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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Shepherd, Verene A.
Author Role
Presenter
Author Affiliation
Department of History and Archaeology
Paper/Section Title
Women, gender and sexuality in the discourse on Asian labour migration
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In
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Proceedings Title
Women's history conference
Date of Meeting
August 13, 2003
Place of Meeting
Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Abstract
Even though enslaved womenís sexuality has occupied a more central role in studies on Caribbean women, beginning in the 1980s and expanding in the 1990s, scholars, conscious that the presence of Indian women in the region had to alter the epistemological foundations of Caribbean womenís history, began to explore the intersection of colonialism, sex, sexuality and power in the historical experiences of Indian women. This lecture explores how colonialist writers and modern scholars have treated this intimate connection between power, imperialism and sex in discourses on Asian labour migration, primarily for the British-colonized Caribbean. The emphasis is on women, as writers hardly ever targeted or problematized Indian menís sexuality in their discourses, except where they suggested that there was competition for Indian women (who showed a preference, the argument goes) for the stereotypically constructed 'more virile Black men.í It seeks to grapple with the question of what combinations of power and ideology legitimized the behaviour of empowered men in charge of the subaltern on emigrant ships and on Caribbean plantations even though there were checks and balances on the abuse of Indian womenís sexuality.....
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