Michel-Rolph Trouillot
University of Chicago


“Modernity” is a cloudy term belonging to a familiy of words we might label as “NorthAthlantic universals”. These are particulars that have reached a universal degree; they are pieces of human history being turned into historical standards. This paper sustains that in its mainstream display, as a North-Atlantic universal, modernity disguises and disavows the many Others it creates. Thus, it is examined how, in the Caribbean perspective, modernity never was, never might it be, what it says it is.

Keywords: modernity, Caribbean, slavery, historical anthropology.