New Book: Sex and the Citizen / Interrogating the Caribbean

Sex and the Citizen: Interrogating the Caribbean, edited by Faith Smith, was just published this April 2011 by University of Virginia Press and launched last week (June 2) at the Caribbean Studies Association Book Launch in Willemstad, Curaçao.

Contributors to this volume are 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, and M. S. Worrell.

Description: 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.

Faith Smith holds a PhD from Duke University. She is associate professor of English at Brandeis University, where she specializes in intellectual and literary history of the Anglophone Caribbean; popular culture; gender and sexuality; African diaspora aesthetics; African American literature; and postcolonial literature. She is also the author of Creole Recitations: John Jacob Thomas and Colonial Formation in the Late 19th-Century Caribbean, University of Virginia Press (2002).

For purchasing information, see

2 thoughts on “New Book: Sex and the Citizen / Interrogating the Caribbean

  1. Les martiniquais vivent une sexualité aussi cahotique que l’impact du métissage . On ne sait plus s’il faut allier choix sexuels et vie politique ou éteindre une partie de nos plaisirs face à la force de l’éducation , à son image dans la société . Quel esclavage!

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