|In her poetry performances, poet, spoken word artist, and anthropologist Gina Ulysse raises issues on "race" and "class" within the context of the Black Diaspora.
In her performative language spaces, Gina Ulysse attempts not only to expand cultural anthropology, but to break it open, using spoken word poetry as "alterednative" ethnography, a way of expressing themes such as social injustice, intersectional identities, spirituality and fury over the far-reaching consequences of colonial horror and racism - in the past and present.
Gina Ulysse, PhD, anthropologist and poet, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Afro-American Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Gina Ulysse was born in Pétionville, Haiti. She emigrated to the US East Coast as a youth and has lived there ever since. Her research focuses on political and economic issues, the representation of gender and the nature of race and class within the context of the Black Diaspora. She has published her theoretical reflections in a number of articles.
Her dissertation Downtown Ladies: Informal Commercial Importing and Self-Fashioning in Jamaica - a Reflexive Political Economy Study of the Work and Subjective Practices of Import/Exporters in Kingston will be published shortly.
In her very expressive poems Gina Ulysse endeavours not only to extend the framework of cultural anthropology, but also to break through its boundaries. In this sense, she uses spoken poetry as an "alterednative" form of ethnography.
Social injustice, complex identities, anger at the far-reaching consequences of colonial atrocities and racism - now and in the past - are themes of this "changed origins" and these "original changes". Her most important poems are: "A Poem about Why I Can't Wait: Going Home Again and Again and Again: Why I Prefer the Term Incarcerated When Talking about Agency" in "The Butterfly's Way: Voices From the Haitian Diaspora in the United States", edited by Edwige Danticat (2003), "I Came of Age Colonized Now my Soul is Tired and I Am Feeling All this Rage" in Jouvert: Journal of Postcolonial Studies; "Homage to Those Who Hollered Before Me" in Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism; "Water Spirits and Revolutionary Barbies" and "Ode to the Metres: On Going Home and Learning How to Glide" in Ma Comere, Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars.