What sort of text is Stuart Hall’s posthumously published Familiar Stranger? Though the book takes the shape of a memoir, appearing with the subtitle “A Life between Two Islands,” it is one that renounces the form in favor of an exploration of “the connections between a ‘life’ and ‘ideas’” (10). Like the majority of the works that Hall left behind, it is the product of lengthy collaboration. In his epistolary book, Stuart Hall’s Voice, David Scott describes the essential “responsiveness” of Hall’s thought and his cultivation of a “listening self” as an intellectual ethos. A dialogical practice of listening and speaking shaped Hall’s written work. Familiar Stranger began as an interview and exchange with Bill Schwarz, and Schwarz edited and revised the final text for publication. The “original dialogic structure” (xv) of the project epitomizes the “receptive generosity” that Scott...
Decolonization and Diaspora
Marc Matera is associate professor of history and codirector of the Center for Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of Black London: The Imperial Metropolis and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century (2015) and coauthor with Susan Kingsley Kent of The Global 1930s: The International Decade (2017).
Marc Matera; Decolonization and Diaspora. History of the Present 1 April 2020; 10 (1): 140–145. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/21599785-8221488
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