Unearthing and Reimagining Gender and Environment in the Francophone Caribbean

While the Caribbean may be perceived as beautiful and lush, the history and legacies of colonization in the region reveal a complicated underside. Colonialism and capitalism have shaped relationships between humans and land, tying patterns of domination to both environment and gender. It is critical to understand this history when considering the overt effects of climate change today, and it is crucial to include the humanities and social sciences in these discussions.

This bilingual digital humanities project aims to interrogate questions of capitalism, colonialism, gender, and environment in the Francophone Caribbean. The project’s goal is to uncover nuanced ways in which narratives of ecology and gender have been systematically suppressed and reduced—and conversely, to examine how these same narratives continuously resist and disorder dominant structures of power. To do this, we will look at four subtopics: sugar, bananas, beaches, and gardens. These commodities and spaces that are foundational to common imaginaries of the Caribbean. But they are also symbols of more complex histories, representing the direct social, cultural, and ecological consequences.

Banana bunches
Palm Trees Beach View

Featured Speakers: 

Dr. Schuyler Esprit


Dr. Schuyler Esprit will present, "Heartland: An Almanac for Caribbean Futures", which is an exploration of agriculture, astronomy, and climate through her geneological history and her family's once thriving banana farm. Dr. Esprit is the Founder of Create Caribbean, the first digital humanities center in the Caribbean. She is a Caribbean Studies scholar and her research on the Caribbean has been diverse. She has more than ten years’ experience in university teaching and administration and has taught academic writing, research methods and Caribbean and postcolonial literature and culture. More specifically, her areas of scholarly interest include Caribbean cultural studies, environmental and ecological humanities, and digital scholarship and new media in the Caribbean. She is a writer and editor, and her work has appeared in a range of academic and popular publications including Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, archipelagos journal, and Moko Magazine. She currently works as the Research Officer for Graduate Studies and Research at The University of the West Indies, Open Campus.


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