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Sex and the Citizen

Interrogating the Caribbean

ed. Faith Smith

Publication Year: 2011

This multi-disciplinary collection of essays draws on current anxieties about "legitimate" sexual identities and practices across the Caribbean to explore both the impact of globalization and the legacy of the region's history of sexual exploitation during colonialism and slavery.

Published by: University of Virginia Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vii

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pp. ix

This book has been a long time in the making, so first I must express my gratitude to the contributors who stayed the course and those who did not for their patience and goodwill. Audiences at Duke University, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, the "Conversations on Caribbean Transnational and Diasporic Feminisms" seminar organized by York and Toronto universities, the "Re-routing Diaspora" seminar at the ...

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Introduction: Sexing the Citizen

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pp. 1-17

What does it mean to be Caribe, Antillais, West Indian, Kréyol, Kwéyòl, Créole, Creole, and why are responses to this question tied so insistently to the sexed bodies, practices, and identities of the region's people? The contributors to this volume address this question by looking across the Caribbean, including its extended diasporic and coastal parameters. ...

Contemporary Package Deals

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Buyers Beware,"Hoodwinking" on the Rise Epistemologies of Consumption in Terry McMillan's Caribbean

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pp. 21-36

In Consuming the Caribbean Mimi Sheller analyzes the patterns and ethics involved in consuming commodities from the Caribbean. She argues that the ethics of consumerism has far-reaching implications that stretch from the tables of Europeans to sugar plantations in the Caribbean and to the countries in Africa where human beings were stolen and brought ...

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"Nobody Ent Billing Me": A U.S./Caribbean Intertextual, Intercultural Call-and-Response

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pp. 37-52

On the Caribbean island nation of Barbados there is a place called Farley Hill. Farley Hill is a windswept landscape perched on one of the highest points on the island. From there, unlike from most locations on the island, you cannot hear but you can see the sea. The trees of Farley Hill are never still, and it is cool and dark, even at noon. Beyond the trees, there ...

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Novel Insights: Sex Work, Secrets, and Depression in Angie Cruz's Soledad

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pp. 53-71

This essay examines contemporary Caribbean women's writings to consider their novel insights about sexuality and female citizenship. The ethos of this fiction articulates a feminist poetics that I define as antiromance, which writes beyond the conciliatory happy ending by foregrounding the intimate lives of Caribbean women and girls to underscore ...

Diasporic Citizenship

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Against the Rules of Blackness: Hilton Als's The Women and Jamaica Kincaid's My Brother (Or How to Raise Black Queer Kids)

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pp. 75-98

The title of this essay pays homage in part to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's 1991 essay "How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay." Sedgwick's essay is a reading of revisionary psychoanalysis and psychiatry in the post-DSM III excision of homosexuality as pathology. She argues that the attempt to normalize adult homosexual bodies is simultaneously an attempt to render ...

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Francophone Caribbean Women Writers: Rethinking Identity, Sexuality, and Citizenship

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pp. 87-100

In a number of recent articles, I have examined the implications of age, space, and gender for the postcolonial Francophone novel. Notably, in "Francophone Women Writers in France in the Nineties" I look at Francophone women authors and what it means to be writing a postcolonial ...

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Indian Nationalism and Female Sexuality: A Trinidadian Tale

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pp. 101-124

The otherness of the Indian, or sometimes "Eastern," female body is a common enough trope in Orientalisms of various kinds and has been the focus of much postcolonial feminist theoretical intervention in recent years. A more central preoccupation among feminists in India in the last decade or two has been to understand the gendered nature of our ...

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Caribbean Migrations: Negotiating Borders

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pp. 125-135

In her study What Women Lose, María Cristina Rodríguez unpacks literary accounts of migration--what Alison Donnell calls the condition of "elsewhereness" ("What It Means to Stay")--by Caribbean women writers. However, it is increasingly tricky to distinguish between Caribbean and migrant or diasporic Caribbean writers, since ...

