This response essay reviews the six contributions to the special section “Con-Federating the Archipelago: The Confederación Antillana and the West Indies Federation.” These key interventions on the Spanish Caribbean Confederation projects in the nineteenth century and the West Indies Federation in the twentieth century provoke the following questions: Could we call these two Caribbean confederation projects failures if their centrality in Caribbean political imaginaries suggests otherwise? What are some of the insights that these two projects could offer to Caribbean sociohistorical processes, culture, and political developments? Even though these two projects seem to share a similar political goal, they are also radically different. The author reviews the contributions to the special section in dialogue with examples from Puerto Rico in order to assess the critical intervention in theories of nationalism produced by the past projects of federation and the possible futures they give rise to.
Future Impossible Communities
Jossianna Arroyo is professor of Latin American and Caribbean literatures and cultures in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. Her research interests center on Latin American, Caribbean, and Luso-Brazilian literatures and cultures; the relationships between literary, ethnographic, and sociological discourses in Latin America; Afro-diasporic literatures and cultures; and critical discourses of race, gender, and sexuality in colonial and postcolonial societies. She is the author of two books: Travestismos culturales: Literatura y etnografía en Cuba y Brasil (2003) and Writing Secrecy in Caribbean Freemasonry (2013), which explores the links among turn-of-the-century Caribbean Masonic thought, culture, and politics. She is currently working on a project on “virtual Caribbean bodies,” exploring the relationship between racialized bodies, media technologies, and globalization in contemporary Caribbean societies.
Jossianna Arroyo; Future Impossible Communities. Small Axe 1 March 2020; 24 (1 (61)): 96–102. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-8190625
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