Cosmopolitan or mongrel? Créolité, hybridity and ‘douglarisation’ in Trinidad

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2011-03-05 22:35Z by Steven

Cosmopolitan or mongrel? Créolité, hybridity and ‘douglarisation’ in Trinidad

European Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume 2, Number 3 (September 1999)
pages 331-353
DOI: 10.1177/136754949900200303

Eve Stoddard, Dana Professor of Global Studies
St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York

Grant H. Cornwell, President
College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio

The article examines a Trinidadian calypso and its reception as a case study to weigh the discourses of hybridity, creolisation, and a local variant, ‘douglarisation’. In cultural studies discourse, ‘creolisation’ is often used synonymously with hybridization. However, it is a different metaphor, with a different genealogy, and is much more grounded in specific histories and places, namely the New World sites of plantation slavery. In Trinidad, the pejorative term ‘dougla‘ sigmfies the offspring of a union between persons of African and Indian ancestry, while ‘douglarisation’ denotes the contested processes of Afro- and Indo-Trinidadian interculturation. ‘Douglarisation’ can be read as a particular instance of both hybridity and creolisation, but with very different implications. We argue that hybridity and creolisation advance different political agendas, the former attentive to multiple roots and the latter to new connections.

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