is associate professor of Communication and Media Studies and chair of the Department of Communication and Graphic Design at Roger Williams University. She is an interdisciplinary cultural scholar, whose research agenda includes areas such as gender studies, media studies, Caribbean studies, postcolonial studies and black politics. Her research specifically focuses on Caribbean immigrant women in the U.S., exploring their experiences and identities in their new home. She has published several articles including "West Indian Women, Difference and Cultural Citizenship in the U.S.” and "'Fiwi TV:' Ethnic Media and the West Indian Diaspora”. She is also the author of the book chapters “West Indian Women, Body Politics and Cultural Citizenship" and “Barriers to Being Heard in a Majority Institution.” Her edited volume, titled "Re-Constructing Place and Space: Media, Power, and Identity in the Constitution of Caribbean Diasporas", was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Book Award from the African American Communication and Culture Division of the National Communication Association of the U.S. Her new monograph "Romance With Voluptuousness: Caribbean Women and Thick Bodies in the U.S.", was released in October 2016 by University of Nebraska Press.
Offering a unique vantage point from which to view black women’s body image and Caribbean migration, Romance with Voluptuousness illuminates how first- and second-generation immigrant black Caribbean women engage with a thick body aesthetic while living in the United States.
Using personal accounts, Romance with Voluptuousness examines the ways in which black women with heritage in the English-speaking Caribbean participate in, perpetuate, and struggle with the voluptuous beauty standard of the black Caribbean while living in the hegemony of thinness cultivated in the United States. It highlights how black Caribbean women negotiate issues of body image deriving from both Caribbean and American pressures to maintain a particular body shape and contend with discourses and practices surrounding the body that aim to marginalize and exclude them from economic, social, and political spaces. By focusing on diasporic Caribbean women’s “romance” with voluptuousness, Kamille Gentles-Peart explores the transnational flow of beauty ideals and examines how ideas about beauty in the Caribbean diaspora help to shape the experiences of Caribbean black women in the United States.
Romance With Voluptuousness: Caribbean Women and Thick Bodies in the U.S.