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The CLR James Journal

Volume 26, Issue 1/2, 2020

Miranda Luiz
Pages 155-161

A Poetics of Reimagining: The Radical Epistemologies of Wynter and Glissant

Sylvia Wynter and Édouard Glissant are twentieth-century cultural theorists from Jamaica and Martinique, respectively. Their literary work critiques western knowledge production and the ways in which colonial modes of thinking have negatively impacted Caribbean subjectivity. This essay explores the counter-hegemonic poetics of Wynter’s essay “The Ceremony Must Be Found: After Humanism” and Glissant’s book “Poetics of Relation,” comparing their epistemologies and methods of literary production. To understand the philosophical resonances of these texts, they are situated in a framework of western critical theory and analyzed alongside the structural anthropology of Levi-Strauss and the poststructuralist theory of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. This essay aims to illustrate how Wynter and Glissant conceptualize historic, social, and epistemic relationality, and in doing so point us towards a decolonial future.