Women at Sea: Travel Writing and the Margins of Caribbean Discourse

Overview

From cross-dressing pirates to servants and slaves, women have played vital and often surprising roles in the navigation and cultural mapping of Caribbean territory. Yet these experiences rarely surface in the increasing body of critical literature on women’s travel writing, which has focused on European or American women traveling to exotic locales as imperial subjects. This stellar collection of essays offers a contestatory discourse that embraces the forms of travelogue, autobiography, and ethnography as ...

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Overview

From cross-dressing pirates to servants and slaves, women have played vital and often surprising roles in the navigation and cultural mapping of Caribbean territory. Yet these experiences rarely surface in the increasing body of critical literature on women’s travel writing, which has focused on European or American women traveling to exotic locales as imperial subjects. This stellar collection of essays offers a contestatory discourse that embraces the forms of travelogue, autobiography, and ethnography as vehicles for women’s rewriting of "flawed" or incomplete accounts of Caribbean cultures. This study considers writing by Caribbean women, such as the slave narrative of Mary Prince and the autobiography of Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole, and works by women whose travels to the Caribbean had enormous impacts on their own lives, such as Aphra Behn and Zora Neale Hurston. Ranging across cultural, historical, literary, and class dimensions of travel writing, these essays give voice to women writers who have been silenced, ignored, or marginalized.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Women at Sea provides a vibrant critical analysis of competing discourses on Caribbean culture in travel writing. Essays show how social landscapes are gendered battlegrounds between nationalism and cultural colonization, patriarchy and female independence. Editors Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert and Ivette Romero skillfully weave multiple Caribbean exchanges on hybridity, gender-bending, race, autobiography and ideology in the construction of historical narratives. Without a doubt, it is a seminal work in Caribbean literary criticism.” —Consuelo Lopez Springfield, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“The writers are an exciting group...” —Choice

From The Critics
The writers are an exciting group...
Choice
The writers are an exciting group...
Booknews
Professors of Spanish, English, and Hispanic studies present ten essays examining writing by Caribbean women, including the slave narrative of Mary Prince, the autobiography of Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole, and works by women whose travels to the Caribbean had tremendous impact on their own lives such as Aphra Behn and Zora Neale Hurston. Topics explored include cultural, historical, literary, and class dimensions of travel writing. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312219963
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert is Professor of Caribbean and Latin American Literature at Vassar College.

Ivette Romero-Cesareo is Assistant Professor of Caribbean and Latin American Literature at Marist College.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
• Itinerant Prophetesses of Transatlantic Discourse—José Piedra
• Violence and Awe: The Foundations of Government in Aphra Behn's New World Settings—Richard Frohock
• Cross-Dressing on the Margins of Empire: Women Pirates and the Narrative of the Caribbean—Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert
• When the Subaltern Travels: Slave Narrative and Testimonial Erasure in the Contact Zone—Mario Cesareo
• Women Adrift: Madwomen, Matriarchs, and the Caribbean—Ivette Rombero-Cesareo
• A "Valiant Symbol of Industrial Progess"?: Cuban Women Travelers and the United States—Luisa Campuzano
• Colonizing the Self: Gender, Politics, and Race in the Countess of Merlin's La Havane —Claire Martin
• Travels and Identities in the Chronicles of Three Ninetheenth-Century Caribbean Women—Aileen Schmidt
• Jourbaneys and Warnings: Nancy Prince's Travel Accounts as Cautionary Tales for African-American Readers—Cheryl Fish
• Decolonizing Ethnography: Zora Neale Hurston in the Caribbean—Kevin Meehan
• Epilogue: Haiti's Unquiet Past: Katherine Dunham, Modern Dancer, and Her Enchanted Island—Joan Dayan

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