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Caribbean studies


Subject Literature

Place Americas » The Caribbean

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631207535.1997.x


The Caribbean is that archipelago of countries curving gently from the tip of Florida in the north to the northernmost point of the South American continent. Its complex geopolitics allows for the inclusion of Guyana and arguably Venezuela as Caribbean territories, although they are part of the South American continent rather than islands. Its ideological and political diversity allows for the inclusion of Cuba. A history of Conquistadorial acquisitiveness, slavery, indentureship, colonialism, and the socioeconomic fallout from a declining empire has precipitated the diverse ethnic and racial admixture for which the region has become known. There is also great linguistic diversity for an area so small in global context. Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and their “New World” configurations, Papiamentu, Haitian language, St Lucian kweyol, Jamaican language, Rasta talk (to list just some of the indigenous linguistic configurations) mark this part of the globe as among the obvious choices for critiques which address cultural diversity. As a result of what might be seen as a potentially fortuitous future thrown up ironically by a callous and often brutish past, the Caribbean has privileged countless hypotheses, theses, speculations, and indeed its fair share of superficial commentary by providing raw material for conscientious analysis and spurious scholarship alike. The ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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