New West Indian Guide advance articles online

The journal New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids has published new advance articles. These are now available on

‘Put the brassiere on the cross: Performing “Spanish” fem(me)ininities and sexualities through Komfa in Guyana’, by Jeremy Jacob Peretz

Komfa is a Guyanese practice involving elaborate rituals dedicated to “the Seven Nations” of ancestor-spirits who re/present colonial British demography. Komfa’s Spanish nation is most frequently understood as presenting queer subjecthood through overtly sexualized and (trans)gendered performances. To Guyanese, “Spanish” generally refers to Venezuelans. Pre- and post-emancipation histories of mobility within the borderlands of Guyana and Venezuela illuminate how Komfa practitioners embrace ambiguities of “noncompliant” genders and sexualities. Devotees who embody Spanish spirits tend to be transgender, identify as gay or antiman, and/or share intimate relations with partners of the same sex. Many also engage in sex labor. Such orientations, identifications, and occupations performed during trance possession and “secular” contexts of daily life may be re-valued through Komfa, providing non-conforming Guyanese with a refuge from societal discriminations through which they transform conceptions of selfhood by embracing the agencies and lived experiences of “non-Guyanese” within a symbolic economy of erotic alterity.

‘Allowing corruption and dodging accountability: The negative consequences of the Westminster system and partisan media in small Caribbean states’, by Joseph Gascoigne

Public investigations have become markers of good governance and accountability. However, when not backed up by rigorous statutory powers, such investigations can have the reverse effect; they can be used as political tools by governments as a means of avoiding scrutiny and dodging accountability. This article analyzes the 1987 Nedd Investigation into Antigua and Barbuda’s runway scandal – a case of political-financial corruption during the renovation of Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport in 1986. In doing so, it explores the strategies governments can use to manipulate public investigations when they are not established on a clear legal foundation. These strategies are not unique to the Anglophone Caribbean, but they are particularly damaging in small and politically polarized states.

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