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Pirates of the Caribbean

Frontier patterns old and new

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Philip Nanton

State marginalization and the region as hinterland The anglophone Caribbean region has two distinct faces. One face, the one shown to the outside world, suggests ‘everything cool’, ease and even contentment. Democratic traditions (for the most part) are upheld, the sun shines, the rules of cricket are obeyed, tourist services are friendly and order is maintained. The

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Philip Nanton

The book argues that the frontier, usually associated with the era of colonial conquest, has great, continuing and under explored relevance to the Caribbean region. Identifying the frontier as a moral, ideational and physical boundary between what is imagined as civilization and wilderness, the book seeks to extend frontier analysis by focusing on the Eastern Caribbean multi island state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The continuing relevance of the concept of frontier, and allied notions of civilization and wilderness, are illuminated through an analysis of the ways in which SVG is perceived and experienced by both outsiders to the society and its insiders. Using literary sources, biographies and autobiography, the book shows how St. Vincent is imagined and made sense of as a modern frontier; a society in the balance between an imposed civilized order and an untameable wild that always encroaches, whether in the form of social dislocation, the urban presence of the ‘Wilderness people’ or illegal marijuana farming in the northern St. Vincent hills. The frontier as examined here has historically been and remains very much a global production. Simultaneously, it is argued that contemporary processes of globalization shape the development of tourism and finance sectors, as well as patterns of migration, they connect to shifting conceptions of the civilized and the wild, and have implications for the role of the state and politics in frontier societies.

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Louis James

At a Conference of the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) held at the University of Kent in 1969, C. L. R. James spoke with typical energy of his experience of growing up in Trinidad. I didn’t get literature from the mango-tree, or bathing on the shore and getting the sun of the colonial countries

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Philip Nanton

for looking towards modernity and ‘civilisation’, and the avoidance of the wild and wilderness. This unwillingness to look, however, does not mean that the wild has gone away. This work has suggested that, like those old perennials – taxation and death – the wild has remained very much with us in the Caribbean. This text has identified various kinds of ‘boundary troublers’ or ‘boundary

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Sabine Clarke

approach to development with some long-standing laissez-faire principles. Two wider political issues made Colonial Office attempts to persuade the Caribbean colonies to follow its preferred routes to industrialisation difficult, however. The increasing political autonomy of governments in the Caribbean region meant that Britain could not merely instruct its West Indian possessions to follow its edicts. In addition, it became clear that in the post-war world, the US hoped to shape development across the Caribbean along lines that it found conducive to its own interests

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Philip Nanton

This book represents a synthesis of three distinct tendencies or directions that my academic and creative work has taken. One is an awareness of the need for reimagining the Caribbean in a world context. This concern can be summarised in the question: how can a small, increasingly ignored, dependent region contribute to the dominant debate of the late twentieth and twenty

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Philip Nanton

scraps of food. Kingstown is awake. The Caribbean frontier: a framework Conventional frontier analysis takes the frontier as an aspect of the past, associated traditionally with disputed boundary lines and zones of conflict. It is either specifically identified or, if understood as a zone, of limited duration. Thus, for example, Howard Lemar and Leonard Thompson, in their introduction to

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Civilisation and wilderness

The St Vincent and the Grenadines context

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Philip Nanton

There is a longstanding debate among analysts of the Caribbean about the notion of ‘civilisation’ and its meaning for the region. In the Caribbean, civilisation, work and language have been linked, admittedly in different ways and with different priorities, from colonial-through-postcolonial analyses from Anthony Trollope to George Lamming. Ian Strachan’s Paradise and

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Philip Nanton

Margaret Atwood’s thriller Bodily Harm ( 1998 [1981] ). While the two novels omit any direct reference to a specific country, they speak strongly to the particularity of the smaller Caribbean islands. Finally, I read two political memoirs by Prime Ministers of St Vincent for what they reveal about the frontier: that of James ‘Son’ Mitchell, Prime Minister from 1984 to 2001, and the other by his successor, Ralph

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Philip Nanton

century to the political, economic, social or cultural development of their native land’ (John, 2009 : n.p.). Entitled Pioneers in Nation-Building in a Caribbean Mini-State , the volume drew on conventional frontier notions of individuals from various professional backgrounds – education, press, business, agriculture – who fought against great odds and worked tirelessly to improve nature