Project: Breaking Sexual Silences

Digital print by Ewan Atkinson titled I cannot Wear this Dress
"I cannot Wear this Dress" © Ewan Atkinson

This project is funded by a British Academy/ACU Grant for International Collaboration.


Dr Alison Donnell, University of Reading with Professor Evelyn O'Callaghan, University of the West Indies, Barbados


In recent years, some of the most urgent and highly-charged public and political debates in the Caribbean have centred on sexual citizenship and gay rights. To date, popular cultural forms and the acute homophobia of the dancehall have dominated national and international attention. The very public exchanges between Caribbean musicians and western-based gay rights campaigners have given the region a reputation for homophobia, intolerance and hate crimes. This project seeks to shift the axes of these debates by drawing on a recent body of Caribbean creative writing that addresses issues of sexual self-determination and sexual diversity in a more positive and progressive way. It will make visible the possibilities for understanding sexual differences and the modes of reconciliation to be found in a literary archive. The project will also engage a group of Caribbean scholars across other disciplines to develop a new language for articulating sexual difference. It will stage a panel debate for a Caribbean public, as well as producing academic publications and supporting graduate work.


June 2010

Workshop on 'Re-Imagining Caribbean Sexualities via a Literary Archive' - public event on 'Re-Imagining Caribbean Sexual Identities' with Thomas Glave and Oonya Kempadoo. University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.

October 2010

Day symposium on 'Shani Mootoo and the politics of Caribbean sexuality' at the University of Reading, UK.

March 2011

Day symposium on Caribbean Sexualities, (Caribbean Theory and Criticism 8), at University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.


Journal of West Indian Literature - Shani MootooCo-edited Special Issue of Journal of West Indian Literature on 'Shani Mootoo: Writing, Difference and the Caribbean' published in April 2011.

Journal of West Indian Literature April 2011 contents page (PDF - 141KB)

Co-edited Special Issue of Shibboleths on Caribbean Sexualities.

Page navigation

Coming soon...

7 May 2011

Minority Identities

Postgraduate Conference


Search Form

A-Z lists