MISSOULA – A University of Montana professor’s cross-cultural analysis received one of the top book awards from the Caribbean Philosophical Association.
Benedicte Boisseron, an associate professor of French and Francophone language and literature at UM, received the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award for “Creole Renegades: Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora.”
“This book was important for me to write because it carries an autobiographical resonance,” Boisseron said.
Her father is from Guadeloupe, a French Caribbean island. He moved to France when he was 17 years old, where he met Boisseron’s mother.
“Now back in Guadeloupe, my father is somehow seen as a ‘Creole renegade,’” which is part of the book’s title, Boisseron said. “Likewise for me as a half-Guadeloupean who was not taught Creole while growing up in France.”
The award committee’s evaluator called Boisseron’s book “a brilliant text.”
“Its original investigation into the problem of cultural affiliation, loyalty and betrayal in movement between the Caribbean, North America, Europe and beyond marks it as a major contribution to postcolonial studies, Caribbean studies, African-American studies and new-world studies,” the evaluator wrote.
“Specialists and general readers alike will appreciate its examination of fundamental aspects of our postcolonial and globalized experiences, including the enigmas of creoleness, and returning and leaving ‘home,’ as well as Boisseron’s incisive literary analysis and theoretical approaches,” the review continued.
French Professor Ione Crummy, Boisseron’s colleague in UM’s Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, read and edited the book.
“I had the pleasure to read the final version of her manuscript before she sent it to press and found her research to be insightful, original and groundbreaking,” Crummy said. “She is a wonderful colleague, and I feel privileged to work with her.”
Boisseron published the book in 2014 and was informed of her award in early 2015. She will attend an awards ceremony June 18-21 at the Caribbean Philosophical Association in Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
For more information on the award, visit http://lewisrgordon.com/press-release-caribbean.pdf.