Erotic Islands

Art and Activism in the Queer Caribbean

Book Pages: 312 Illustrations: 36 illustrations, incl. 16 in Published: June 2018

Author: Lyndon K. Gill

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Caribbean Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Queer Theory

In Erotic Islands, Lyndon K. Gill maps a long queer presence at a crossroads of the Caribbean. This transdisciplinary book foregrounds the queer histories of Carnival, calypso, and HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. At its heart is an extension of Audre Lorde's use of the erotic as theory and methodology. Gill turns to lesbian/gay artistry and activism to insist on eros as an intertwined political-sensual-spiritual lens through which to see self and society more clearly. This analysis juxtaposes revered musician Calypso Rose, renowned mas man Peter Minshall, and resilient HIV/AIDS organization Friends For Life. Erotic Islands traverses black studies, queer studies, and anthropology toward an emergent black queer diaspora studies.


"Highly recommended." — E. Pappas, Choice

"Part history and part ethnography, Lyndon K. Gill’s Erotic Islands offers an innovative approach to nascent and long-established fields such as black diaspora studies and anthropology, correspondingly. Scholars of Caribbean studies or queer studies will likewise benefit from Erotic Islands." — Alejandro Stephano Escalante, ASAP/Journal

"It is through the book’s formal weaving together of the three case studies, their histories, and Gill’s own diaristic reflections in the field. . . that Erotic Islands carries forward its promise of unveiling a new erotic." — João Florêncio, CAA Reviews

"Reading Erotic Islands is a sensual exercise. The chapters, organized based on the senses, visual, aural and tactile engagement in art and activism, are punctuated by excerpts from Gill’s field diaries, also rich with sensory descriptions. . . . The text successfully engages the reader on multiple levels. Erotic Islands provides rich and provocative explorations of same-sex desire and instructions for applying the erotic lens, while making invaluable contribution to deeper understandings of the queer Caribbean." — Krystal Nandini Ghisyawan, Anthropos

“I celebrate this book for resisting dominant imaginings of paradise and refuting the idea that the region is unlivable for same-sex-desiring persons. This work takes seriously the spaces of our Queer Caribbean lives with caring analysis.”

— Angelique V. Nixon, GLQ

“Some ethnographers are griots who rely on ethnography to reveal certain truths about the world. Lyndon Gill is one such scholar. Attentive to the transformative power of language, story-telling, and multiple registers of world-making, he reveals the power of ‘eros as a lens, vital for surveying the elaborate topography of connections we share as political, sensual, and spiritual beings’ (p. 11).” — Ana-Maurine Lara, Asian Journal of Social Science

“This is a brave, important, and engaging work that breaks new ground while beautifully honoring intellectual and aesthetic traditions. Lyndon K. Gill's scholarship pushes well beyond the current boundaries of anthropology—exploring how erotic subjectivity shapes our expanding cartography of the queer Caribbean, at the cutting edge of black studies, queer studies, and diaspora studies.” — Jafari S. Allen, author of ¡Venceremos? The Erotics of Black Self-Making in Cuba

“Bringing together anthropologically inflected inquiry and insightful engagement with contemporary theoretical debates in queer theory, art history, and in race, diaspora, and gender studies, Lyndon K. Gill makes an extremely important contribution to our understanding of the contemporary Caribbean. Gill's reading of this space is informed by both a knowing intimacy of the region and critical engagement with a wider body of scholarship in ways that move local knowledge and broader theoretical debates in new directions.” — Rinaldo Walcott, author of Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora, and Black Studies


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Price: $27.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Lyndon K. Gill is Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Table of Contents Forthcoming
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Honorable Mention, 2018 Ruth Benedict Book Prize (presented by the Association for Queer Anthropology)

2019 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in the LGBTQ Studies Category

Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6870-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6858-8
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