Postnationalism Prefigured: Caribbean Borderlands

Front Cover
Rutgers University Press, 2002 - 241 pages
We do not consider it noteworthy when somebody moves three thousand miles from New York to Los Angeles. Yet we think that movement across borders requires a major degree of adjustment, and that an individual who migrates 750 miles from Haiti to Miami has done something extraordinary. Charles V. Carnegie suggests that to people from the Caribbean, migration is simply one of many ways to pursue a better future and to survive in a world over which they have little control

Carnegie shows not only that the nation-state is an exhausted form of political organization, but that in the Caribbean the ideological and political reach of the nation-state has always been tenuous at best. Caribbean peoples, he suggests, live continually in breach of the nation-state configuration. Drawing both on his own experiences as a Jamaican-born anthropologist and on the examples provided by those who have always considered national borders as little more than artificial administrative nuisances, Carnegie investigates a fascinating spectrum of individuals, including Marcus Garvey, traders, black albinos, and Caribbean Ba'hais. If these people have not themselves developed a scholarly doctrine of transnationalism, they have, nevertheless, effectively lived its demand and prefigured a postnational life.

 

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Contents

Struggling with and against Race and Nation
15
A Cultural Mapping of the Nation
41
Nation and Transnation
63
Transterritorial Lives
83
Prefiguring the Postnational
115
The Garvey
145
Notes
201
References
219
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About the author (2002)

CHARLES V. CARNEGIE teaches anthropology and African American studies at Bates College, Maine.

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