Contesting Respectability: Sexual Politics in Post-Emancipation Colonial Curaçao
Public Lecture by Rose Mary Allen, organized by Sruti Bala and hosted by ASCA, NICA, the Centre for Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS) and Atria. Venue: Atria – Institute for Gender Equality and Women’s History, Vijzelstraat 20, 1017 HK Amsterdam
The lecture examines the ways in which colonial politics of respectability, aimed at shaping ideal Curaçaoan male and female behavior, formed a response to racist representations of black sexuality and character in Curaçaoan society. People were confronted with different politics of respectability that influenced how they defined and identified themselves. By reflecting on the discourses of respectability in Curaçaoan society, the lecture offers an analysis of gender differences in the region from a Dutch-Caribbean perspective and analyzes experiences of inclusion and exclusion within the wider Caribbean context. Data to sustain this presentation are principally drawn from documents as well as oral history interviews with elderly Curaçaoans.
Dr. Rose Mary Allen is a cultural anthropologist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Curaçao dr. Moises da Costa Gomez. She is a recipient of a knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau by the Netherlands, the Cola Debrot award as well as the Boeli van Leeuwenprijs for her contribution to and achievement in the sciences. Publications include ‘Di Ki Manera’: A Social History of Afro-Curaçaoans, 1863–1917 (2007); and “The Oral History of Slavery, Afro-Curaçaoan Memory, and Self-Definition: A Caribbean Perspective on the 300th Anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht,” In: Sargasso: Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, & Culture I & II (2014): 135-152.