St. John’s Bajo El Sol Gallery will host a book signing, discussion and Q&A with Virgin Islands scholar and author Tami Navarro, at 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11. She will present her newly published book “Virgin Capital: Race, Gender, and Financialization in the U.S. Virgin Islands.” The book examines the cultural impact and historical significance of the Economic Development Commission (EDC) in the United States Virgin Islands.
SUNY Press describes the book as ethnography situating the contemporary financial services industry in the U.S. Virgin Islands within broader histories of racial capitalism and gender inequality.
More from the publisher: “’Virgin Capital’ examines the cultural impact and historical significance of the Economic Development Commission (EDC) in the United States Virgin Islands. A tax holiday program, the EDC encourages financial services companies to relocate to these American-owned islands in exchange for an exemption from 90% of income taxes and to stimulate the economy by hiring local workers and donating to local charitable causes.
“As a result of this program, the largest and poorest of these islands, St. Croix, has played host to primarily U.S. financial firms and their white managers, leading to reinvigorated anxieties around the costs of racial capitalism and a feared return to the racial and gender order that ruled the islands during slavery. Drawing on fieldwork conducted during the boom years leading up to the 2008–2009 financial crisis, “Virgin Capital” provides ethnographic insight into the continuing relations of coloniality at work in the quintessentially “modern” industry of financial services and neoliberal “development” regimes, with their grounding in hierarchies of race, gender, class and geopolitical positioning.
“This is a fascinating, beautifully written book that contributes a great deal to what we know about the U.S. empire, racial formation, gender, the history of neoliberalism, (under)development in the Caribbean, and the way globalization of financial sectors lives in particular geographies. I will recommend it to everyone I know.” — Laura Briggs, author of “Taking Children: A History of American Terror”
About the author: Tami Navarro, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Pan-African Studies at Drew University.
She is a cultural anthropologist whose work has has been published in “Cultural Anthropology,” “American Anthropologist,” “Transforming Anthropology,” “Small Axe Salon,” “The Caribbean Writer,” “Social Text” and “Feminist Anthropology.”
She is a founding member of the Virgin Islands Studies Collective (VISCO) and a member of the editorial board for the journal “Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism.” Dr. Navarro is co-host of the podcast, “Writing Home: American Voices from the Caribbean” and the author of “Virgin Capital: Race, Gender, and Financialization in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” which has recently been recognized by the Association for Feminist Anthropology.