Winter Semester 2019/20


QDFCT Lecture | “There are no sharks in the sky”: Caribbean Identity and Black Positionality in Cualquier miércoles soy tuya [Any Wednesday I’m Yours] by Mayra Santos Febres

by by Nicole Roberts (The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad) followed by a discussion with Jeanette Ehrmann (JLU).

The Research Network in Queer Studies, Decolonial Feminisms, and Cultural Transformations (QDFCT) invited you to this semester’s lecture by Nicole Roberts (The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad), “’There are no sharks in the sky:‘ Caribbean Identity and Black Positionality in Cualquier miércoles soy tuya [Any Wednesday I’m Yours] by Mayra Santos Febres.“ With the support of Frauen- und Gleichstellungsbeauftragte of JLUthe lecture took place on the 27th November, between 2 – 4 pm in E207, Philosophikum II.

The lecture was recorded and can be found here.


„Undeniably, much critical attention has been paid to the debate surrounding identity in the Caribbean and indeed it must be noted that Caribbean Cultural Studies is today an area which seeks to legitimise the narration of experiences by those who have lived such. My interest in this paper lies specifically with the representation of identity in the Hispanic Caribbean and on the ways in which contemporary Hispanic Caribbean narrative is a site in which constructions of alterity highlight the re-imaginations of identity. In Consuming the Caribbean, Mimi Sheller argues that the Caribbean is constantly caught up in a “politics of the picturesque.” Arguably then, how the Caribbean frames itself is of paramount importance.
In this paper, I make a close critical reading of the novel Cualquier miércoles soy tuya [Any Wednesday I’m yours] by the Afro-Hispanic, Puerto Rican writer Mayra Santos Febres. Set in contemporary Puerto Rico, the novel is a sort of fiction noir which recounts the transient life of the urban underworld in San Juan and in which two murders take place. My analysis aims to construct possible critical positions for Blacks in popular Caribbean culture and to suggest ways in which these can be viewed as sites of resistance. Throughout the novel, Santos Febres chronicles the experiences of the Caribbean people but perhaps most importantly she also presents Caribbean identity through defiant and at times compromising acts.“

Nicole Roberts obtained a PhD in Hispanic Studies from the University of Birmingham, England, UK. Presently a Senior Lecturer in Spanish Language and Hispanic Literature at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, she is also a translator. She is the current Head of the department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. She has published widely on race and ethnicity in the Hispanic Caribbean, and afro-hispanic literature and culture. Her recent publications include: Trinidad y Tobago/Cuba: Historia, Lengua y Literatura, co-edited with Armando García de la Torre and Mauricio Núñez Rodríguez, Aduana Vieja Press, 2018 and Border Crossings: A Trilingual Anthology of Caribbean Women Writers, co-edited with Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw, Jamaica: The University of the West Indies Press, 2012.