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Chapter 1 focuses on C. L. R James, whose roving political life has made him an exemplary diasporic figure. Re-reading James’s famous account in Beyond a Boundary about his early formation in Trinidad alongside his writings about America—in letters to Constance Webb and the essays that become American Civilization—the chapter demonstrates how James managed competing claims to his national, political, and affective inclinations by mediating his attachments through the bodies of performers—particularly West Indian cricketers and American actresses. It demonstrates the centrality of James’s reliance on performance and affect to craft diasporic belonging, whilst moving beyond existing scholarship to clarify the gendered stakes of Jamesian diaspora, especially in the United States. The latter is accomplished by a reading of James’s relationship to the classic American film Now, Voyager.

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