The Caribbean is a fertile environment that fosters complex identities created through the fusion of cultures brought to the islands, identities that Caribbean peoples then take with them as they leave their nations and settle into new homes. The traditions transmitted within these communities are continually subject to loss, gain and reinterpretation. Communication practices play a role in this process as they help to maintain, express, transfer, and challenge the diasporic identities of Caribbean.
“Re-Constructing Place and Space: Media, Culture, Discourse and the Constitution of a Caribbean Diaspora” examines the role of cultural performances and mediated expressions in the construction and maintenance of Caribbean diasporic identities. The objectives for the book are two-fold. The general objective is to contribute to discourse on diasporic identity and performativity. The more specific aim of the book is to highlight the diversity and complexity of Caribbean people’s production of and engagement with cultural forms.
Though much work has been done to debunk the exoticized images of Caribbean nations, people from these countries are often perceived as an essentialized, undifferentiated category, and as technologically and intellectually backward, incapable of sophisticated cultural production, interaction and interpretation. “Re-Constructing Place and Space: Media, Culture, Discourse And the Constitution of a Caribbean Diaspora” seeks to present a more complex representation of people in the Caribbean diaspora, one that highlights their complicated and dynamic relationship to mediated material.
The volume emerged from the 2009 New Media and the Global Diaspora Symposium: Exploring Media in Caribbean Diasporas held at Roger Williams University. The event sought to encourage academic discourse focused on Caribbean migratory populations, foregrounding the role of communicative practices in transmitting and sustaining their traditions. It was also designed as an interdisciplinary forum for Caribbean researchers who study the nature, significance and consequence of Caribbean migration.
In keeping with the spirit of the symposium then, this volume applies a transdisciplinary lens to understanding the diversity and complexity of peoples from the Caribbean region and their diasporic communities.
About the Author
KAMILLE GENTLES-PEART (PH.D.) is Assistant Professor of Global Communication at Roger Williams University. She received a B.A. in Mass Communication, with a focus on multicultural journalism, from Lehman College of the City University of New York, and holds a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her general research interests include the relationship between diasporic identity construction, particularly of West Indian women in the U.S., and media engagement.
MAURICE L. HALL (PH.D.) is Chair and Associate Professor in the Communication Department at Villanova University, Pennsylvania where he teaches courses on communication in organizations, research methods, and organizational research and consulting. Dr. Hall has also worked as a consultant with a variety of organizations over the past ten years. He specializes in facilitating strategic planning sessions for non-profit organizations, and working with organizations on issues ranging from diversity training and strategic diversity management to conflict management, team building, and organizational communication management.