Caribbean Women and the Critique of Empire: Beyond Paternalistic Discourses on Colonialism
The writing and commentary of Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean women writers such as Maryse Conde, Jamaica Kincaid, and Merle Hodge, will be discussed in this thesis as critiques of colonialism and within the context of post-postcolonial canonicity. Black feminism, particularly when discussed within a global context, is not a narrative of victimization; it is instead a narrative of complex power dynamics which are determined not only by race, gender, sexuality, and class, but also by a global consciousness (positionality and subjectivity) that is informed by an access to privileged or lack thereof. One is never solely oppressed or oppressor; resulting, instead, in a much more nuanced and fluid sense of one’s relationship to an imagined black “community” as well as the culprit(s) and crime(s) of the past/present under investigation. Such considerations should result in historical trajectories of black women’s writing which not only acknowledge their voices/active participation in black internationalism at various time periods; but one which also considers the ways in which Caribbean women, for instance, have only recently experienced a proliferation of their work.