Anthurium : A Caribbean Studies Journal
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1547-7150
Published by U of Miami [7 journals]
- “When the Details Are No Longer Too Much”: The Embodied
Citizen-Subject in Régine Michelle Jean-Charles’s Conflict Bodies
Authors: Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken
Abstract: Régine Michelle Jean-Charles’s Conflict Bodies: The Politics of Rape Representation in the Francophone Imaginary (2014) is a stunning first book by a dynamic scholar working at the intersection of Africana Studies, Human Rights Studies, and Feminist Studies, not to mention literary studies in French. Jean-Charles’s title “Conflict Bodies” gestures both to the context of "conflict zones" as identified by human rights institutions, and it also refers to how the body of the victim-survivor is at once one that has survived, but whose survival reinscribes the body with new subjectivities, subjectivities that are informed both by the extremely intimate, and by the vastly globalized. In other words, as the fictions, photo essays, memoirs, and cinema analyzed by Jean-Charles demonstrate, rape is not just more visible in the conflict zone, it is literally used as a weapon of war, wars that are officially recognized as such, and wars that take place under the auspices of "peacekeeping" missions. That is, the raped body is one that has recorded a specific “script of violence” (9), which has been generated not by any one perpetrator, but by “the epistemic violence of colonialism and postcolonialism” (Ibid.).
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:48 PST
- Girls, Violence, and Patriarchal Desire in Hispanic Caribbean
Authors: Marisel Moreno
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:44 PST
- The Ethical Imperative of Caribbean Diasporic Writers in Market
Authors: Paula C. Park
Abstract: Review of Elena Machado Sáez, Market Aesthetics: The Purchase of the Past in Caribbean Diasporic Fiction. (Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press, 2015).
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:40 PST
- A Caribbean Continuum of Desire and its Limits
Authors: Elena Machado Saez
Abstract: For a rare and rigorous comparative analysis of how sex and sexuality function “as tools of pleasure and politics” in the Caribbean region and diaspora (1), critics must turn to Rosamond King’s Island Bodies: Transgressive Sexualities in the Caribbean Imagination (2014). King’s monograph is refreshing, not simply because of its focus on the Caribbean continuum of sexuality from the 1970s until the present, but because of its impressive comparative depth in terms of structure and content. The comparative approach adopted by Island Bodies achieves a balanced attention to the Caribbean diaspora and region, while also engaging popular culture, politics, and literature from the Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanophone, and Dutch Caribbean. In addition, King’s comparativism is evident in her focus on “heterosexual and nonheterosexual experiences” (9) while attending to the transgression and restriction of sexuality within the Caribbean imaginary and public discourse. Acknowledging that the ideal Caribbean citizen is defined primarily as a male heteronormative subject, King centers on the production and depiction of four sites of transgression: “unconventional genders, homosexuality, women’s sexual agency, and interracial relationships” (9). Throughout Island Bodies, King thoughtfully engages and builds upon the work of other critics who have contributed substantially to the critical articulation of sexuality studies such as Jacqui Alexander, Jafari Allen, Kamala Kempadoo, and Omise’eke Tinsley.
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:35 PST
- Bringing It All Together: The Creative Process of Artist and Writer
Authors: Loretta Collins Klobah
Abstract: Jacqueline Bishop is an incredibly prolific writer and bold visual artist who works in various literary genres (poetry, flash fiction, short story, essay, novel, blog, interviews) and visual arts (painting, drawing, photography, collage, appliqué, quilt-making, weaving, embroidery, video-making, etc.). She has said that her latest publication is most representative of her, out of all of her published works, because as a hybrid text; it directly speaks to, addresses, and illustrates her exciting across-genre work. In the substantial interview “Bringing It All Together: The Creative Process of Artist and Writer Jacqueline Bishop ,” Bishop responds to questions about her recently published multi-genre, award-winning book that includes provocative short short stories, essays and interviews. Tracing her writing and visual arts projects to various thematic and social concerns, she also recounts her childhood memories of Kingston and Nonsuch, Jamaica, as well as how the textile artistry of her great grandmother, grandmother and mother, continue to figure in and influence her diverse artistic output. Moreover, she discusses her mentors and her development as a Jamaican writer and artist located in New York, who is involved in multiple international projects. Other themes explored include the experiences of women, female sexual desire, the importance of including child characters in her writing, her recurrent references to memory, landscape and vegetation in writing and art, the impact of travel to France, Turkey and Morocco on her work, and several of her current visual arts projects.
