Andree, the self-proclaimed guardian of the trans and gay youth of Shoemaker Gully in Kingston, Jamaica, says he has lived on the streets for as long as he can remember.

Urban Desires: 

Sex and the City in Caribbean Cultures

Stephan Elliott’s film,The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), portrays the odyssey of three characters through the decidedly non-urban spaces of Australia. During their unexpected trajectory, Bernadette (Terence Stamp) comments to the other two drag queens accompanying her that—although the city is traditionally viewed as a liberating space—perhaps the suburbs are “really about keeping us in.”

Over the last several decades, increased critical attention has been paid to questions of space, and it has become an important focus within several academic disciplines. We are now attending to the encounters between different cultures and the repercussions that these have on definitions of space and identity.  More specifically, major metropolitan centers are often studied as sites of development (whether productive, excessive or insufficient), hybridity, transgression and transnationalism.    


This course seeks to explore visions of the metropole in Caribbean and U.S. Caribbean cultures.  We will analyze the intersections between urban spaces and the formation of local/global subjectivities.  That is, to what extent do real-and-imagined urban spaces constitute a site of containment, possibility, uneven development, hybridity and/or homogenizing hegemony in Caribbean cultural production?  How does desire--understood in terms of sexuality, cosmopolitanism (i.e. desire for the urban), as a mechanism of territorialization and/or the negotiation of power--interact with urban spaces in Caribbean cultures?  What are the spaces of queer Caribbean desire and how are these spaces narrated/represented in contemporary literary and cultural production?







Dates and Events

Latina/Latino Studies

Lucy Ellis lounge

Event Three