Economies of Entanglement: Reading Radical Cultural Work in the Anglophone Caribbean and Victorian Britain
DeGuzman, Kathleen Rose
“Economies of Entanglement” argues that the Victorian period is an essential context for understanding anglophone Caribbean literature. It frames the ongoing relationship between Britain and the Caribbean in terms of entanglement – as both a historical condition installed by colonialism and an active intellectual practice that Caribbean and Victorian writers engage in to think critically about their linked yet asymmetrical reality. “Economies of Entanglement” examines a diverse range of Caribbean and Victorian texts – novels by George Lamming, Jean Rhys, Charlotte Brontë, and George Eliot, essays by John Ruskin and Jamaica Kincaid, and life writing by Mary Prince, Maria Nugent, and Mary Seacole – to show how colonial relations produce cultural workers with radically ambivalent attitudes toward the social, material, and aesthetic consequences of imperialism. Understanding these cultural workers forces a difficult yet necessary disruption of the disciplinary boundaries between Caribbean, Victorian, and postcolonial studies.