cover of book

Postnationalism Prefigured: Caribbean Borderlands
by Charles V. Carnegie
Rutgers University Press, 2002
Paper: 978-0-8135-3055-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-5795-3 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-3054-3
Library of Congress Classification F2176.C36 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.8009729


We do not consider it noteworthy when somebody moves three thousand miles from New York to Los Angeles. Yet we think that movement across borders requires a major degree of adjustment, and that an individual who migrates 750 miles from Haiti to Miami has done something extraordinary. Charles V. Carnegie suggests that to people from the Caribbean, migration is simply one of many ways to pursue a better future and to survive in a world over which they have little control

Carnegie shows not only that the nation-state is an exhausted form of political organization, but that in the Caribbean the ideological and political reach of the nation-state has always been tenuous at best. Caribbean peoples, he suggests, live continually in breach of the nation-state configuration. Drawing both on his own experiences as a Jamaican-born anthropologist and on the examples provided by those who have always considered national borders as little more than artificial administrative nuisances, Carnegie investigates a fascinating spectrum of individuals, including Marcus Garvey, traders, black albinos, and Caribbean Ba’hais. If these people have not themselves developed a scholarly doctrine of transnationalism, they have, nevertheless, effectively lived its demand and prefigured a postnational life.

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