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Don’t Stop the Carnival

Don’t Stop the Carnival

(p.206) Conclusion Don’t Stop the Carnival
Stolen Time
Shane Vogel
University of Chicago Press

In summarizing the main points of the book, this conclusion notes that in the black calypso craze it was not Trinidadian culture that was stolen, but the culture industry and the temporality of the fad. This stolen time was not an imperial appropriation but a form of exchange across black difference within the idiom of fad culture. This book examines the constrained possibilities of this exchange as it occurred in the short-lived North American fad for calypso. By taking seriously these counterfeit performances of Afro-Caribbean cultures and histories, Stolen Time argues that the black calypso craze provides insight into the development of diasporic consciousness in the mid-twentieth century as African American performers self-reflexively and circuitously engaged with Caribbean performance traditions. This exchange was not one way; it went in multiple directions, including back to Trinidad.

Keywords:   calypso craze, appropriation, exchange, fad, counterfeit, Afro-Caribbean, performance, Trinidad

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