Project Investigator: Andil Gosine
Funding: SSHRC Connection Grant
The project will share the author's research collected in Nature’ Wild: Love, Sex and Law in the Caribbean (Duke University Press, 2021). In Nature's Wild, Gosine engages with questions of humanism, queer theory, and animality to examine and revise historical and contemporary understandings of queer desire. Surveying colonial law, visual art practices, and contemporary activism, he shows the very concept of homosexuality in the Caribbean (and in the Americas more broadly) has been overdetermined by a colonially influenced human/animal divide. He refutes this presupposed binary and embraces animality through a series of case studies: a homoerotic game called puhngah, the institution of gender-based dress codes in Guyana, and efforts toward the decriminalization of sodomy in Trinidad and Tobago—including the work of famed activist Colin Robinson, paintings of human animality by Guadeloupean artist Kelly Sinnapah Mary, and his own artistic practice. In so doing, he shows the ways in which individual and collective anxieties about “wild natures” have shaped the existence of Caribbean people while calling for a reassessment of what political liberation might look like.