Queer Theory and Caribbean Writing

Authored by: Ronald Cummings

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature

Print publication date:  June  2011
Online publication date:  June  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415485777
eBook ISBN: 9780203830352
Adobe ISBN: 9781136821745

10.4324/9780203830352.ch37

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Abstract

Discussions of questions of sexual difference in anglophone Caribbean literary discourse, particularly in the last two decades, have in large measure been animated by two bodies of texts which have challenged the heteronormative notions of sex, sexuality and gender long institutionalized in Caribbean cultural life and thought. Queer Caribbean literature and the body of critical writing engaged in conversation with these texts have served to highlight and unsettle the cultural and ideological construction of heterosexuality ‘as simply there, invisible, beyond question, not requiring explanation’ and have called attention to ways in which this heteronormative dominance has contributed to the marginalization of alternate sexual identities and systems of relations resulting in processes of social exclusion, legal sanction and the manifest as well as rhetorical violence against gays and lesbians in the region (Smith 1999:5). Additionally, these interventions have highlighted the fact that the dismantling of this cultural hegemony constitutes a necessary part of the regional struggle for a decolonized Caribbean discourse.

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