A study of tourism in the Caribbean and how artists and activists resist its great allure

By ARC Magazine Friday, November 6th, 2015 Categories: Book launch, Culture, Updates
 

Tourists flock to the Caribbean for its beaches at such a rate which has deeply affected the culture of the islands. A new book, ‘Resisting Paradise: Tourism, Diaspora, and Sexuality in Caribbean Culture’ (University Press of Mississippi) explores the import of both tourism and diaspora in shaping Caribbean identity. It examines Caribbean writers and others who confront the region’s overdependence on the tourist industry and address the many ways that tourism continues the legacy of colonialism.

Author Angelique Nixon explores the relationship between culture and sex within the production of “paradise” and investigates the ways in which Caribbean writers, artists, and activists respond to and powerfully resist this production. Forms of resistance include critiquing exploitation, challenging dominant historical narratives, exposing tourism’s influence on cultural and sexual identity in the Caribbean and its diaspora, and offering alternative models of tourism and travel.

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Resisting Paradise places emphasis on Caribbean people and its diasporic subjects as travelers and as cultural workers contributing to alternative and resistant understandings of tourism in the Caribbean. Nixon utilizes transnational feminist post-colonialism to explain “resisting paradise” and the sexual-cultural politics of tourism. With gender and sexuality the center of inquiry and analysis, she grapples with the dominant role of tourism in Caribbean life.

Resisting Paradise offers new insights and fresh ways of examining issues surrounding Caribbean tourism. Through a unique multi-disciplinary approach to comparative literary analysis, interviews, and participant observation, this volume analyzes the ways Caribbean cultural producers are taking control of representation. While focused mainly on the Anglophone Caribbean, the study covers a range of territories including Antigua, The Bahamas, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, as well as Trinidad and Tobago.

Order the publication online here. The book is also available on Amazon in hardcopy and Kindle version.

About the author:

Angelique V. Nixon is a writer, artist, teacher, scholar, activist, and poet — born and raised in The Bahamas. She is currently a Lecturer at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago. Her research, cultural criticism, and poetry have been published widely.She teaches and writes about Caribbean and postcolonial studies, African diaspora literatures, feminist and postcolonial theories, and gender and sexuality studies. Angelique holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida, where she specialized in Caribbean literature, postcolonial studies, women’s studies and gender research. She is the recepient of a number of awards, namely a postdoctoral fellowship in Africana studies at New York University and a Fulbright Scholar Grant for teaching and research at UWI in Trinidad and Tobago. She is author of the poetry and art collection Saltwater Healing – A Myth Memoir and Poems (2013). She is co-editor of the online multi-media collection Theorizing Homophobias in the Caribbean: Complexities of Place, Desire and Belonging (2012). Her scholarly book Resisting Paradise: Tourism, Diaspora, and Sexuality in Caribbean Culture has just been published by University Press of Mississippi; it is a study of the sexual-cultural politics of tourism examining the ways Caribbean cultural workers negotiate and resist the complexities of tourism.

For more information about the author’s work, follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @sistellablack, and visit her staff page on the IGDS website.

Reviews:

“A deeply insightful reading of the ways Caribbean cultural workers from inside and outside the region negotiate the complexities of tourism and critique controlling cultural myths about the Caribbean as paradise. But as importantly, Nixon takes us beyond tourism’s double-bind and shows how writers and artists offer counter-narratives to exploitative tourism and neocolonialism that are grounded in resistance culture, shared histories, and diasporic connections. Resisting Paradise is an inspiring study, full of hope and love for the Caribbean, offering us new ways of thinking about ethical tourism and Caribbean freedom.”

- Kamala Kempadoo, professor, Department of Social Science, York University and author of Sexing the Caribbean: Gender, Race, and Sexual Labor.

“Whether rooted resident, mobile diaspora, or open-eyed tourist, we all have something to learn from Resisting Paradise, Angelique Nixon’s empirically elegant and fiercely honest inquiry into the discursive, sexual, and material effects of tropical paradise. She teaches us how Caribbean cultural producers have created alternative ways of resisting and rerouting the damaging cultural, ecological and spiritual effects of tourism.”

- Mimi Sheller, author of Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to ZombiesTourism Mobilities: Places to Play, Places in Play; and Citizenship from Below: Erotic Agency and Caribbean Freedom.

ARC Magazine
ARC Magazine

ARC Inc. is a non-profit print and online publication and social platform launched in 2011. It seeks to fill a certain void by offering a critical space for contemporary artists to present their work while fostering and developing critical dialogues and opportunities for crucial points of exchange. ARC is an online and social space of interaction with a developed methodology of sharing information about contemporary practices, exhibitions, partnerships, and opportunities occurring in the Caribbean region and throughout its diasporas.