Caribbean Iconographies of Cultural Nationalism: Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico
Caribbean Iconographies of Cultural Nationalism: Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico traces a chronological evolution of images circulating between the Caribbean and the United States demonstrating the intersection of religion and politics. I argue that these representations constitute prime examples of the Caribbean struggle for decolonization and self-determination. I focus my investigation on select examples from three Antillian nations to theorize the iconophilic and affective dimensions of their corresponding cultural nationalisms, especially in relation to resisting colonialism and imperialism. From the Haitian Revolution to the first US occupation of Cuba to the current aftermath of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico, I examine the mechanisms of power relations at play in the region as understood through the lens of iconography and Caribbean thought. I accomplish this through an analysis of particular images and related texts, a foundational novel, a painting, a series of photographs and postcards, and contemporary public murals with the use of methodologies related to cultural and visual studies, Caribbean and decolonial thought, theories of affect and iconography, historical and archival analysis, and theologies of Afro-Caribbean religions.
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