I will be presenting my paper “Historical Exclusions/Sustainable Futures/Enduring Invisibilities: The Gendered Politics of Development and Agrarian Change in Dominica” at the upcoming Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities 2020, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MA as part of the panel “Engendering the Anthropocene: Women, Futurity, and Ecological Change in Postcolonial Societies”.
Date/Time: This conference was ultimately canceled due to COVID19.
Paper Abstract: In recent decades, global economic and environmental changes have induced trends of agricultural decline throughout the rural Caribbean. Yet as conventional development prospects have diminished, many farming women have experienced glimmers agricultural success. This paper draws upon ethnographic and archival fieldwork conducted in Dominica since 2012 to examine this gendered process of agrarian change. It finds that women’s distinct position within rural households and their marginalization within mainstream development spheres have positioned them to pursue alternative production strategies that represent an innovative and sustainable pathway for rural development. However, the informal and gendered nature of women’s innovations has meant that their significance – as well as their potential for generating alternative agricultural futures in Dominica more broadly – often goes unrecognized.