This essay on Andil Gosine’s Nature’s Wild: Love, Sex, and Law in the Caribbean (2021) reflects on the author’s application of animal studies as a productive analytic of the enduring anxieties around respectable citizenship in the Caribbean as expressed by contemporary regulations governing sex, marriage, and public dress. The pairing of antisodomy laws and bestiality codes during the early colonial era, Gosine contends, underwrites contemporary attitudes that marginalize a variety of nonheteronormative expressions and continues to influence a collective compulsion to constantly affirm the respectability of the region’s inhabitants. Gosine’s investment in understanding and dismantling the historical hold of needing to prove one’s humanity, the author argues, falls in line with a movement among a multidisciplinary field of queer artists and scholars who embrace animality as a form of radical postcolonial thinking.

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