Eze, Chielozona Books
Dr. Chielozona Eze is Assistant Professor of English at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. He obtained his Ph.D. from the English/Philosophy program at Purdue University. Dr. Eze has been global fellow and visiting Assistant Professor at UCLA.2005 0-7734-6020-9
This book discusses the nature of culture in a global era. In our era of increasing disjuncture and disparity, a new understanding of culture is needed to aid us in bridging ethnic and religious gaps. Alain Locke (1885-1994) believed that it was possible to attain world peace and order without one group of people imposing itself on the others. To achieve this, he gave a new definition of culture and society, which the author calls transcultural. This book explores Alain Locke’s ideas and how he anticipated transcultural societies as a means of attaining world peace and order.
Transculturality describes primarily the process through which cultures intermix with and borrow from one another; it describes the latent, steady transformation of an idea from place of birth to elsewhere until it no longer recognizes or belongs exclusively to that place of birth. It is Elvis Presley taking Rock and Roll out of the Black ghetto, or Eminem “whitewashing” rap; it is Dave Brubeck handling jazz as ingeniously as Seiji Ozawa conducts Beethoven’s Ode to Joy; it is the Apostle Paul taking Christianity out of its Jewish origins unto the Gentile world. Whenever an idea is denaturalized, taken out of its nativity, it no longer belongs specifically to that place; it crosses boundaries, aiming to become universal.
Transculturality is a relatively new term in cultural discourse. Alain Locke never used it, yet his life and his works all point to and derive their force from the believe that cultures are not tied to some form of life that already exists and is always defined by reference to some kind of essence. Races and cultures are not constants. Rather, they are variables; they are ‘important aspects of human society.’ Races and cultures originate in time and are born out of continuous interpenetration into and merging with others.