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:30 PST
- The Anxiety of Racialized Sexuality in Jean Rhys
Authors: Yanoula Athanassakis
Abstract: This article centers on Dominican-born Jean Rhys’s novel Good Morning, Midnight (1939). Rhys’s West Indian roots are often referenced and Anglicized both in terms of, and because of, her engagement with Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (vis-à-vis Wide Sargasso Sea). I argue that Good Morning, Midnight’s protagonist, Sasha Jensen, refracts the uniquely Caribbean experience of dislocation through the modernist aesthetic of detachment. Good Morning, Midnight is the last book in a series of four that Rhys published in a period of eleven years after World War I. The disturbingly ambiguous nature of her characters reveal the complex intersectionality of race and gender in “foreign” bodies and the ways that Rhys searched to recalibrate the discourse of colonial modernism.Jean Rhys’s fiction features disjointed, hybrid, and fractured female characters that seem to lack any type of agency, but are champions of survival. Without discounting Rhys’s seminal contribution to Caribbean women’s literature (largely through Wide Sargasso Sea), her oeuvre demands a deeper engagement. Rhys’s female protagonists refuse to comply with networks of power outside of their control. Their movement signals an implicit critique of unjust hegemonic structures (patriarchal and colonial) and foreshadows recent developments in postcolonial feminist studies.
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:25 PST
- To Be Dragon and Man: The Cultural Politics of Carnival in Earl
Lovelace’s The Dragon Can’t Dance
Authors: Richard McGuire
Abstract: This paper argues that it is important to realise that Trinidadian author Earl Lovelace’s 1979 novel The Dragon Can’t Dance presents an implicit but identifiable stratigraphic history of Trinidadian carnival practices in formal, social and political development, from European and African origins, through the colonial era, to independence in 1962 and beyond. To be able to identify how Lovelace relates the political development of Trinidadian carnival is to be positioned to analyse, crucially, why his novel presents its main narrative as detailing in particular with a crisis of social and cultural politics in post-independence, contemporary Trinidad from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. To understand why the titular dragon of Lovelace’s novel cannot dance come the text’s conclusion, and why Lovelace wishes to indicate that the cessation of the dance is so telling about changes and even fractures in Trinidadian society, one needs to know via historicist close reading what that dance had once meant politically to the people of Trinidad as a voice of collective self-identification.In other words, once one understands the novel’s colonial-era historical contexts, surrounding representations of carnival’s cultural politics as a means of communal anti-colonial rebellion, one is better placed to realise the political force of the novel’s depictions of carnival’s declining radical potentiality in the independence era. One perceives much more fully the pertinence of Lovelace’s portrayal of how post-independence competitive economics have begun to supplant the old anti-colonial Trinidadian doctrine, once celebrated so vibrantly in raucous street festivity, of ‘All o’ we is one’.
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:20 PST
- The Trope of Flattening and the Complexities of Difference: An Account of
Authors: Nanette De Jong et al.
Abstract: This paper critiques the position of flattening as an alternative way to map and analyse power structures in Trinidad Carnival. As will be argued, traditional hierarchies of meaning and value invert in Carnival, with participants using masquerade and the visual arts to perform and critique the contradictions of Trinidad society, and to make or unmake categories of difference. Flattening, as the authors argue, is particularly well suited when speaking about Carnival, whose cultural frames are constantly blurred, stretched, erased or redrawn, and where distortions of social and cultural distinctions are realised visually. Furthermore, flattening emphasises the elasticity and fluidity that often confounds notions of difference; and it captures the experiences of fragmentation and flux that are central to displays of difference at Carnival. The selected case studies introduced in this paper draw on diverse visual accounts. Such an analysis enables an opportunity to view Trinidad Carnival as a localised social representation of difference, suggesting a blurring of identity conventions in Carnival that offers an opportunity not only to scrutinise social change in Trinidad but also to assess the meaning of social change in the Caribbean more broadly.
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:15 PST
- Smoke and Mirrors: Generic Manipulation and Doubling in Dancing to
Authors: Amanda Ruth Waugh Lagji
Abstract: This paper explores Mayra Montero’s novel Dancing to “Almendra” as a specifically postcolonial revision of the classic detective novel. Through an examination of the novel’s generic characteristics, I argue that elements that might be at first considered mere postmodern play—the conflation of the real and the performed or the illusion, anachronistic film references, the implantation of historical figures and cinematic personas alike into an otherwise fictional detective narrative—serves the novel’s socially committed, political critique. The doubling and smoke and mirrors that structure the novel ultimately serve to show the truth more clearly, as the postmodern play of performance, smoke, and mirrors breaks down only when confronted with the mutilated body and, by extension, Havana’s political landscape on the brink of revolution.
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:10 PST
- The Rhyming Irons of Abdur-Rahman Slade Hopkinson
Authors: Paul Thifault
Abstract: Despite being a highly respected member of the Brathwaite-Walcott generation, Abdur-Rahman Slade Hopkinson has received only passing attention from scholars of West Indian literature. In an attempt to foster greater appreciation for a Caribbean artist recently dubbed “the forgotten poet” in his native Guyana, this article uncovers an organizing principle running through Snowscape with Signature (1993), a substantial posthumous selection of Hopkinson's poems that includes both secular and religious verses. The defining characteristic of Hopkinson’s poetry, I argue, involves his careful imbrication of competing notions of poetry as, on the one hand, a space for transcendent aesthetics and, on the other hand, an arena for socio-economic critique. Focusing on poems that are most explicitly about the act of writing poetry, this essay charts Hopkinson’s efforts to work through the familiar predicaments of the postcolonial artist through a distinct and formally imaginative process of invoking and complicating forms and ideas associated with the “Western Tradition.”
