This book argues that the Caribbean frontier, usually assumed to have been eclipsed after colonial conquest, remains a powerful but unrecognized element of Caribbean island culture. Combining analytical and creative genres of writing, it explores historical and contemporary patterns of frontier change through a case study of the little-known Eastern Caribbean multi-island state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Modern frontier traits are located in the wandering woodcutter, the squatter on government land and the mountainside ganja grower. But the frontier is also identified as part of global production that has shaped island tourism, the financial sector and patterns of migration.
This book develops a theory of a Caribbean-Atlantic imaginary by exploring the ways two colonial texts represent the consciousnesses of Amerindians, Africans, and Europeans at two crucial points marking respectively the origins and demise of slavocratic systems in the West Indies. Focusing on Richard Ligona (TM)s History of Barbados (1657) and Matthew a Monka (TM) Lewisa (TM) Journal of a West India Proprietor (1834), the study identifies specific myths and belief systems surrounding sugar and obeah as each of these came to stand for concepts of order and counterorder, and to figure the material and symbolic power of masters and slaves respectively. Rooting the imaginary in indigenous Caribbean myths, the study adopts the pre-Columbian origins of the imaginary ascribed by Wilson Harris to a cross cultural bridge or arc, and derives the mythic origins for the centrality of sugar in the imaginarya (TM)s constitution from Kamau Brathwaite. The booka (TM)s central organizing principle is an oppositional one, grounded on the order/counterorder binary model of the imaginary formulated by the philosopher-social theorist Cornelius Castoriadis. The study breaks new ground by reading Ligona (TM)s History and Lewisa (TM) Journal through the lens of the slavesa (TM) imaginaries of hidden knowledge. By redefining Lewisa (TM) subjectivity through his poema (TM)s most potent counterordering symbol, the demon-king, this book advances recent scholarly interest in Jamaicaa (TM)s legendary Three Fingered Jack.
Through a comprehensive selection of classic and contemporary interdisciplinary readings, <i>Perspectives on the Caribbean: A Reader in Culture, History and Representation</i> presents a variety of viewpoints to further our understanding of life and culture in the Caribbean: <ul> <li> <div>Highlights the major concepts and debates in the anthropology and history of the Caribbean, including its unique Anglo, French, and Hispanic communities</div> <li> <div>Provides  multidisciplinary perspectives on Caribbean society that show the connections between its vibrant cultural forms, political economy, and tumultuous history</div> <li> <div>Features section introductions that put readings in context, with lists of additional suggested readings for further study</div> <li> <div>Offers an overview of the strong traditions of art, literature, music, dance, and architecture in the Caribbean</div> <li> <div>Outlines the key research in Caribbean studies from history, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and folklore, examining classic ethnographies as well as new scholarship</div> </ul>