Maroon Entanglements: Women's and Femme's Erotic Strategies in Caribbean Narrative


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Literatures in English


"This project explores maroon communities, which were founded by self-emancipated slaves, as a Caribbean tradition that does not model itself after Western modernity’s idealizations of freedom, but instead, is a practice of non-sovereignty. This project identifies a new wave in contemporary queer Caribbean literature that represents the maroon as non-sovereign, queer, and femme, thereby challenging Caribbean literature’s normative association between marronage and masculine sovereignty.

These writers’ narratives and style exhibit “erotic marronage:” a queer community-building methodology of strategic entanglement with colonial, misogynoir structures. The texts analyzed in this project reveal how marronage’s logic of working within oppressive structures can result in an amplification of pleasure. There is a crucial connection between queer Caribbean folk and maroon communities: they both model ways of living and negotiating within/parallel to systems of power. The alternatives that queer Caribbean poetics locate in the past are crucial in the wake of sovereignty’s unkept promises. "