Caribbean Studies Research Focus Group

Caribbean Studies Research Focus Group

The Caribbean is the vortex of early capitalism, social identity, and cultural anxiety. It is the site of first colonial contact, conquests, institutions, and taxonomies. Therefore, we gather under the urgency of unpacking the spacetime ripple effects of this global capitalist accumulation, what it has meant, and how it has become deeply entwined with the development of nations and identities within and outside the Caribbean basin. Thus, we think through and beyond the thoroughly exploitative and marginalized conditions of the region. As a historic crossroads, the Caribbean is also a population crossroads that gives us an opportunity to engage the intimacies of continents and bodies (including but not limited to Africans, Indians, Chinese, Europeans, Portuguese, Syrian, and Indigenous groups).

The co-conveners of the Caribbean Studies RFG formed the group to pursue the following goals: 1) Enhance dialogue on existing research; 2) Increase strategic communication across departments and campuses for the purposes of publication and grant writing; and 3) Advance a diverse program of research designed to address gaps in Caribbean studies on campus. Our aims are to create space where academics, policy makers, artists, and practitioners can discuss their work in the areas of cultural, political, economic, social, and sexual formations of the Caribbean regions and its diaspora. It will also include more generalized interests such as: migration, Caribbean queer diaspora, social justice, philosophy, literature and writing, music, Carnival and festivals, Caribbean archives and development, pedagogy and practice, and the region’s digital life and futures.

Conveners:
Stephanie Batiste, English
sbatiste@english.ucsb.edu

Solaire Denaud, Comparative Literature
emiliedenaud@ucsb.edu

Mireille Miller-Young, Feminist Studies
mmilleryoung@femst.ucsb.edu

Swati Rana, English
srana@english.ucsb.edu

Saide Singh, English
saidesingh@ucsb.edu

Roberto Strongman, Black Studies
rstrongman@blackstudies.ucsb.edu

Cathy Thomas, English
cthomas@english.ucsb.edu

Maria Zazzarino, Comparative Literature
mzazzarino@ucsb.edu

Image Attribution: Collage by Cathy Thomas. Images: SliceofSandi.com, 2018 Trinidad Carnival; “Group of Negroes, as imported to be Slaves” in Blake after John Gabriel Stedman Narrative of a Five Years, 1796; Caribbean Airlines ™ airplane; “Elsa slams Haiti and Dominican Republic”- ABC News, 3 July 2021; “East Indian types, Trinidad B.W.I” 19th century postcards from University of Pennsylvania.