Coolitude: Poetics of the Indian Labor Diaspora

In this project I take a look at the cultural productions of writers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers who descend from indentured laborers from Guyana, Trinidad, Suriname, Mauritius, South Africa, Fiji, and those in second diaspora in England, the United States, and Canada.

I chart the poetics of Coolitude, itself a queer cousin of Césaire's, Senghor's, and Damas's Négritude. Coolitude uses the labor economy of the British Empire to suggest a similarity in identities, not based on racial or ethnic sameness, but rather the function of the economic category Coolie.

In these pages are vocabularies, essays, book reviews, and writing prompts.



“A century after the end of Indian indenture: An introduction to the scope of this project”

“Coolitude: Theoretical underpinnings”

“Coolitude, a poetics for 2017”

“Girmit ideology, douglarization, and Kala Pani poetics: More theories of the Indian Labor Diaspora”

“Performing Coolitude at the Queens Museum”

“Coolitude poetics of Andil Gosine: A Coolitude interview”

“The archive and the poet”

“'Coolie Woman' and trans-creation”

“Coolitude poetics: Interview with Gaitura Bahadur”

“Vocabularies of indenture in the Indian labor diaspora”

“Fiji Indian Girmitiya poetry”

“Coolitude poetics interview with Sudesh Mishra”

“On theorizing Caribbean space: History and linguistic diversity in the Caribbean” Coolitude poetics from the Caribbean

“Caribbean vocabularies of Coolitude: Surinam and Trinidad”

“Caribbean vocabularies of Coolitude: Guyana and the poetry of David Dabydeen”

“Caribbean vocabularies of Coolitude: Guyana and Mahadai Das's 'They Came In Ships'”

“David Dabydeen on Coolitude: A Coolitude interview”

“Poetics of Andre Bagoo: A Coolitude interview”

“Vocabularies of Coolitude: Mauritius and Khalil Torabully”

“Vocabularies of Coolitude: South Africa and Francine Simon”

“From vocabularies of indenture to living grammars: A writing prompt”

“Coolitude hauntings”

“Queer Coolitude hauntings in motion: Shivanee Ramlochan speaks of ghosts”

“Coolitude poetics interview with Shivanee Ramlochan”

“Coolitude poetics interview with Elizabeth Jaikaran”

“Poetics of haunting: a writing prompt”

“Poetics of Coolitude hauntings: Haunted stories of Elizabeth Jaikaran”

“Chutney music and poetry craft: Coolitude poetics and music”

“Translation and Coolitude: The poetics of Lalbihari Sharma”

“Coolitude poetics interview with Amar Ramesar”

“Coolitude poetics interview with Divya M. Persaud”

“Coolitude poetics interview with Ian Harnarine”


© Rajiv Mohabir 2019