Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 116 Inner Campus Dr Stop A4900, GEB 4.200C, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765
Fri, April 21, 2006 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM • BUR 220
Postcoloniality has unsettled Black identity, producing new struggles around gender, sexuality, class and other axes of difference. This paper argues that gender, race and sexuality in transnational Jamaican Dancehall culture express most starkly the connections between the politics of Black representation and what David Scott has referred to as the new problematisations of postcoloniality. Dancehall's negotiations over the incommensurability or permissibility of different articulations of Black identity and national belonging reveal not only struggles within Black representation over over the limits of Black subjectivity and the meaning of freedom after anti-colonialism, but also the on-going double inscription of the colonial relation in our postcolonial present. By contrasting the uses of Dancehall sexualities in the island of Jamaican and its use by Black teenage girls in the UK, I argue that Dancehall, as a transnational Black cultural expression, highlights the importance of analysing Black cultures through their embeddedness in differently configured local, global and diasporic regimes of power, privilege and oppression. Such an approach implicates both western metropolitan multicultural nation-states and former colonised new nation-states in the uneven relations of Black westerners and the African Diaspora in processes of globalization and westernization.