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J. Michael Dash

Professor of French , Social and Cultural Analysis

Ph.D. University of the West Indies, Mona Jamaica; B.A. University of the West Indies

Office Address: 

19 University Place New York, New York (US) 10003


(212) 992-9550


My research generally focuses on post-negritude ideologies and the reformulation of the Caribbean’s modernist legacy. Most recently, I have written on the neglect of matters of emplacement and locality in postcolonial thought which emphasizes mobility and displacement. In this I have relied heavily on Edouard Glissant’s theories of the presencing of place which functions not merely as setting but as poetic dwelling. This subterranean, sensuous interaction with place becomes in his approach the basis for a geocritical poetics which ultimately explores archipelagic space as a paradigm for global interaction. The book on which I am working at present more precisely deals with a much neglected but crucial moment in the Caribbean’s literary imagination when Andre Breton, Andre Masson, Pierre Mabille and later Michel Leiris visited the French Antilles and Haiti in the Forties. Their interest in painting marked Caribbean writing in unprecedented ways. Through art, matter could explode onto a surface which was not coded or esthetically predetermined and the eye was assaulted by forms that were neither grounded nor recognizable. Painting’s ability to evoke the opacity of things and to materialize the mysterious opened up new possibilities of literary experimentation.


U.W.I. Award for Excellence in Research; Senior Fulbright Hays Award, Senior Fulbright Research Award

Culture and Customs of Haiti (Greenwood Press, 2001).

Libete: A Haiti Anthology, Ed. with Charles Arthur (Latin American Bureau, 1999).

The Other America: Caribbean Literature in a New World Context (University Press of Virginia, 1998).

Haiti and the United States (MacMillan, 1997).

Edouard Glissant (Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Literature and Ideology in Haiti: 1915-1961 (MacMillan, 1981).

Jacques Stephen Alexis (Black Images, 1975).

Updated on 09/23/2015