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Paul Gilroy (1956 - )


Paul Gilroy was born in the East End of London in 1956 to Guyanese and English parents. He is a black British scholar of Cultural Studies and African diasporic culture. He is the author of Ain't no Black in the Union Jack,(1987) Small Acts,(1993) The Black Atlantic,(1993) Against Race, (2000) and Postcolonial Melancholia,(2004) among other works. Formerly the chair of the Department of African American Studies and professor of sociology at Yale University, he now holds the Anthony Giddens Professorship in Social Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Gilroy was also co-author of "The Empire Strikes Back: race and racism in 1970s Britain"(1982) a path-breaking, collectively-produced volume published under the imprint of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University where he was a doctoral student working with the Jamaican intellectual Stuart Hall. Gilroy is known as a shcolar and historian of the music of the African diaspora, as a commentator on the politics of race, nation and racism in the UK, and as an archaeologist of the literary and cultural lives of blacks in the western hemisphere. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Gilroy [Aug 2005]

On Against Race

Paul Gilroy, one of Hall's former associates and, like him, a Black-British theorist about postcolonialism and hybridity, made his own contribution this year to the multiculture debate with Against Race: Imagining Political Culture Beyond the Color Line (also published, in the UK, as Between Camps). If the book has a crux, it's the fatal ambiguity of the word "culture" itself--which simultaneously has an organic, biological resonance (growing plants, germ cultures etc) yet also signifies the antithesis of earthy natural-ness (the civilized, the non-instinctual, the artificial, the sublimated). -- Simon Reynolds

The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993) - Paul Gilroy

  1. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993) - Paul Gilroy [Amazon.com]
    In "The Black Atlantic" Paul Gilroy constructs an excellent text based on the black diasporic experience. His views of black culture as being a dynamic networked construct based on the idea of the diaspora derived from Jewish culture, is an illuminating concept that contains great substance. Gilroy's underlying transnational humanism (that can be read in his latest pseudo-utopian work "Against Race") and vital rethinking about the perils of cultural nationalism and the urgent benefits of a unique hybrid culture is a thoroughly needed breath in the stasis of linear monocultural thinking. The book functions in an excellent manner in addressing the complex dynamics of slavery, colonization, and their inherent residual effects on black political culture. In addition the method in which Gilroy weaves Adorno, Hendrix, hip-hop culture, Du Bois, Wright, Hegel and a host of others in a clear and eloquent manner is cause for reading in itself. In a nutshell, this is a valuable sociological and philosophical work that creates a rupture in linear, absolutist views of history, sexuality, identity and other various elements in relation to black particularity. In this book Gilroy composes the dynamics of intercultural exchange (whether artistic, political, social, moral etc.) as well as attributing to socialized historical memory through its brilliant text. - martin de leon via amazon.com

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