This essay examines the role played by George Beckford in grappling critically with the complicated legacy of the plantation system. It focuses on the transition from his role in the New World group to his participation in the Abeng newspaper group in Jamaica, in 1969. The essay argues that it was Beckford's participation in the Abeng group that helped to pave the way for his expanded concept of dispossession as well as his concept of the culture of dread. The essay examines how this twin set of concepts displaced the dominant New World theoretical model of dependency.
Robert A. Hill has been a professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles since 1977, before which he taught at Dartmouth College and Northwestern University. He moved to America from Jamaica in 1971 and was a senior fellow at the Institute of the Black World in Atlanta. He is the editor-in-chief of The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers (1983–), ten volumes of which have been published thus far by the University of California Press. He served as executive consultant in the making of the PBS-WGBH documentary film, “Look for Me in the Whirlwind: Marcus Garvey,” for theAmerican Experience series in 2001. He is also the editor of numerous historical editions, among them Marcus Garvey’s Black Man, Cyril Briggs’ Crusader, The FBI’s RACON, and George S. Schuyler’s Black Empire and Ethiopian Stories. He is the literary executor of the C.L.R. James Estate. In October 1992, he was awarded the Gold Musgrave Medal of the Institute of Jamaica for Distinguished Contribution to History.
Many parts of the Caribbean region are being respatialized, rescaled and reterritorialized through processes of neoliberal development, intraregional and international mobility, and complex spatial restructuring of physical infrastructures and virtual realities. Drawing on the sociology of mobilities and space, this article suggests that changes in technologies of transportation and communication, media discourses, and cultural performances of travel within recent regimes of neoliberal governance and regulation are contributing to new ways of developing, curating and staging neocolonial fantasies of the untouched Caribbean paradise.
Mimi Sheller is Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Swarthmore College; Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University (UK); co-editor of the journal Mobilities; and former chair of the Society for Caribbean Studies. She is the author ofDemocracy After Slavery: Black Publics and Peasant Radicalism in Haiti and Jamaica (2000), and Consuming the Caribbean (2003); co-editor (with John Urry) ofTourism Mobilities: Places to Play, Places in Play (2004), and Mobile Technologies of the City (2006); and co-editor with Sara Ahmed et al. of Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration (2003). She recently completed a book entitled “Citizenship from Below” and is currently writing one on Caribbean mobilities.
This essay examines public discussions around skin bleaching in Jamaica and demonstrates that a discourse of pathology is a dominant frame of meaning used to explain this practice. I argue that the practice of bleaching destabilizes popular conceptions of blackness that rely on an understanding of the body as immutable and naturally marked by race. Depicting skin bleaching as pathological attempts to recenter hegemonic conceptions of blackness and to discipline bodies so that they adhere to them.
Winnifred Brown-Glaude is an assistant professor in Africana studies at SUNY-Stony Brook. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “Dis/orderly Women: Bodies, Public Space and Women’s Informal Work in Jamaica” that examines the experiences of Jamaican higglers in the informal economy of Kingston. Her edited volume, Doing Diversity in Higher Education: Faculty Share Strategies and Challenges (forthcoming, Rutgers University Press), examines how faculty members at North American universities confront racial and gender inequities on their campuses.
This essay argues that Jamaican-American Michelle Cliff's writing should be understood within a new interpretive framework which sees post-independence Caribbean literature as inheriting gendered and raced legacies of Romantic nationalism. While Cliff's early work shows the appeal of Romantic nationalism as a means of establishing national authenticity, her later work demonstrates how these norms, when transmitted to postcolonial black nationalism, displace more complex notions of national identity that take into account racial, sexual, and cultural hybridity.
Jocelyn Fenton Stitt is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include the intertwining of the familial and the imperial in the Anglophone Caribbean and the United Kingdom from the nineteenth century to the present. Her dissertation was titled “Gender in the Contact Zone: Writing the Colonial Family in Romantic-era and Caribbean Literature.” She teaches graduateand undergraduate courses on global feminism, the African diaspora, and feminist mothering. With Pallavi Rastogi, she is co-editing Before Windrush: Recovering a Black and Asian Literary Heritage within Britain, 1750–1948, forthcoming in 2008.
This paper examines the Intuitives concept and the controversies that have surrounded this artistic genre in Jamaica. It argues that Intuitive art, as it has been defined by the National Gallery of Jamaica, constitutes a specialized canon within the national canons, rather than an alternative to Primitive or Naïve. While its reliance on notions of purity and autonomy are unwittingly Primitivist, the concept has given legitimacy to the artists and allowed them to produce work that would otherwise never have existed.
Veerle Poupeye is a Belgium-born, Jamaica-based art historian who specializes in Caribbean art. Her publications include Caribbean Art (1998), which appeared in Thames and Hudson’s World of Art series, and Modern Jamaican Art (1998), which she co-authored with David Boxer. She has been a curator at the National Gallery of Jamaica and has taught at the Edna Manley College, Emory University and New York University. She is currently a research fellow at the Edna Manley College, while completing her doctoral dissertation at Emory University.
