Cultures in Babylon

Cultures in Babylon:Feminism from Black Britain to African America

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Twenty-fifth anniversary edition of transatlantic Black feminist classic

Bringing together multi-award-winning author Hazel Carby’s most important and influential essays, Cultures in Babylon addresses the political dilemmas of representing Black women as sexual subjects, considers how far female sexuality is exploited by consumerism, and traces the contradictions Black women in the culture industry navigate. Carby’s writing is invariably sharp and provocative, her political insights shrewd and often against the grain. A powerful intervention, Cultures in Babylon quickly became a standard reference point in debates over race, ethnicity, and gender.


  • At every turn, Carby refuses to tell a tidy or convenient story and instead produces an account of empire that is as expansive as it is heartbreaking.

    Saidiya Hartman
  • Carby disrupts fixed notions of racial identity that contort our understanding of Britain’s colonial and postcolonial history.

    Paul Gilroy, author of Darker Than Blue and The Black Atlantic
  • Hazel Carby is a foundational scholar of race, class, and empire as critical lenses for understanding culture.

    Elizabeth Alexander, author of The Light of the World and American Sublime