Laura Doyle is Professor of English at University of Massachusetts-Amherst and specializes in Atlantic studies, Geomodernist Studies, and long durée studies of culture and geopolitical economy. She is co-convener of the World Studies Interdisciplinary Project (WSIP: http://wsipworldstudies.wordpress.com/), co-editor of the University of Edinburgh Press series on “Atlantic Literatures and Cultures,” and co-editor of the Global Circulation Project at Literature Compass. Books include Bordering on the Body: The Racial Matrix of Modern Fiction and Culture (1994); Freedom’s Empire: Race and the Rise of the Novel in Atlantic Modernity, 1640-1940 (2008); and the edited collections, Bodies of Resistance: New Phenomenologies of Politics, Agency, and Culture (2001) and Geomodernisms: Race, Modernism, Modernity (2004), the latter with Laura Winkiel.
It would be going too far to say that widening our frameworks is the only way to keep faith with the particular. Yet certainly it is one powerful way to keep that faith. Human acts and works of art often arise from a past linked in one way or another to far-flung systems. This condition becomes crystal clear when we think in terms of connected histories, not only across global space but also across sedimented time and “before European hegemony,” in Janet Abu-Lughod’s phrase.