Väitöskirjatutkija Ahvonen Onni

137600 €

Ambivalent Boundaries: Stretching and Transcending Marxism in the Caribbean Black Radical Tradition

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

As calls for reparations, climate justice, and decolonial action get louder by the day, it’s more important than ever to study traditions of thought that have challenged colonialism, climate degradation, and racism. One such tradition is the Caribbean Black radical tradition which is an anti-colonial intellectual movement famous for its critiques of slavery, racial dehumanisation, and colonial domination. This dissertation, then, is a study of intellectuals belonging to this historically marginalised epistemic current. Focusing on the lives of three influential Afro-Caribbean thinkers—Elsa Goveia, Walter Rodney, and Sylvia Wynter—this study analyses how these figures came to engage with Marxist thought in a variety of ways during their lives. Thinkers in the Caribbean Black radical tradition were deeply influence by Marxist thought in the twentieth-century, while also highlighting its limitations. Many of these thinkers sought to “stretch” Marxism (as Frantz Fanon would put it), in order to analyse the colonial situation. Some, however, were more critical and saw Marxism instead as too heavily intoxicated by Eurocentrism and racial dogma. Hence, this study examines how these thinkers came to deploy, re-conceptualise, and/or critique categories and theories originating in Marxist thought. In doing so, this dissertation also sheds light on the question of “traveling theory” and discusses the possibilities and problems associated with translating theories and methodologies from one spati-otemporal context to another. In a time were the present postcolonial conjuncture is characterised by a persistent coloniality and widespread racism, it’s perhaps more important than ever before to engage with epistemological traditions that have sought not only to understand these exploitative systems, but also to effectively undo their effects. Thus, this project analyses historically marginalised forms of knowledge production in order to highlight their contemporary relevance.