic Canadian roots—before advancing the idea that Black Canadian literature has also been shaped powerfully by the long-standing idea that Canada is a land of genuine liberation and equality for peoples of African descent. Black Canadian literature’s heightened critical confrontation of both the dream and delusion of what we might now cautiously term “post-race” makes this emergent field of newfound global importance regarding the ongoing yet contradictory cultural politics of race today.

Keywords: Black Canadian literature, African Canadian literature, post-race, diaspora, cultural politics, race

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