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Landscapes of HopeAnti-Colonial Utopianism in America$
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Dohra Ahmad

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195332766

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332766.001.0001

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Worlds of Color

Worlds of Color

(p.131) 3 Worlds of Color
Landscapes of Hope

Dohra Ahmad (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the utopian fiction of Pauline Hopkins and W. E. B. Du Bois. In response to a long-standing problem with emplacement, both authors use their fiction to manufacture idealized and ahistorical versions of colored empires. Hopkins creates an underground Ethiopian kingdom, while Du Bois uses the force of imagination to link India and the American South into a cohesive but still multiplicitous whole. Hopkins posits utopia not as a unidirectional process of development but a resurrection of an earlier order, while Du Bois strategically employs romance to overcome the limitations of a pragmatic politics of compromise. Their romantic utopianism both responds to Booker T. Washington’s uplift ideology and also participates in a larger philosophy of internationalism emerging in response to colonial rule.

Keywords:   realism, romance, solidarity, Bandung Conference, Pauline Hopkins, W. E. B. Du Bois, Richard Wright

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