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date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter studies the contemporary performative feminine identities present at the annual International Dancehall Queen Competition, which takes place in Jamaica. It identifies the Dancehall Queen style as a fundamentally postcolonial feminist practice and investigates the relationship between these Jamaican underpinnings and the competition’s more recent international developments. A competition for visibility between divergent images of the Dancehall Queen icon is identified, and examined, in relation to postcolonial and radical feminist discourses. The analysis pinpoints the event as a meeting point where the politics of postcolonial and transnational feminine identities coincide. It is argued that the increasing variety of Dancehall Queen styles reinforces the notion of “boundarylessness” (Niaah 2010) in the scene, through the very contradictions, provocations, and challenges that these developments produce.

Keywords: International Dancehall Queen Competition, postcolonial, feminine, Jamaica, transnational, boundarylessness, feminist

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