Associate professor, English Literature
Bo G. Ekelund is an associate professor at the Department of English, Stockholm University.
His research has consistently investigated the social conditions of possibility of the production and reproduction of those things and practices the world recognizes as literature. His most recent project, “Geography, society and the symbolic terrain of Caribbean fiction,” concerns the valorization of place in literature and the methodologies available for mapping not just geographical but social space in literary works.
Worldly vernaculars in the Anglophone Caribbean: Claiming place by means of literary style
Based on earlier work on the construction of place in the Anglophone Caribbean, this study seeks to delineate the ways in which the writers of a peripheral cosmopolitanism (a cosmopolitanism that was always to some extent imposed on its subjects) have used the Caribbean vernaculars as a linguistic resource, as a narrative object, as a utopian thematic in order to reorganize the literary territory that is sustained by metropolitan and cosmopolitan markets.
By looking at the English-language literature of the Caribbean from the perspective of cosmopolitan and vernacular, we can study the two modes as informing the necessary strategies to claim place by means of language: language as personal style, as linguistic variety, as deliberate discourse. The contribution to the program lies in the linking of linguistic strategies to the claims on place: local, regional, the world.
This study will include 32 works of fiction written by authors from the Anglophone Caribbean in two distinct periods: 1955-65 and 1985-95. In addition, works of poetry from the same periods will be considered.
This recently published article exemplifies the methodology for mapping choices that will be used for the Caribbean claims of space, although the object in the article is the way that Swedish literary scholars navigate in the global space of intellectual resources:
“Citing the World: A Geometric Data Analysis of Swedish Literary Scholars’ Use of Foreign Critical Resources.” Poetics 55 (April 2016): 60-75. DOI information: 10.1016/j.poetic.2015.11.003