New Book: Mimi Sheller’s “Citizenship from Below—Erotic Agency and Caribbean Freedom”

Repeating Islands

One of the new books presented at the annual Caribbean Studies Association’s 2012 book launch organized by Faith Smith in Guadeloupe, was Mimi Sheller’s Citizenship from Below: Erotic Agency and Caribbean Freedom (Duke University Press, 2012). [See full list of books launched in our previous post Caribbean Studies Association’s 2012 Book Launch.]

Description: Citizenship from Below boldly revises the history of the struggles for freedom by emancipated peoples in post-slavery Jamaica, post-independence Haiti, and the wider Caribbean by focusing on the interplay between the state, the body, race, and sexuality. Mimi Sheller offers a new theory of “citizenship from below” to describe the contest between “proper” spaces of legitimate high politics and the disavowed politics of lived embodiment. While acknowledging the internal contradictions and damaging exclusions of subaltern self-empowerment, Sheller roots out from beneath the historical archive traces of a deeper freedom, one expressed through bodily performances, familial…

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