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Gender, Sexuality, Race and the «Problem» of Identity in Martinique


David A.B. Murray

In contemporary Martinique, performances of a particular racialized, heterosexualized masculinity prevail in both daily life and state-funded cultural programming. The centrality of these performances must be analyzed in relation to Martinique’s status as an Overseas Department of France and the fraught political, economic, and social effects engendered through this relationship. Contextualized in this particular neocolonial framework, this book examines multiple sites of masculinity in Martinique, ranging from privileged performances (such as state-funded theater productions) to disruptive performances (such as Carnival and the conversations of gay Martinician men). It breaks new ground in Caribbean studies by foregrounding (homo)sexuality as a key factor in understanding Caribbean socio-cultural processes and by providing a critical re-analysis of masculinity and identity through a performative analysis that foregrounds opacity – ambiguity, density, and incompleteness – in the production of any social categorization.