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Special Issue Articles

Vol. 4 No. 1 (2022): American Studies as Vulnerability Studies

'It sounds like erasure': Mobility, Vulnerability, and Queer Coolitude Poetics in Rajiv Mohabir's The Taxidermist's Cut

Submitted
March 1, 2022
Published
2022-12-30

Abstract

Various im/mobilities linked to colonialism have shaped the Caribbean, fundamentally structuring the unevenness of vulnerability. This paper reads vulnerabilities as relationally produced through the entanglement of human and more-than-human im/mobilities. Rajiv Mohabir's poetry collection The Taxidermist's Cut (2016) addresses the vulnerability of the Indo-Caribbean diaspora and extends it to a shared more-than-human vulnerability. This is done by employing the practice of taxidermy as a figurative device to expose violences and vulnerabilities of oppressive and colonial regimes and its legacies today. These multiple vulnerabilities are related to both imperial im/mobilizations of peoples during the period of indentureship, as well as of animals, on which taxidermy is performed, immobilizing their desired shape for eternity. The book then queers understandings of singular national affiliation and binary classifications that serve to immobilize humans and non-humans alike, and instead moves out of these fixation by opening up the vulnerabilities of the self to other possibilities. 

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