Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Modern Languages and Literatures (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Alexandra Perisic

Second Committee Member

Ralph Heyndels

Third Committee Member

Lillian Manzor

Fourth Committee Member

Corinne Mence Caster


This dissertation reconsiders the notion of political sovereignty, independence and nationalism in the non-sovereign Caribbean context. I explore the ways in which writers and artists from Puerto Rico, Martinique, and Guadeloupe envision alternative epistemologies to the Western concepts of sovereignty and the nation-state. By questioning the traditional model of state sovereignty through the linguistic, aesthetic, and thematic components of their texts, plays, and visual, I argue that these artists have expressed other ways to be sovereign. This dissertation analyzes a defiant artistic production that originates in a contemporary crossroads for economic survival in a Caribbean context. I investigate how the works in my corpus foment alternative discourses to challenge the normative ideal of political sovereignty. The works studied emphasize the fact that nationhood/political independence has not brought freedom or sovereignty to many nations of the global South. I argue that the dramatists, novelists, and visual artists scrutinized in my dissertation imagine new forms of sovereignty or liberation outside political independence such as the instauration networks of social and solidarity economy, regional cooperation/identification through a Caribbean confederation. The objective is to explore how these systems of thought have been represented in artistic forms, a corpus that I call non-sovereign poetics.


Coloniality, Sovereignty, Caribbean nationalism, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadeloupe

Available for download on Saturday, December 11, 2021