How do we think of sovereignty itself? Spending money on Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral while Hurricane Fiona ravages the Caribbean? Nah. Should we seek sovereignty? How is it actively pursued under our western democratic projects? This week, we try to reconcile European ideals for those previously colonized within the oppressive structures that codified the colonized’s very existence.
Past episodes to dive into for reference:
S1 E6 Episode: Deathcraft Country
S1 E2 Episode: Ain’t I a Woman?
What’s the Word? Sovereignty.
Defined as autonomy, freedom from external control, sovereignty is typically considered a positive. Brendane and Alyssa unpack the ways the concept is also rooted in power and domination.
What We’re Reading.
“Non-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment” by Yarimar Bonilla. Bonilla examines how contemporary activists in Guadeloupe imagine and contest the limits of postcolonial sovereignty, challenging us rethink our received ideas about freedom, independence, nationalism, and revolution, and our commitment to sovereignty itself.
What In The World?!
In this segment, we discuss the death of Queen Elizabeth II and why Alyssa has complicated feelings about it; why turning to past values (that never existed) is evidence of crisis; the problem with Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play, Bridgerton, and The Courtship; and whether you can really have love under racial or patriarchal domination.
Unfortunately, disaster capitalism makes the world spin. After 10 days of nonstop coverage, Elizabeth’s funeral continues overshadowing Hurricane Fiona’s devastation on the Caribbean. We are bearing witness to history, yes. But, the performative aspect of some of the public grieving appears anachronistic. Why are so many people mourning a genocidal empire and its monarch? It seems less about Lizzy and more about yearning for that hereditary privilege over the colonized Commonwealth. 👀
For BONUS CONTENT, check out our Pateron as we delve into interracial dating, desirability, and more.
Non-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment (Yarimar Bonilla, 2015)
Life and Debt (Stephanie Black, 2001)
“The Sovereignty of Critique” (Audra Simpson, 2020)
“Unsettling Sovereignty” (Yarimar Bonilla, 2017)
“The Dissolution of the Myth of Sovereignty in the Caribbean” (Linden Lewis, 2012)
“Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” (Adrienne Rich, 1980)
Season 1, Episode 6: Deathcraft Country
Season 1, Episode 2: Ain’t I A Woman? (Where we discuss Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe)
Syllabus for ZD 301 is available here!
Transcript will be available on our website here.