Assistant Professor, Fordham University, NY
Event Poster (PDF)
All faculty and students are welcome
Light refreshments will be served
Between Tourism and Pocomania
The politics of race and sex in late colonial Jamaica (1948-1962)
This talk revisits the period immediately preceding Jamaica’s independence from England in 1962 to consider how queerness plays into the transformations in the politics of Black sexuality taking place across the island. In so doing, it uses historical inquiry as a critical intervention into racialized discourses that situate Jamaica in terms of homophobic exceptionalism in the present. Drawing on close readings of mid-twentieth century Jamaican social science texts, news media, and literature, I argue that the archival possibilities of queerness on the island in this era coalesce in the figures of the White male tourist and the practitioner of the Afrocreole religion, Pocomania. Ultimately, I consider the implications of how queerness comes to be inscribed in Jamaican history through different iterations of race, class, gender, and nation, on contemporary discourses of sexual citizenship on the island.