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Reflections on She Web

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pp. 136-140

In 2000 I was invited to contribute images of my artwork to Small Axe, then published by the University of the West Indies Press in Kingston, Jamaica, for a special issue entitled "Genders and Sexualities." I was excited about being included, and I looked forward to seeing the result of this kind of collaboration. ...

Desiring Subjects and Modernity

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Threatening Sexual (Mis)Behavior Homosexuality in the Penal Code Debates in Trinidad and Tobago, 1986

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pp. 143-156

Sexual behaviors and their organization have been subjected to serious contestation since the 1980s in legal terrains of states in the global south. Scholars of challenges faced by postcolonial societies have demonstrated how definitions of the reproductive and sexual roles of (especially female) citizens in "state" texts, such as constitutions and other law codes, ...

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Sexual Awakenings and the Malignant Fictions of Masculinity in Alfonso Cuarón's Y tu mamá también

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pp. 157-167

In "The Truth of Fiction" Chinua Achebe contends that the human desire and capacity for fiction can emancipate us from orthodox ideological enslavement and recalcitrant literal-mindedness (141, 151). Although Achebe articulates the epistemological and ethical merits of the art of fiction, he contends that the gulf between being and knowing necessitates ...

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Living and Loving: Emancipating the Caribbean Queer Citizen in Shani Mootoo's Cereus Blooms at Night

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pp. 168-180

Published in 1998, Shani Mootoo's Cereus Blooms at Night intertexts both with Caribbean literary works and with the political and ethical debates relating to the regulation of Caribbean sexualities in disturbing and yet productive ways. The text issues a roll call to some of the most sensitive issues around sexuality in the ...

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Le Jeu de Qui?: Sexual Politics at Play in the French Caribbean

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pp. 181-198

In April 2007 the Paris-based gay magazine Têtu published an article by Martin Barzilai provocatively titled "La douleur des makoumés: Homophobie en Martinique" ( The sorrow of the faggots: homophobia in Martinique).1 The piece appears under a photograph of black male bodies, shown from the neck down, in motion, presumably dancing. They are ...

Reimagining Pasts and Futures

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Our Imagined Lives

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pp. 201-213

A pressing demand of Caribbean feminism now, I believe, and I am speaking particularly to the English-speaking Caribbean, is to mark out as we see them the shapes of women's imagined lives. If the contemporary Caribbean is, as I have suggested elsewhere (see "Fictions"), mired by fictions of women's citizenship, then in addition to, and not at the expense ...

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New Citizens, New Sexualities: Nineteenth-Century Jamettes

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pp. 214-223

The abolition of chattel slavery caused upheaval everywhere and every time it happened, literally creating new citizens out of people previously categorized as property. This was certainly the case in Trinidad when emancipation became official in 1834. By the late nineteenth century the transformation of Trinidadian colonial society was well under way, with ...

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Macocotte: An Exploration of Same-Sex Friendship in Selected Caribbean Novels

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pp. 224-240

In St. Lucia, Martinique, and Dominica the intense friendship shared by young adolescent girls is typically described as a macocotte relationship.1 This relationship is characterized by exclusivity, devotion, and intense emotional passion. Best friends, secrets-sharing and inseparable, the young girls demonstrate the intensity of their affection through constant ...

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What Is a Uma?: Women Performing Gender and Sexuality in Paramaribo, Suriname

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pp. 241-250

"So yu tel, mi tel, so tel di huol a wi fain out se a di wan stuori wi a tel: Uman stori. Di siem ting uova and uova. Bot it no iizi fi get op tel piil yu bizniz na!" writes Carolyn Cooper in her description of the work of the Jamaican theater collective Sistren (Noises 91). Published in her 1993 monograph Noises in the Blood, this innovative Jamaican-language essay ...

Colonial Girl: And What Would It Be Like

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pp. 251-255


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pp. 257-284

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 285-287


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pp. 289-292

E-ISBN-13: 9780813931326
E-ISBN-10: 0813931320
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813931128
Print-ISBN-10: 0813931126

Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 3 halftones
Publication Year: 2011