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Chapter 23 - Sexual Subjects

from Part IV - Critical Transitions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2020

Ronald Cummings
Affiliation:
Brock University, Ontario
Alison Donnell
Affiliation:
University of East Anglia
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Summary

This essay attends to representations of sexual themes and desires in Caribbean Literatures. It traces the emergence and development of a body of writings that propel both a sense and a politics of place while enacting epistemological and ontological ruptures of the Judeo-Western heteronorms that often frame Caribbean discourses and narratives. We argue that through their particular literary remittances of plural sexual subjectivity to the public archive of Caribbean historical memory, these writers engage in a shared advocacy for the interrogation, removal and dismantling of heteronormativity as the defining framework for contemporary Caribbean discourse. The expansive politics of this writing also shifts the thematic focus away from dominant depictions of Anglophone homophobia and Hispanophone ‘machismo’ to the multiple significances of women’s erotic agencies within the quotidian; the irruptions of transgender and gender nonconforming subjectivities; the performance poetics of transvestism and cross-dressing; and the passionate corporeal reversals of Antillean carnival and masquerade.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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