This essay on Andil Gosine’s Nature’s Wild: Love, Sex, and Law in the Caribbean (2021) reflects on the author’s application of animal studies as a productive analytic of the enduring anxieties around respectable citizenship in the Caribbean as expressed by contemporary regulations governing sex, marriage, and public dress. The pairing of antisodomy laws and bestiality codes during the early colonial era, Gosine contends, underwrites contemporary attitudes that marginalize a variety of nonheteronormative expressions and continues to influence a collective compulsion to constantly affirm the respectability of the region’s inhabitants. Gosine’s investment in understanding and dismantling the historical hold of needing to prove one’s humanity, the author argues, falls in line with a movement among a multidisciplinary field of queer artists and scholars who embrace animality as a form of radical postcolonial thinking.
Embracing Our Animal Selves: The Liberatory Politics of Andil Gosine’s Nature’s Wild
Kedon Willis is assistant professor of English at CUNY–City College. His areas of interest include comparative Caribbean literature and queer theory, and his research examines the evolution (and limits) of liberation in the writings of queer authors of Caribbean heritage. His scholarship, creative writing, and journalism have appeared in outlets such as the Journal of Asian Studies, the Journal of West Indian Literature, Obsidian, and the History Channel.
Kedon Willis; Embracing Our Animal Selves: The Liberatory Politics of Andil Gosine’s Nature’s Wild. Small Axe 1 July 2023; 27 (2 (71)): 159–166. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-10795349
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