Nicolette Bethel holds a BA (Hons) in Literature and French from the University of Toronto, and an MPhil and a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. She is currently Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of The Bahamas, and serves as Chair of the School of Social Sciences.
She was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas, where she currently resides. She has lived, studied and worked in the UK and Canada, and served as Director of Culture for the Bahamas for five years (2003-2008). She is the founder of the Shakespeare in Paradise theatre festival (est. 2009) and Ringplay Productions theatre company (est. 2001). She was the founder and editor-in-chief of tongues of the ocean, an online literary journal (2009-2014). She is a playwright, poet, fiction writer and anthropologist. She is a researcher in the fields of Bahamian national identity and of Junkanoo and is the editor of Junkanoo: Festival of The Bahamas (Macmillan Caribbean, 1991). Her 1990 play Powercut was made into an independent film and released by Plantation Pictures in 2001; in 2008, her second play, The Children's Teeth, was produced in Nassau and Guyana to critical acclaim. Her essays, poetry, and plays have been published in a variety of places, including the anthologies Junction: an Anthology of Bahamian Poetry and Prose, From the Shallow Seas, and The Oxford and Cambridge May Anthologies 1993; print journals such as WomanSpeak, Yinna, Trespass Magazine, The Caribbean Writer, Calabash, and Social Identities; the online journals The International Journal of Bahamian Studies, Caribbean Quarterly, The Avatar Review, The Caribbean Review of Books, Poui, sx: Small Axe Salon, and Lucayos; and the edited collections Managing Island Life and Junkanoo and Christianity. She has self-published Essays on Life, Vol I: the first fifty (2008) and the scripts of The Children's Teeth (2008), Powercut (2013) and Small Axe (2017) through Lulu.com. Between 2003 and 2008 she was a columnist for the Nassau Guardian. In 2010 her first poetry chapbook, Mama Lily and the Dead was published by Poinciana Paper Press; her second chapbook, Lent/Elegies, was published by the A Place Without Dust Nanopress in 2011, and in 2015 a third collection of poems was published in If, a publication designed to accompany the installation of the same name in Transforming Spaces 2015.
She is also a theatre director. Credits include Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor (Pearson College, BC, Canada, 1996), Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (Pearson College, BC, Canada, 1997), Macbeth (Nassau, 2001), Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (Nassau, 2014), Patrick Rahming’s Miss Ethel’s Kitchen (Nassau, 2015), Travis Cartwright-Carroll’s The Melancholy of Suzanna Turnquest (Nassau, 2016), and her own Small Axe (Nassau, 2017). Most recently she directed a revival of her first play, Powercut, and oversaw the dramaturgy and direction of Shakespeare in Paradise’s Short Tales (Nassau, 2018).
Her research interests include: sustainable development, Junkanoo, theatre, identity, gender, Bahamian literature, and Caribbean festival arts.