Celebrating Black History Month in the Romance Languages

Contemporary Black, African, and African diaspora writers across the world are redefining literature and criticism in French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Here are some noteworthy books in their original languages recently acquired by the UC Berkeley Library. Translations into English may also be available for some of the better known.


Please also see the related English literatures post for Black History Month 2024 and the Black History at Cal library research guide.

Il Tolomeo: rivista di studi postcoloniali

Il Tolomeo

Hard to imagine the UC Berkeley Library as one that may soon not be able to afford new journal subscriptions but for better for worse, that’s where we are heading with serials reduction projects such as the one we undertook last year. It’s a good thing thing the open access movement is still gaining traction. It’s also a good thing universities like the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice are boldly choosing to publish their journals and some of their books this way.

Il Tolomeo: rivista di studi postcoloniali first saw the light of day in 1995, thanks to the work of a group of postcolonial scholars at Ca’ Foscari. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles, reviews, interviews, and previously unpublished original contributions in the fields of francophone, anglophone and lusophone literatures. It investigates the postcolonial literary phenomenon in all its manifestations, but is particularly interested in contributions which take a comparative, interdisciplinary approach: dialogues between literature and the arts, investigations of hybrid forms such as comic strips and cinema, research which links literary studies with the social sciences, or innovative approaches such as digital and environmental humanities.

For its next issue, Il Tolomeo invites all interested scholars to send their contributions for the upcoming 2024 issue (no. 26). The issue will be divided into a generalist section (on any theme) and a thematic section dedicated to asylum, refugees and postcolonial literatures. The deadline for submitting complete contributions is May 20, 2024.


Trial: South and Southeast Asian Literature in English (Digital Collection)

South and Southeast Asian Lit

The Library has a trial to the South and Southeast Asian Literature in English digital collection from Alexander Street Press. The trial will run through October 31st, 2018. If the collection is of interest to you, the Library wants to hear from you! Please send your comments and feedback to sreardon@berkeley.edu.

What You’ll Find:

  • Full-text, digitized fiction and poetry written in English by authors from South and Southeast Asia and their Diasporas during the late-colonial and postcolonial eras.
  • Author interviews and manuscript materials.
  • Authors such as Cyril Dabydeen, Ismith Khan, Chitra Fernando, Michael Ondaatje, Romen Basu, Surjeet Kalsey, Romesh Gunesekera, Githa Hariharan, Samuel Dickson Selvon, Gopal Baratham, Alamgir Hashmi, Brian Castro, Husna Azhari, and Zulfikar Ghose.
  • New content on a biweekly basis. The database currently has over 99,890 pages.

The UC Berkeley Library also has temporary trials until November 10, 2018 for the following digital collections from Alexander Street:

We encourage and appreciate feedback regarding these trial resources. Please email sreardon@berkeley.edu.