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Bastardly Duppies and Dastardly Dykes: Queer sexuality and the supernatural in Michelle Cliff’s Abeng (1984) and Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night (1996)

Gairola, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-1826-6339 (2017) Bastardly Duppies and Dastardly Dykes: Queer sexuality and the supernatural in Michelle Cliff’s Abeng (1984) and Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night (1996). Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies, 18 . pp. 15-54.

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Abstract

This paper explores the ways in which the "duppy," or malevolent spirit, circulates the fictive landscape of the queer novels of Michelle Cliff and Shani Mootoo. I explore the ways in which the unhappy ghost is a figure which comments on the sexual pathology of postcolonial queerness in the Caribbean. I focus on the characters of Clare in "Abeng" and Mala in "Cereus Blooms at Night" in a bid to elucidate the ways that Caribbean lesbianism invokes, on the one hand, what M. Jacqui Alexander calls "erotic autonomy as a form of decolonization politics" in the material eroticism of women characters. On the other hand, and at the same time, however, these practices resurrect spectres of dissent that index queer phobia in the Caribbean that is a direct result of exploitative economic strangulation, past and present.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: Wagadu
Copyright: © 2017 Wagadu
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/51959
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