This website provides contextual information and interpretations of the novel Texaco by Martinican writer Patrick Chamoiseau. It was started in spring 2022 as a collaborative project by students in the Honors Program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in conjunction with the course Honors 200-008: Caribbean Crucible of Globalization taught by Dr. Jessica Hutchins.
In this section of Honors 200, we examine the Caribbean as both an engine and test-bed of globalization, considering how the movement of people, goods, languages, and ideas have shaped the history and culture of this unique region. We analyze the tension—and interdependence—between the evolution of local creole culture and the globalizing forces of colonialism and capitalism. Our discussion centers on the novel Texaco, an epic narrative of the history, development of Afro-Caribbean culture, and struggles for freedom in the French Caribbean island of Martinique. In this way, we examine the world, its diversity and unevenness, providing a structure to link the local and the global. We work from the English translation of Texaco by Rose-Myriam Réjouis & Val Vinokurov (1997).
Students in the course conduct research and write wiki articles that interpret the novel Texaco from a variety of perspectives. These articles supplement the fictional text with contextual information from scholarly sources and real-world data. This knowledge base is intended to help readers of Texaco understand the world of the novel and engage with its formal and narrative complexities. The wiki format allows us to make visible the connections and tensions among the topics presented. It also demonstrates the evolving (and sometimes messy) process of knowledge production, which is dramatized in Texaco. As such, this website is a work-in-progress that invites our readers and writers into conversation.