Beaches

Fall 2021

The beach is a boundary zone connecting land and sea. Physically, changing tides bring foreign objects, chemicals, and people from distant waters. Culturally, the space signifies a threshold for the sharing of ideas and differences. But the beach is more than just an in-between, liminal space. It is also a landscape of its own, carrying the weight of history and emotion—both human and ecological. One may dream of the beach as a tropical vacation destination, glorifying the thought of relaxing in the sun with a book while listening to waves come in. But this idyll is only possible to imagine due to imperialist conquest, colonialism, and commodification. How have colonial legacies impacted the flow of pollution and algae washing upon the shores of Caribbean islands? What are the gendered implications of these environmental effects? Who has access to particular beaches and how does this replicate colonial dynamics? How have beaches been spaces of liberatory gendered resistance?

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