Date

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

English

First Adviser

Dominique, Lyndon J.

Abstract

This thesis foregrounds the significance of gender and violence in the creolization process within the Caribbean slave system, as depicted in Joan Anim-Addo's libretto, Imoinda, Or She Who Will Lose Her Name. Written as a reimagining of Aphra Behn's novella, Oroonoko, Anim-Addo's Imoinda contends that violence (particularly sexual violence) is an integral component of creolization. Yet, this thesis operates on an understanding of violence in which it signifies a simultaneously destructive and productive event, wherein cultures clash and meld together in order to form a new identity. This thesis further explores the ways that a libretto, as a performative genre, specifically addresses the issue of textual silence that Anim-Addo believes is inherent in Behn's Oroonoko. Finally, this thesis closes with a call to readers, in which the audience (like Imoinda's daughter) is charged `not to forget' neither Imoinda's personal suffering, nor the collective history of her people.

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