Meaghan Frauts


Dr. Meaghan Frauts‘s (Ph.D. Queen’s University) research and writing focuses on ‘resilience’ as a dominant articulation of policy discourses that intervenes in cultural production and creative practices in Kingston, Jamaica. Intervening in scholarly, policy and activist debates on ‘resilience’, in her dissertation thesis entitled Cultural Politics of Resilience in Kingston, Jamaica (Queen’s University, 2016) Frauts argues that it is inadequate to view resilience as either a foolproof remedy or as uncontested source of top-down domination. Rather, her contextually-specific and ethnographically rich analysis demonstrates how histories of slavery, colonial capitalism, and gender inequality inform what people make of this discourse in practice in cultural practices in urban areas.


Resilience and the Creative Economy in Jamaica

Resilience discourse is ubiquitous. But what are the consequences of such pervasiveness? Creative industries are understood as key to making Jamaica resilient, as they are seen as viable alternative (i.e.: flexible, low-overhead) development strategies in a “struggling economy.” Strikingly, development initiatives, which emphasize resilience, encourage Jamaicans to recall historical resilience in the face of slavery, in order to construct current neoliberal-led development goals focusing on creative practice and entrepreneurialism. This paper examines the connections between resilience, creative practices and neoliberalism in Jamaica in order to ask: what are the implications of framing historical forms of resilience as commensurable with neoliberal development? In what ways does grounding resilience in creative practices—from Jamaican street dances to activism—re-orient the power of resilience wherein Jamaicans can envision alternatives to neoliberal development?

Talk Date: April 29, 10-12pm  Panel V (closed): Resilience and Generative Politics 

Venue: Education Centre North 4th Floor Lounge

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