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:06 PST
- Maps of Intimate and Institutional Change in Merle Collins’s Angel and
Oonya Kempadoo’s Tide Running
Authors: Clare M. Sigrist
Abstract: This article reads Merle Collins’s Angel and Oonya Kempadoo’s Tide Running for their narration of social transformations within their characters lived experience. Comparing these two different novels allows this paper to think change both within and beyond the dramatic moments of revolutionary change and against theories of change that primarily limit themselves to large structural forces, such as sex tourism and the U.S. media, and their effects. I propose Angel acts as a map of and toward social transformation, while Tide Running acts as an anti-map, a source of disorientation that prompts better wayfinding. Through the family structure Angel critiques the type of change the revolution enacted while showing the way toward a vision of more gradualist change by depicting its analogical correlate in the emotional labor its characters perform within their family relationships. This emotional education parallels the antiracist education Angel receives, and in many ways brings Angel into the genre of the bildungsroman. Within the comparative framework of this study, Tide Running is seen as challenging the emancipatory trajectory of the bildungsroman, because its character is illiterate and the discrimination he experiences comes in the form of microaggressions that are less easily identified and, therefore, having effects that are less easily unlearned. In removing a narration of Cliff’s interiority at the crucial moment in the plot where he is implicated in theft, Tide Running turns the bildungsroman’s educative trajectory out onto the reader. Its plot implicates the reader’s own readerly software that would lead to a racial profiling of Cliff. The article closes by speculating about the possible effects different temporal approaches can have on novels that engage the politics of social change and for the readers who experience them.
PubDate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:16:02 PST
- Memories and Temporalities of Revolution: Shalini Puri's The Grenada
Revolution in the Caribbean Present and David Scott's Omens of
Authors: Laurie R. Lambert
Abstract: Review of Shalini Puri, The Grenada Revolution in the Caribbean Present: Operation Urgent Memory and David Scott, Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice.
PubDate: Fri, 06 May 2016 20:26:55 PDT
- Negritude Revived: Gary Wilder on the Postcolonial Politics of Aimé
Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor
Authors: Roxanna N. Curto
Abstract: Review of Gary Wilder, Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World.
PubDate: Fri, 06 May 2016 20:26:47 PDT
- Dramatic Beginnings of The Black Jacobins
Authors: Rachel Douglas
Abstract: Review of Christian Høgsbjerg, ed., C.L.R. James, Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in HistoryUntil recently, one little-known fact about C.L.R. James's famous Haitian revolution-based The Black Jacobins project was that it both began and ended life as a play, bookending the first and last editions of his classic history. It would be hard to overstate the importance of Christian Høgsbjerg's new critical edition of C.L.R. James's Toussaint Louverture because it makes widely available in published form for the first time the script of the elusive first play. For want of this playtext util 2013, James's completely different 1967 second play The Black Jacobins had been read as the 1936 play, and even billed as such when published. Inspired by the critical edition of Toussaint Louverture, I comment on a set of fascinating variants made in James's own distinctive hand to one script of the first play.
PubDate: Fri, 06 May 2016 20:26:39 PDT
- Pan-Caribbean Synecdoche: Coloniality and the Haitian Revolution
Authors: Natalie Marie Léger
Abstract: Review of Víctor Figueroa, Prophetic Visions of the Past: Pan-Caribbean Representations of the Haitian Revolution.
PubDate: Fri, 06 May 2016 20:26:32 PDT
- Sex and the State: Unbecoming Property in Deborah Jenson’s Early
Authors: Kate Simpkins
Abstract: Review of Deborah Jenson, Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution.
PubDate: Fri, 06 May 2016 20:26:25 PDT
- C. L. R. James, the Revolutionary Left in Imperial Britain, and the
Archives of Decolonization
Authors: Marc Matera
Abstract: Review of Christian Høgsbjerg. C. L. R. James in Imperial Britain.
PubDate: Fri, 06 May 2016 20:26:17 PDT
- Recovering the Afro-Metropolis Before Windrush
Authors: Christian John Høgsbjerg
Abstract: Review of Marc Matera, Black London: The Imperial Metropolis and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century, a wide-ranging historical overview of the small but significant African and Afro-Caribbean presence in London from the 1920s to the 1940s.
PubDate: Fri, 06 May 2016 20:26:09 PDT
- George Padmore and Modernity in the Postcolony: Leslie James’s George
Padmore and Decolonization from Below
Authors: Minkah Makalani
Abstract: Review of Leslie James, George Padmore and Decolonization from Below: Pan-Africanism, the Cold War, and the End of Empire
PubDate: Fri, 06 May 2016 20:26:01 PDT