The question of scale has always been central to island studies. Whether through an engagement with relational and archipelagic forces, the employment of fractals, or the prominent positioning of island studies within the Anthropocene, today questions of scale are receiving attention in new ways. In this discussion, Michelle Stephens explores recent work in this area, the different and overlapping ways through which we are rethinking the scalar and islands in the contemporary era.
Michelle Stephens is the Dean of the Humanities and a Professor of English and Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, she graduated from Yale University with a Ph.D. in American Studies. Among other works, she is the author of Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914 to 1962 (Duke University Press, 2005), Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis and The Black Male Performer (Duke 2014), Archipelagic American Studies, co-edited with Brian Russell Roberts (Duke 2017), and the exhibition catalog Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, co-edited with Tatiana Flores (Duke 2017). She is a graduate of the Licensure Qualifying Program at The William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology and a practicing psychoanalyst.