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Ecue’s Atlantic: An Essay In Methodology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores a number of questions to do with whether Africanist and African-Americanist forms of knowledge might become subject to epistemologically sound forms of integration. Miller's work falls squarely into a longstanding tradition in African-Americanist research, established in the United States since the time of Melville Herskovits's first efforts, in the 1930s, to demolish the reigning consensus that slavery had stripped black Americans of any vestiges of their ancestral African cultures. It belongs to a genre of anthropological inquiry aiming to identify and authenticate historical continuities between African and New World cultural forms that have always been driven not just by explicitly announced theoretical concerns, but by political ones as well. The chapter sheds light on some of the metatheoretical questions with which any attempt to transcend the current terms of debate would necessarily have to engage.

Keywords: African-American culture; Ecue; Miller



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