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This chapter uses queer fractals as a mode of narrating the past to provide historical context for the book. It represents the history of Jamaica from the arrival of the Spanish in 1494 to the end of the twentieth century. Given the multiplicity of what could count as queer and Jamaica in the past, the chapter does not seek to perform a historical accounting. Instead, it gestures to the repetitive shape—in a necessarily partial and limited way—of Jamaican queerness over time. The chapter uses common frames of Caribbean history—European conquest, Indigenous genocide, African enslavement and emancipation, racialized labor migration (including Asian indentureship), as well as domestic responses to global designs of political and economic disenfranchisement—to illustrate how the workings of capitalism, the materialization of racial difference, and the enactment of gender and sexual peculiarity are mutually constitutive.

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