U-M Department of English
U-M English Home

News & Events

RSS Feed


English/DAAS Faculty Candidate Job Talk



The Departments of Afroamerican & African Studies and English Language & Literature

Present a Job Talk by



Lia Bascomb

University of California - Berkeley



Daughters, Mothers, and Queens:

The Role of Sexuality, Strength, and Image in Defining Barbadian “Woman Power”



Thursday, February 21, 2013

3:00 pm

4701 Haven Hall


*   *   *


On a small island in the Caribbean young daughters grow to become mothers navigating a complicated maze of sexuality, respectability, and self-identification.  Whether they birth children or perform the roles of nurturer, teacher, and matriarch in other ways, the well-being of this island nation relies on the mythical “super-strength” of its women. Tracing popular discourse from literary figures to musical icons I investigate the circumstances under which Barbadian women create their own images and the socio-cultural landscape in which they are received. Using the works of popular Barbadian literary figures, memoirs, and historical studies, this talk makes three arguments: 1) that Barbadian society reveres women as mothers and caretakers and at the same time reviles them as “naturally” manipulative beings; 2) that motherhood validates female sexuality within the public eye; and 3) that Barbadian girls and women are socialized to negotiate their own public images as they grow into womanhood.  Coming from a larger project that investigates the gendered performances of popular musicians as representatives of the Barbadian nation, I show a shift in perceptions of womanhood and women’s power in the decades surrounding Barbadian independence in an effort to contextualize a more contemporary model of women as “queens,” a discourse that is epitomized by popular performer and “Soca Queen,” Alison Hinds.


Lia is a candidate for a joint faculty position in the Department of English

Language & Literature and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

Start Time: 2/21/2013  3:10 PM
Location: 4701 Haven Hall
Contact: karlyjm@umich.edu
To view all upcoming events, please click here.

Dept. of English Language and Literature

home mission statement sitemap contact

U-M English on Facebook
U-M English on Facebook
U-M English on iTunes U
U-M English on YouTube

435 S. State Street, 3187 Angell Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
Phone: (734) 764-6330 Fax: (734) 763-3128