Noted in 'The New York Times'

July 26, 2017

A recent New York Times op-ed cites Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World (Duke Press, 2015) by Associate Professor Gary Wilder (Anthropology) as a work that is pertinent to today's global turmoil.

A recent New York Times op-ed cites Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World (Duke Press, 2015) by Associate Professor Gary Wilder (Anthropology) as a work that is pertinent to today's global turmoil.

The book covers the efforts by two black politicians and public intellectuals - Aime Cesaire of Martinique and Leopold Sedar Senghor of Senegal - to turn imperial France into a democratic federation.

They failed to realize their vision, but, Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat argues, "in certain ways it was revived by global elites after the Cold War's end" and led to the European Union and the Pax Americana.

Douthat writes, "Of late, though, this project has run into some of the same difficulties that made theirs an impossibility. The cultural reality that Cesaire and Senghor grasped - that civilizational difference is real and powerful and lasting - has a way of undoing the political unity for which they fondly hoped."

Still, Douthat asserts that Cesaire and Senghor were "prophets of a world where the colonized and the colonizers had no choice but to find a way to live together."

As European birth rates plummet and mass immigration transforms cultures, Douthat sees that "the West's future may belong to" Cesaire and Senghor "in some unexpected way."

Learn more about Wilder's research.