Writing, Literature and Publishing Assistant Professor Roy Kamada recently published the critical work Post-Colonial Romanticisms: Landscape and the Possibility of Inheritance. The book examines the poems of post-colonial authors Jamaica Kincaid, Derek Walcott, and Garrett Hongo as they respond to the way 19th-century British Romantic literature has historically represented Caribbean culture.
Kamada argues that Kincaid, Walcott, and Hongo use the style of British Romanticism to provide a different perspective of Caribbean or “island” culture. While acknowledging the tragic effects of the colonial period, the poets attempt to reshape their countries’ history. “It’s about how you take this British idea of understanding the world around you…the idea that the natural landscape is something that restores and replenishes a diminished spirit,” Kamada said.
A native of Hawaii, Kamada identified with the challenges faced by Kincaid, Walcott, and Hongo. “Growing up in Hawaii, I really had this persistent question of how do I understand where this place is, in terms that are mine?” Kamada has studied that question for nearly a decade; his book Post-Colonial Romanticisms was expanded from his 2005 dissertation at the University of California, Davis.
“My goal here is to take some of this tremendous energy that Emerson students come in with, and give them a space where they can pause and reflect on what it is they want to do here, what it might mean in their lives.”
Kamada has been teaching poetry and literature at Emerson College since 2006.