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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Cooper, Carolyn J.
Author Role
Presenter
Author Affiliation
Department of Literatures in English
Paper/Section Title
Branding Jamaica: Popular culture in 'postcolonial' context
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Proceedings Title
23rd Annual Conference on West Indian Literature
Date of Meeting
March 8-11, 2004
Place of Meeting
St. Georges University (Grenada)
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Abstract
Focusing on competing conceptions of the Jamaican nation state and the brand, “Jamaica,” the paper interrogates the euphemistic “out of many, one” definition of identity promulgated by the Jamaican elite. It argues that popular culture is the primary site in which Pan/Africanist definitions of the nation are valorized. Using the example of the contestations around the celebration of Emancipation Day, which was erased from the national calendar at Independence, the paper documents the ways in which popular discourse affirms the salience of memorializing Emancipation. It documents the controversy surrounding the provocative monument to Emancipation from slavery, 1838 that currently reposes in Emancipation Park, and argues that the monument, with its consolidation of the myth of mindless African physicality, may be read as a metaphor for the reparations that were paid to the plantocracy for the loss of slave labour. The paper raises fundamental issues about the role of popular culture in the critique of elitist constructions of ‘post-colonial’ nation state.....
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