PhD Student @ University of Cambridge
Weibing Ni (she/her) is a first-year PhD in the French department at the University of Cambridge. Weibing's research interests include critical race theory, postcolonial study, gender study, migration and diaspora studies in Francophone and Anglophone Caribbean regions, comparative literatures and cultures, as well as Chinese diasporic writing.
Geographical location : Cambridge, UK
Research Area and Interest : critical race theory, postcolonial study, gender study, migration and diaspora studies in Francophone and Anglophone Caribbean regions, comparative literatures and cultures, as well as Chinese diasporic writing
- Summary: In light of what Édouard Glissant terms as ‘identite-racine’, Caribbean identity embodies an identity that ‘s’etend dans un rapport à L’Autre’ (‘is extended through a relationship with the Other’). The essay first explores the social and cultural experiences that bring European, African, Asian, and Levantine diasporas in French Caribbean areas into relations with each other and shape them into collective but not monolithic communities. Creolité (Creoleness), which has emerged from the chaotic, unfinished cross-cultural intermixture and interaction since the ages of slavery and indentureship, is at the core of the sense of community in the Francophone Caribbean area. The cultural inclusiveness and openness featuring Creolité are manifest in Maryse Condé’s Célanire cou-coupé and Raphaël Confiant’s Case à Chine through their plural, fragmented narratives as well as their portrayals of relational communities where the lives of people of multicultural heritages entangle. Nevertheless, Confiant’s stereotyping of his East Asian characters and monolithic view of their cultural legacies reveal an existing cultural hierarchy, thereby problematising utopian aspects of Créolité and its claims to egalitarian cultural intermixing. The essay continues to elucidate how Condé’s parallel between the experiences of Asian indentured workers and African slaves can challenge such cultural hierarchy but cannot resolve it. Ultimately, the essay will investigate how different diasporas are “relationally positioned” (Brah, 179) within the relations of race, gender and class in the Caribbean sociopolitical context, revealing the regime of power that underlies the inclusion and exclusion of people from the Caribbean cultural discourses and its relation with remnants of colonial mindset.