Alanna Lockward has been interacting with a variety of artistic initiatives since the mid 1980s. As a performing artist and promoter of the visual arts community of Guadalajara, Mexico, she has organized happenings and exhibitions there as she did later in Santo Domingo, where she was appointed Director of International Affairs of the Museo de Arte Moderno. Having obtained her MB at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Unidad—Xochimilco (UAM-X) in Mexico City in Communications Science and her Master of Fine Arts in Art in Context from the University of the Arts, Berlin, she is currently writing a dissertation, “Constructions of Blackness in Der Tagesspiegel (Daily Mirror) 2004/2006,” at the Faculty of Philosophy at the Humboldt University, Berlin.
Myriam J.A. Chancy is a Haitian-born Canadian writer. Her first novel, Spirit of Haiti (2003), was a finalist in the Best First Book Category, Canada/Caribbean region of the Commonwealth Prize 2004, and her second, The Scorpion’s Claw was released in 2005. She is also the author of two books of literary criticism, Framing Silence: Revolutionary Novels by Haitian Women (1997); and Searching for Safe Spaces: Afro-Caribbean Women Writers in Exile (1997), [End Page 167] which was awarded an Outstanding Academic Book Award 1998 by Choice, the journal of the American Library Association. She is a former editor-in-chief of the journalMeridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism. She has taught at Arizona State University, Smith College, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and will join the English department at Louisiana State University in Fall 2007.
Nicole Awai is a Trinidadian multi-media artist who lives and works in New York City. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in multi-media art at the University of South Florida in 1996 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture residency in 1997. She was artist in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem (1999–2000) and the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning in 2004. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, at PS1 Contemporary Art Institute, the Queens Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Salvador Dali Museum, the Biennial of Ceramics in Contemporary Art in Savona, Italy, and at the Artist Commune in Hong Kong. She was the featured artist in the Initial Public Offering series at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2005. Her work will be included in the exhibition Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art at the Brooklyn Museum from 31 August 2007 through January 2008.
This essay explores the expansion of Jacqui Alexander's earlier concept of erotic autonomy through the motif of the Sacred in her new book, and her articulation of what could be described as a Caribbean feminist ethic that demands radical self-determination exercised within self and community and a collectivized vision-making that is not circumscribed by feminist engagement with the state.
Tracy Robinson is a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. She is the author of a number of essays including “Fictions of Citizenship: Bodies without Sex and the Effacement of Gender in Law,” which appeared in Small Axe 7 (March 1998).
This essay discusses Jacqui Alexander's Pedagogies of Crossing as framing an analysis of the curtailment of erotic autonomy in the United States and the Caribbean, the failures of liberal feminism and academia, and the propensity for military intervention, with an examination of the possibilities offered by the sacred.
Faith Smith chairs the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is the author of Creole Recitations: John Jacob Thomas and Colonial Formations in the Late Nineteenth Century Caribbean (2002), and is editing a collection of essays entitled “Sex and the Citizen: Interrogating the Circum-Caribbean.”
In this paper I examine Jacqui Alexander's Pedagogies of Crossing in order to consider the interdisciplinary synergies that might be realized through a practice of knowledge production which bridges the metaphysical and the material. While the text encourages us to pursue the Sacred in our various academic and activist locations, I build on this deployment of the Sacred to argue for a feminist pedagogy of the erotic as a form of liberatory politics within Women's Studies.
Michelle Rowley is Assistant Professor in the Women’s Studies Department at the University of Maryland. Her research interests address issues of feminist pedagogy, Afro-Caribbean maternal representations, and welfare as well as state responses to questions of Caribbean women’s reproductive health and well-being. Her publications include “When the Post-Colonial State Bureaucratizes Gender: Trinidadian Women’s Centrality Within the Margins” published in Barbara Bailey and Elsa Leo Rhynie (eds) Gender in the 21st Century, Caribbean Perspectives, Visions and Possibilities (2004); “A Feminist Oxymoron: Globally Gender Conscious Development” in Eudine Barriteau (ed) Confronting Power, Theorizing Gender: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in the Caribbean (2003); and “Crafting Maternal Citizens? Public Discourses of the ‘Maternal Scourge’ in Social Welfare Policies and Services in Trinidad,” Social and Economic Studies 52, no. 3 (September 2003).
This essay stages a meeting among the authors of the three reflections on Pedagogies of Crossings. Using danger and desire as the tropes of entry, it returns to Pedagogiesby way of wrestling with their most salient preoccupations: the need for a visible pedagogy of the erotic; the importance of bringing sex to our engagement of the erotic and to our experience of the Sacred; and the urgency of addressing the analytic and political fissures between Caribbean feminists at home and those abroad. It ends by underscoring the need for a collective politics that re-imagines our deep yearnings to live sovereign lives.
M. Jacqui Alexander is Professor of Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. She is the author of a number of path-breaking essays, the co-editor (with Chandra Mohanty) of Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures (1997), and the author of Pedagogies of Crossing: Meditations on Feminism, Sexual Politics, Memory and the Sacred (2005). She is currently at work on two projects: one that continues writing the life of Kitsimba (the character she develops in Pedagogies); the other examines the effects of globalization on the spiritual practices of Indigenous and African women and women of African descent.