Sex and the Citizen
Interrogating the Caribbean
edited by Faith Smith
Sex and the Citizen is a multidisciplinary collection of essays that 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, slavery, and indentureship. Speaking from within but also challenging the assumptions of feminism, literary and cultural studies, and queer studies, this volume questions prevailing oppositions between the backward, homophobic nation-state and the laid-back, service-with-a-smile paradise or between giving in ignominiously to the autocratic demands of the global north and equating postcolonial sovereignty with a "wholesome" heterosexual citizenry.
The contributors use parliamentary legislation, novels, film, and other texts to examine Martinique’s relationship to France; the diasporic relationships between the Dominican Republic and New York City, between India and Trinidad, and between Mexico’s capital city and its Caribbean coast; "indigenous" names for sexual practices and desires in Suriname and the Eastern Caribbean; and other topics. This volume will appeal to readers interested in how sex has become an important register for considerations of citizenship, personal and political autonomy, and identity in the Caribbean and the global south.
Contributors: Vanessa Agard-Jones * Odile Cazenave * Michelle Cliff * Susan Dayal * Alison Donnell * Donette Francis * Carmen Gillespie* Rosamond S. King * Antonia MacDonald-Smythe * Tejaswini Niranjana * Evelyn O’Callaghan * Tracy Robinson * Patricia Saunders * Yasmin Tambiah * Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley * Rinaldo Walcott * M. S. Worrell
Sex and the Citizen is an extremely important contribution to the fields of Caribbean studies and gender/sexuality studies. While there has been quite a lot of work on gender in Caribbean studies, attention to sexuality has been more recent, in part because of the imposed silences upon transgressive sexualities that disturb nationalist renderings of postcolonial Caribbean societies. Tackling this topic from a range of disciplinary sites including law, cultural studies, and sociology as well as literary theory, Sex and the Citizen offers critical and original perspectives. People are hungry for this sort of analysis, and it is a much-needed critical intervention both in terms of work on nationalism in the Caribbean and in terms of sexuality studies."
Faith Smith is Associate Professor in the departments of African and Afro-American Studies and English and American Literature, with appointments in the Latin American and Latino Studies and Women and Gender Studies programs at Brandeis University. She is the author of Creole Recitations: John Jacob Thomas and Colonial Formation in the Late Nineteenth-Century Caribbean (Virginia).