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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
Resisting representation: The problem of locating the subaltern woman's voice
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Proceedings Title
2nd Conference on Caribbean Culture and Festival of the Word
Date of Meeting
January 2002
Place of Meeting
Mona, Jamaica
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Abstract
Representations of the history and experiences of enslaved and indentured women abound in the Caribbean historiography; for the Caribbean has a long and established historiographical and literary tradition. This paper used a sample of novels, historical narratives and testimonies from a 19th century Commission of Enquiry to illustrate the problems inherent in any attempt to locate subaltern women's voices. The structure is chronological with discussion focused first on enslaved African women and then on an Indian immigrant woman bound for colonial Guyana on the ship Allanshaw. Both cases demonstare that despite the exploitation and sexploitation that characterised enslaved and indentured women's experiences in the colonial Caribbean, neither group was completely silenced but used body and voice in an effort to resist and destabilise systems of domination. However, it is seen that sources used are more 'ventriloquized' accounts than first person narratiaves and thus need to be problematized.....
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