Victorian Jamaica

Book Pages: 744 Illustrations: 270 color illustrations Published: June 2018

Art and Visual Culture > Art History, Caribbean Studies, History > World History

Victorian Jamaica explores the extraordinary surviving archive of visual representation and material objects to provide a comprehensive account of Jamaican society during Queen Victoria's reign over the British Empire, from 1837 to 1901. In their analyses of material ranging from photographs of plantation laborers and landscape paintings to cricket team photographs, furniture, and architecture, as well as a wide range of texts, the contributors trace the relationship between black Jamaicans and colonial institutions; contextualize race within ritual and performance; and outline how material and visual culture helped shape the complex politics of colonial society. By narrating Victorian history from a Caribbean perspective, this richly illustrated volume—featuring 270 full-color images—offers a complex and nuanced portrait of Jamaica that expands our understanding of the wider history of the British Empire and Atlantic world during this period.

Contributors. Anna Arabindan-Kesson, Tim Barringer, Anthony Bogues, David Boxer, Patrick Bryan, Steeve O. Buckridge, Julian Cresser, John M. Cross, Petrina Dacres, Belinda Edmondson, Nadia Ellis, Gillian Forrester, Catherine Hall, Gad Heuman, Rivke Jaffe, O'Neil Lawrence, Erica Moiah James, Jan Marsh, Wayne Modest, Daniel T. Neely, Mark Nesbitt, Diana Paton, Elizabeth Pigou-Dennis, Veerle Poupeye, Jennifer Raab, James Robertson, Shani Roper, Faith Smith, Nicole Smythe-Johnson, Dianne M. Stewart, Krista A. Thompson


"The many contributors give a detail and depth unachievable in a single-authored book, and one thing that makes Victorian Jamaica special is the picture it begins to make visible of Jamaican life as a whole." — William Ghosh, TLS

"The volume illustrates in graphic and rigorous detail how visuality and material objects helped embody rapidly transforming racial and gendered subjectivities." — Utathya Chattopadhyaya, Victorian Literature and Culture

"Victorian Jamaica is a striking achievement. This hefty tome goes a long way toward filling a significant historiographical gap on the nineteenth century history of this Caribbean island." — Stephen G. Hague, Itinerario

"Victorian Jamaica is a must-read for anyone interested in the complex negotiations over freedom, citizenship, economic agency, and cultural production in the period that followed the legal abolition of slavery in Jamaica." — Sasha Turner, Social History

"With its emphasis on material culture, Victorian Jamaica extends significantly the conventional archive of sources for studying nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Jamaica and its transnational contexts, and serves to counteract many of the silences of the written archive. . . . This superb collection, emphasizing constraint, accommodation, and transformation, contributes significantly to postcolonial studies and to rethinking pasts and presents on both sides of the Atlantic." — Charles V. Carnegie, New West Indian Guide

"The contributors to this volume weave a complex and multitextured picture of Victorian Jamaica, and it must be said that the book is much more coherent than many such collections. It makes an extremely important contribution to our understanding of Jamaica—both in and of itself and within the wider contexts of the British empire and Atlantic region. . . . Victorian Jamaica provides a visually compelling engagement with the period, evoking a manysided portrait of this unique Caribbean colony in a time of social conflict, political upheaval, and economic transformation." — Christer Petley, History

"Barringer and Modest’s Victorian Jamaica is a big, brilliant, beautiful attempt to render Jamaican history outside of the big, empire-scaling events that courted and court the attention of observers elsewhere. . . . It renders the ordinary rhythms of this full world in elegant, beautifully reproduced detail. Victorian Jamaica should become an important resource for researchers in, and teachers of, Caribbean history and culture, visual culture and race, and global Victorian studies." — Chris Taylor, Nineteenth-Century Contexts

"Bursting with gorgeous, high-quality images throughout its many pages, Victorian Jamaica is itself a stunning repository of nineteenth-century sources on the island. It documents the many facets of daily life, and it produces a rich sense of the colonial experience. . . . Perhaps more than any other book on the subject, Victorian Jamaica reveals the messiness of categories in a colonized space, at all levels of society." — Daniel Livesay, The Historian

"Victorian Jamaica brings imperial historical and sociocultural analysis to bear upon the material, performative, and visual cultures of the period, and the cumulative effect is stunning! Its comprehensive and wide-ranging contributions encourage us to think about empire in relation to everyday circulations and thus to focus on the complex and sometimes messy connections between space, time, and cultural production and practice. By exploring both changes in British imperial policy during the Victorian period and transformations in subjectivity among colonial subjects in the exemplary case of Jamaica, our eyes are drawn to the ways ordinary people participated in imperial circulations, transformed metropolitan spaces, and negotiated changing geopolitical fields. An interdisciplinary tour de force, and a must read for anyone interested in Atlantic World modernities!" — Deborah A. Thomas, author of Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica

"Victorian Jamaica is a historiographical intervention with wide-ranging implications. It invites us to comprehensively reconsider a formative era in the making of postemancipation Jamaica, when a new social order of conflicting norms and values and aspirations emerged within an ideologically distinctive imperial matrix. The innovative essays that it comprises seek to explore a variety of arenas within this new order with genuinely provocative insight." — David Scott, Columbia University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Tim Barringer is Paul Mellon Professor and Chair of the Department of the History of Art at Yale University.

