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On the Move

On the Move: The Caribbean since 1989, Zed Books

Sources that range from scholarly texts to tourist brochures tend to imagine the Caribbean as a “place without history” or a “place out of time.” Indeed, the notion of “getting away from it all” lures countless visitors, while the region’s purportedly elusive modernity informs a variety of research agendas. This imagining of the Caribbean as somehow out of time has generated a number of variations on the theme, such as visions of Haiti as trapped in an endless cycle of violence and instability, Cuba as a 1950’s time warp, Jamaicans as largely ganja-smoking Rastafarians, and numerous pristine (and largely anonymous) islands as refuges offering the world-weary the possibility of total disconnect from their harried lives. This book argues instead for the Caribbean’s longstanding engagement with the wider world. Four case studies on Cuba and the post-Soviet economy, transnational Haitian citizenship, Jamaica’s drug trade, and the region’s communications connectivities explore the ways that recent global transformations have reconfigured Caribbean economies and cultures.

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