“Unsettled Histories: Dub Poetry and Decolonization”

The Case Western Reserve University Department of English will host a seminar titled “Unsettled Histories: Dub Poetry and Decolonization,” delivered by Janet Neigh, Friday, Sept. 13, from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. in the Guilford Hall parlor.

The lecture will take a wide-angle lens view of postcolonial literary history, examining dub poetry’s troubling roots in the colonial classroom in the 1950s and contemporary feminist examples in the Caribbean diaspora. The Canada-based poets Lillian Allen and d’bi.young anitafrika take dub’s multimedia experiments into the digital realm to recover black women’s collective memory.

Scholars and practitioners frequently debate the meaning and usefulness of the term “dub” and question whether we should think of it as a movement or as a style. For example, the Jamaican poet Kei Miller considers it a movement that lived and died within the socialist radicalism of 1970s.

These debates reveal larger issues in postcolonial literary history.

Beyond colonialism and anti-colonialism, what happens to literatures that have lived long lives in the postcolonial era, yet are still haunted by their colonial pasts? How do we understand the relationship between literatures of the early postcolonial moment with those of the present?

Using dub poetry as a case history, this presentation will propose new aims and approaches for postcolonial literary history.

About the speaker

Janet Neigh is an associate professor of English at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. She is the author of Recalling Recitation in the Americas: Borderless Curriculum, Performance Poetry, and Reading (University of Toronto 2017).

Her research also has been recently published in Ariel: A Review of International English Literature, The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Poetry, Feminist Formations and sx archipelagos, a small axe platform of digital practice.