Wayne Modest is Head of the Research Center for Material Culture at the Stichting Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen and Professor of Material Culture and Critical Heritage Studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  xxi
Introduction / Wayne Modest and Tim Barringer  1
Object Lessons
Introduction to Object Lessons  Wayne Modest and Tim Barringer  51
1. The Cruickshank Lock, circa 1838 / Wayne Modest  55
2. Table, circa 1830–1840 / John Cross  59
3. A Tread-Mill Scene in Jamaica, 1837 / Diana Paton  61
4. Sligoville with Misson Premises, 1843 / Catherine Hall  63
5. A View of Coke Chapel from the Parade, circa 1846–1847 / James Robertson  67
6. The Ordinance of Baptism / Dianne M. Stewart  69
7. Kidd's New Plan of the City of Kingston, Jamaica, 1854 / Rivke Jaffe
8. Grave of Eighty Rebels near Morant Bay, Jamaica / Wayne Modest  77
9. Map Recording of Rebellion of 1865 / Gad Heuman  79
10. The Vale of St. Thomas, Jamaica, 1867 / Jennifer Raab  83
11. Newcastle, Jamaica, 1884 / Tim Barringer  85
12. Opening the Railway Line at Porus / James Robertson  89
13. Day School Children, Jamaica / Patrick Bryan  91
14. Wedding Group, Jamaica / Anthony Bogues  95
15. Child's Outdoor Cap. Lace-bark, circa 1850–1861 / Steeve O. Buckridge  97
16. Portrait of a Woman of Chinese Origin, circa  1895–1861 / Patrick Bryan  99
17. Mary Seacole, 1871 / Jan Marsh  103
18. Fatima, circa 1886 / Erica Moiah James  105
19. Selection of Jamaican Wood Samples Made for the 1891 Exhibition / Veerle Poupeye, Nicole Smythe-Johnson, and O'Neil Lawrence  109
20. Illustration of an Obeah Figure, 1893 / Diana Paton  111
21. Castleton Gardens / Krista A.Thompson  115
22. Queen Victoria, 1915 / Petrina Dacres  117
Part I. Making Victorian Subjects
1. State Formation in Victorian Jamaica / Diana Paton  125
2. Victorian Jamaica: The View from the Colonial Office / Gad Heuman  139
3. Liberalism, Colonial Power, Subjectivities, and the Technologies of Pastoral Coloniality: The Jamaican Case / Anthony Bogues  156
4. Dirt, Disease, and Difference in Victorian Jamaica: The Politics of Sanitary Reform n the Milroy Report of 1852 / Rivke Jaffe  174
5. Creating Good Colonial Citizens: Industrial Schools and Reformatories in Victorian Jamaica / Shani Roper  190
6. Botany in Victorian Jamaica / Mark Nesbitt  209
7. Victorian Sport in Jamaica, 1863–1909 / Julian Cresser  240
8. Rewriting the Past: Imperial Histories of Antislavery Nation / Catherine Hall  263
Part II. Visual and Material Cultures
9. Land, Labor, Landscape: Views of the Plantation in Victorian Jamaica / Tim Barringer  281
10. The Duperly Family and Photography in Victorian Jamaica / David Boxer  322
11. Noel B. Livingston's Gallery of Illustrious Jamaicans / Gillian Forrester  357
12. Picturing South Asians in Victorian Jamaica / Anna Arabindan-Kesson  395
13. Victorian Furniture in Jamaica / John M. Cross  420
14. Jamacia's Victorian Architectures: 1834–1907 / James Robertson  439
15. Creole Architecture in Victorian Jamaica / Elizabeth Pigou-Dennis  474
16. "Keeping Alive Before the People's Eyes This Great Event": Kingston's Queen Victoria Monument / Petrina Dacres  493
17. "A Period of Exhibitions": World's Fairs, Museums, and the Laboring Black Body in Jamaica / Wayne Modest  523
Part III. Race, Performance, Ritual
18. "Most Intensely Jamaican": The Rise of Brown Identity in Jamaica / Belinda Edmondson  553
19. "Black Skin, White Mask?": Race, Class, and the Politics of Dress in Victorian Jamaican Society, 1837–1901 / Steeve O. Buckridge  577
20. Kumina: A Spiritual Vocabulary of Nationhood in Victorian Jamaica / Dianne M. Stewart  602
21. Jamaican Performance in the Age of Emancipation / Nadia Ellis  622
22. Black Jamaica and the Victorian Musical Imaginary / Daniel T. Neely  641
23. "A Mysterious Murder": Considering Jamaican Victorianism / Faith Smith  658
Contributors  675
Index  685
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6068-1 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6053-7
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