You are here

Bodies and Bones

Feminist Rehearsal and Imagining Caribbean Belonging
Tanya L. Shields

BUY Cloth · 248 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813935966 · $55.00 · Jun 2014
BUY Paper · 248 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813935973 · $24.50 · Jun 2014
BUY Ebook · 248 pp. · ISBN 9780813935980 · $24.50 · Jun 2014

In Bodies and Bones, Tanya Shields argues that a repeated engagement with the Caribbean’s iconic and historic touchstones offers a new sense of (inter)national belonging that brings an alternative and dynamic vision to the gendered legacy of brutality against black bodies, flesh, and bone. Using a distinctive methodology she calls "feminist rehearsal" to chart the Caribbean’s multiple and contradictory accounts of historical events, the author highlights the gendered and emergent connections between art, history, and belonging.

By drawing on a significant range of genres—novels, short stories, poetry, plays, public statuary, and painting—Shields proposes innovative interpretations of the work of Grace Nichols, Pauline Melville, Fred D’Aguiar, Alejo Carpentier, Edwidge Danticat, Aimé Césaire, Marie-Hélène Cauvin, and Rose Marie Desruisseau. She shows how empathetic alliances can challenge both hierarchical institutions and regressive nationalisms and facilitate more democratic interaction.


Bodies and Bones will greatly impact Caribbean scholarship on gender, race, and representation, particularly with regard to how one talks about intersectionality in a Caribbean context. Not only is Shields successful in proving her arguments; she also offers up a new theoretical paradigm for reading Caribbean texts while sifting through an exhaustive amount of history.

Kimberly Nichele Brown, Virginia Commonwealth University, author of Writing the Black Revolutionary Diva: Women’s Subjectivity and the Decolonizing Text

Tanya Shields brings into striking juxtaposition a variety of visual and textual examples to examine the intersections between gender, the body, and citizenship.

April Shemak, Sam Houston State University, author of Asylum Speakers: Caribbean Refugees and Testimonial Discourse

About the Author(s): 

Tanya L. Shields is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Interested in this topic?
Stay updated with our newsletters:

Related Books