Bringing together the work of literary critics, social scientists, activists, and creative writers, this edited collection explores the complex relationships between environmental change, political struggle, and cultural production in the Caribbean. It ranges across the archipelago, with essays covering such topics as the literary representation of tropical storms and hurricanes, the cultural fallout from the Haitian earthquake of 2010, struggles over the rainforest in Guyana, and the role of colonial travel narratives in the reorganization of landscapes. The collection marks an important contribution to the fields of Caribbean studies, postcolonial studies, and ecocriticism. Through its deployment of the concept of ‘world-ecology’, it offers up a new angle of vision on the interconnections between aesthetics, ecology, and politics. The volume seeks to grasp these categories not as discrete (if overlapping) entities, but rather as differentiated moments within a single historical process. The ‘social’ changes through which the Caribbean has developed have always involved changes in the relationship between humans and the rest of nature; and these changes have long been entangled with the emergence of new kinds of cultural production. The contributors to this collection provide a series of unique insights into the relationship between aesthetic practice and specific ecological processes and pressure-points in the region. More than ever Caribbean writers and artists are engaging explicitly with environmental concerns in their work; this volume responds to that trend by bringing literary and cultural criticism into sustained dialogue with debates around local, national, and regional ecological issues.
Chris Campbell is Lecturer in Global Literatures, University of Exeter.
Michael Niblett is Assistant Professor in Modern World Literature, University of Warwick.
Introduction: Critical Environments: World-Ecology, World Literature, and the Caribbean
Chris Campbell and Michael Niblett
Prologue: The Brutalization of Truth
Sir Wilson Harris
Catastrophes and Commodity Frontiers
Chapter One: The Political Ecology of Storms in Caribbean Literature
Chapter Two: Zombies, Gender and World-Ecology: Gothic Narrative in the Work of Mayra Montero and Ana Lydia Vega
Chapter Three: Gade nan mizè-a m tonbe: Vodou, the 2010 Earthquake, and Haiti’s Environmental Catastrophe
Ecological Revolutions and the Nature of Knowledge
Chapter Four: ‘The Abstract Globe in One’s Head’: Robert Schomburgk, Wilson Harris, and the Ecology of Modernism
Chapter Five: Mining and Mastery: Ethnography and World-Ecology in the work of Charles Barrington Brown
Chapter Six: Hegemony in Guyana: REDD-plus and State Control over Indigenous Peoples and Resources
Economies of Extraction: Restructuring and Resistance
Chapter Seven: Ecopoetics of Pleasure and Power in Oonya Kempadoo’s Tide Running
Chapter Eight: Jamaica and the Beast: Negril and the Tourist Landscape
Chapter Nine: Ecology, Identity, and Colonialism in Martinique: The Discourse of an Ecological NGO (1980-2011)
The Caribbean is outstanding, a tour de force collection of essays that situates the Caribbean’s cultural and colonial histories within a ‘world-ecology’ of power, capital, and nature.
Jason W. Moore, author of Capitalism in the Web of Life, Binghamton University
May 13, 2016
Postcolonialism Across the Disciplines