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On and In Their Bodies: Masculinist Violence, Criminalization, and Black Womanhood in Trinidad

Thursday Lecture Series, Failure

dateApril 13, 2023 timeThursday, 12:15pm–2:00pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University locationVirtual Event
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Collage titled “Roadblock” produced by Leniqueca Welcome

Leniqueca Welcome’s research explores the production and mobilization of the spatialized, gendered, and racialized figure of the violent criminal in Trinidad, the anti-black state violence it legitimizes, and the quotidian ways people invoke a decolonial and abolitionist world through and beyond criminalization where their lives are seen as unconditionally precious. In this talk, she turns her focus to the configuration of criminal life poor, Black women in Trinidad endure in the wake of the plantation. She places in conversation multiple forms of violence against those who occupy the category of “poor Black woman” to detail more comprehensively the ongoing colonialist extraction of Black women’s lives as she shows how actors in different social positions in contemporary Trinidad seek to constitute masculinist power through violence performed on and in women’s bodies. With this, she also centers on the ways Black women continue to make joy with and despite this terror as they contribute to recrafting a world where women no longer have to steal space for themselves in landscapes of death—where they no longer have to be women as womanhood has been defined by Western humanism.


Leniqueca Welcome is a multimodal anthropologist and designer from Trinidad and Tobago. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at George Washington University. Her research and teaching interests are postcolonial statecraft, racialization, gendering, securitization, visuality, and affect. Her work combines more traditional ethnographic methods with photography and collage. She is currently working on her first book manuscript, Come Out of This World, which examines criminalization and the operation of colonial technologies of anti-blackness over space and time in Trinidad. By attending to these processes, the project illuminates the ways the figure of the violent criminal is used to construct—but can also trouble—current ethical-juridical limits of humanity, care, justice, and freedom. Her writing could also be found in venues such as Small Axe: A Journal for Caribbean Criticism, Multimodality and Society, and City and Society.

This event will be in person at the Heyman Center and live-streamed online. Please register for both in-person and virtual attendance via the link.

Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.