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Alkazi Theatre Archives

A Bibliographic Listing From The Archive

Feminist Visions and Queer Futures in Postcolonial Drama: Community, Kinship, and Citizenship

Book: Feminist Visions and Queer Futures in Postcolonial Drama: Community, Kinship, and Citizenship
Written by: Kanika Batra (English)
Published by: Routledge, 2011

Batra examines contemporary drama from India, Jamaica, and Nigeria in conjunction with feminist and incipient queer movements in these countries. In this book, Batra argues that postcolonial dramaturgy provides an alternative conception of citizenship based on working-class sexual identities by challenging the idea of ‘model citizen’ as embodied by a heterosexual, middle-class, wage-earning male. The writer postulates the possibility of postcolonial drama in these countries generating a discourse of rights-bearing conception of citizenship representing non-biological, non-generational forms of kinship.

“Brigit’s outburst references the history of women’s economic and sexual servitude: “Black people used to work for this land for nothing and they [white landowners] used to treat them like beast, they could amount [sic] them anytime. I not breeding for any man just for pleasure. I is not an animal. I is a human being” (114, 75, 115). Brigit thus expresses the contradiction in women’s lives in a productive and reproductive economy that continues to deny them material and sexual security while privileging their social roles as mothers and wives. Her pregnancy guarantees continuation of Crew’s lineage at the conclusion of the play at the same time as Sonson’s potentially suicidal possession by Crew’s spirit is averted through his reintegration into the family circle.9 Rachel believes that “[n]o matter what is past, you can’t stop the blood from drumming, and you can’t stop the heart from hoping. We have to hold on to one another. That is all we can do. That is what leave behind, after all the rest” (136). The focus on family as an essential unit for the reproduction of race and an incipient sense of nationhood evinced in the play echoes Manley’s vision of the family, envisaged in specifically African terms, as the basic component of Jamaican society.” (Page 40)

Feminist Visions and Queer Futures in Postcolonial Drama