Who is a Subject and what is Her Position?

A Response to Merinda Simmons


  • Matt K. Sheedy University of Manitoba




gender, labour, religion, diaspora studies, migration studies


Merinda Simmons's Changing the Subject offers an important and critical reading of a variety of slave and diaspora narratives that focus on Afro-Caribbean women, pushing the boundaries of contemporary scholarship on narrative, gender, and post-colonial theory with insights from migration, diaspora, and identity studies, along with post-structural theory. While Simmons provides a rich re-reading of four historical novels that deal with these topics, her critical analysis does not address the ways in which the subject positions of differently situated bodies, past and present, are constituted by the structural constraints that surround them and must respond in ways that call out for a political position. Moving beyond Simmons's focus on discourse, I ask how scholars might address such concerns without undermining their own theoretical rigour.

Author Biography

Matt K. Sheedy, University of Manitoba

Matt Sheedy received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Manitoba (2015), Winnipeg, and is co-editor of the Bulletin for the Study of Religion blog and Religion Compass. His research interests include critical social theory, theories of secularism, as well as representations of Christianity, Islam, and Native traditions in popular and political culture.


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How to Cite

Sheedy, M. K. (2018). Who is a Subject and what is Her Position? A Response to Merinda Simmons. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 9(1), 51–67. https://doi.org/10.1558/post.31182



Special Issue Articles: Changing the Subject: A Review Panel