This book rethinks the history of colonisation by focusing on the formation of the European aesthetic ideas of indigeneity and blackness in the Caribbean, and how these ideas were deployed as markers of biopolitical governance. Using Foucault’s philosophical archaeology as method, this work argues that the European formation of indigeneity and blackness was based on aesthetically casting Aboriginal and African peoples in the Caribbean as monsters yet with a similar degree of Western civilisation and ‘culture’. By focusing on the aesthetics of the first racial imageries that produced indigeneity and blackness this work takes a radical departure from the current Social Darwinian theorisations of race and racism. It reveals a new connection between the global origins of colonisation and local post-Enlightenment histories.
1. Introduction: Archaeology of Colonisation
Part 1: Origins: Colonial Aesthetics (The Caribbean)
2. Aesthetics of Ugliness
3. Monstrous Anthropology
Part 2: Command (Queensland, Australia)
5. Biopolitics in Colonisation: The Inequality of Human Races
6. The Blanket Approach
7. State of Exception in Australia
8. Conclusion: Colonisation
Carlos Rivera-Santana is a Research Associate at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York
This book offers an innovative and exciting extension of postcolonial analysis, ranging from aesthetics to biopolitics and demonstrating the continued applicability and range of postcolonial theory. In particular, the use of biopolitics to examine colonialism’s continued legacy of racial inequality is illuminating.
Carlos Rivera Santana’s book offers an innovative decolonial analysis, combining biopolitics with a focus on the aesthetic construction of ugliness and beauty, or what he calls “manufactured fictions.” Taking Queensland Australia as his case study allows him to focus on one of the most recent colonial operations. This meticulously researched, rigorously argued work will expand our analysis of power in the contemporary world.
Carlos Rivera Santana offers a compelling and original discussion of colonisation beyond the common Anglo-American discourses of racialized hierarchies. Through meticulous research, this book innovates an account of processes of colonisation from interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives, which lay emphasis to non-discursive practices of power. The re-reading of Foucault and biopolitics via ‘decolonial’ thinking is to be welcomed.