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Praise for Imagining Caribbean Womanhood...

"Imagining Caribbean Womanhood is a ground-breaking study that reveals the complex interweaving of beauty culture, gendered experience, and nationalism in a pivotal moment in Caribbean history.


Rowe tracks these developments through debates around a significant yet undervalued phenomenon: the beauty contest. In doing so, she skilfully demonstrates how beauty became a contested terrain for negotiating ideas about modern Caribbean identity.


For this reason—and many more—this fascinating book is a must-read for everyone interested in histories of decolonisation and colonialism, gender and race, and the politics of appearance." 

Jessica P. Clark, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of History, The Business of Beauty: Gender and the Body in Modern London

Historians often publish their first books by obligation... Second books are often the books that historians want to write. To her credit, Rochelle Rowe's first monograph reads like it is her second...Rowe's writing demonstrates both clarity of mind and expression and is free of foggy jargon. 


Rowe's work, grounded in the cosmopolitan colonialism and multiculturalism of the Caribbean, will be of note and interest to social and cultural historians of the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Great Britain, and the Atlantic world.

Michael Edward Stanfield,
American Historical Review

Imagining Caribbean Womanhood is an outstanding contribution to studies of creolization and hybridity for its rigorous attention to these concepts as value laden and embedded in performances of the body in West Indian popular culture and nationalisms. 

I highly recommend Imagining Caribbean Womanhood to popular and academic audiences interested in the politics of beauty and decolonization movements.

While the study focuses on Anglophone Caribbean nationhood, this text offers a

template for feminist historical scholarship that can be applied to other geo-political

contexts and eras as well.


Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy
Dickinson College 

This book offers a unique lens with which to understand the complex race and colour relations in the Anglophone Caribbean during the era of decolonisation.


Students on my twentieth-century Caribbean history course often struggle to understand how race and colour intersected with other markers of difference. This book succeeds, without using complex theory and language, in showing that race and colour relations were gendered.


It is also one of very few historical studies that focuses on colourism, a phenomenon which has its origins in slavery and has continued up to the present. 


Rowe's book then constitutes a major addition to the fields of Caribbean women's history and race history. 

Henrice Altink - Professor Modern History & author of 

Public Secrets: Race and Colour in Colonial and Independent Jamaica 

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