By Dale E. Peterson

During the 19th century, literate Russians and knowledgeable American blacks encountered a dominant Western narrative of worldwide civilization that looked as if it would forget about the histories of Slavs and African americans. In reaction, generations of Russian and black American intellectuals have asserted eloquent counterclaims for the cultural value of a collective nationwide “soul” veiled from prejudiced Western eyes. Up from Bondage is the 1st examine to parallel the evolution of Russian and African American cultural nationalism in literary works and philosophical writings.
Illuminating a remarkably frequent cross-pollination among the 2 cultural and highbrow traditions, Dale E. Peterson frames a lot of his argument round W. E. B. DuBois’s notion of “double-consciousness,” in which contributors of an oppressed component of society view themselves concurrently via their very own self-awareness and during the internalized criteria of the dominant tradition. He indicates how the writings of Dostoevsky, Hurston, Chesnutt, Turgenev, Ellison, Wright, Gorky, and Naylor—texts that enacted and defined this feeling of double awareness—were used either to accomplish and to contest the verified genres of Western literacy. Woven via Peterson’s textual analyses is his attention of cultural hybridism and its results: The writers he examines locate a number of how one can testify to and problem the indicators of postcolonial trauma. After discussing the powerful and important affinity expressed through modern African American cultural theorists for the dialogic considered Russian linguist Mikhail Bakhtin, Peterson argues fuller appreciation of the historical connection among the 2 cultures will improve the advanced meanings of being black or Russian in a global that has generally kept away from acknowledging pluralistic criteria of civilization and cultural excellence.
This research of similar moments within the improvement of Russian and African American ethnic self-consciousness may be useful to scholars and students of comparative literature, philosophy, cultural idea, ethnicity, linguistics, and postcolonialism, as well as Slavic and African American studies.

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