New Book: “Buyers Beware”

Patricia Saunders recently celebrated the launch of her new book Buyers Beware: Insurgency and Consumption in Caribbean Popular Culture (Rutgers University press) at the Trinidad & Tobago Writers Centre in St. Clair, Port-of-Spain. About the book, Mimi Sheller (author of Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies) writes: “In a profound rethinking of free markets and practices of consumption, Patricia Saunders offers one of the most astute cultural interpretations yet of how the most economically dispossessed not only participate in consumer culture but reshape it for their own ends. Buyers Beware stunningly shows how ‘insurgent cultural representations’ can shake the roots of oppression, challenge critical theory, and unsettle the circuits of global capital—while getting the goods.”

Description: Buyers Beware offers a new perspective for critical inquiries about the practices of consumption in (and of) Caribbean popular culture. The book revisits commonly accepted representations of the Caribbean from “less respectable” segments of popular culture such as dancehall culture and ‘sistah lit’ that proudly jettison any aspirations toward middle-class respectability. Treating these pop cultural texts and phenomena with the same critical attention as dominant mass cultural representations of the region allows Patricia Joan Saunders to read them against the grain and consider whether and how their “pulp” preoccupation with contemporary fashion, music, sex, fast food, and television, is instructive for how race, class, gender, sexuality and national politics are constructed, performed, interpreted, disseminated and consumed from within the Caribbean.

PATRICIA JOAN SAUNDERS is an associate professor of English at the University of Miami and a senior editor of Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal. She is the author of Alienation and Repatriation: Translating Identity in Anglophone Caribbean Literature.

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