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Exceptional Violence

Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica

Deborah Thomas

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: Duke University Press


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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xiii

This project began as my first book, Modern Blackness, was being launched in late 2004. On the morning of my first public reading, I glanced through the Jamaica Observer—one of Jamaica’s daily newspapers—and saw the first article about the gang war that was taking over the community in...

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Introduction Moving Bodies

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pp. 1-22

I have tried not to write about violence. It is an old clich

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1. Dead Bodies, 2004–2005

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pp. 23-52

Early in the morning on Good Friday in 2005, I received the phone call that Jamaicans—both those living “on the rock” and those overseas—dread. “Deborah, it’s Winsome.” Winsome was my closest friend in Jacks Hill during the longest period of my fieldwork in the mid- 1990s. We have...

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2. Deviant Bodies, 2005/1945

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pp. 53-86

On 5 October 2005, several armed men firebombed a dwelling in southwest St. Andrew near downtown Kingston, possibly in reprisal for an earlier incident that had occurred as part of a feud between men from two areas in the district. Four people were killed in the blaze; they were unable to...

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3. Spectacular Bodies, 1816/2007

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pp. 87-124

Early colonial Jamaica was much more than a failed settler society; it was an abundant garden of power and terror. Demographic turmoil, rather than terminating social development and stifling cultural practice, was a seedbed for particular forms of...

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4. Public Bodies, 2003

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pp. 125-172

Chapter 3 outlined some of the parameters for a discussion of the relationships between culture and history, culture and policy, and culture and memory. In this chapter, I turn more explicitly to the realm of representation. Rather than focusing on representations of slavery, however, I will be preoccupied...

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5. Resurrected Bodies, 1963/2007

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pp. 173-220

“Rastas on Rampage in MoBay—Eight Persons Killed.” So screamed the headline of Jamaica’s daily afternoon paper, the Star, on 11 April 1963. Two days, later the...

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Coda Repairing Bodies

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pp. 221-238

Reparations to victims of slavery, the slave trade, and colonialism and their descendants should be in the form of enhanced policies, programmes and measures at the national and international level to be contributed to by States, companies and individuals who benefited materially from these practices, in order to compensate, and repair, the economic, cultural, and political damage which...


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pp. 239-256


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pp. 257-288


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pp. 289-298

E-ISBN-13: 9780822394556
E-ISBN-10: 0822394553
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822350682
Print-ISBN-10: 0822350688

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2011