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Miguel Vasquez’s Twitter residency re: Caribbean Writers Summer Institute

To mark Caribbean Literature Day 2021, JWIL kicks off another Twitter residency. Between July 12-19, 2021, Miguel Antony Vasquez will be tweeting about the archives of the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute at the University of Miami.

Operating from 1991-1996, The Caribbean Writers Summer Institute was envisioned as an initiative that would bring Caribbean writers in dialogue with each other and with the United States. The overwhelming success of this six-week residential program (based at U Miami) sparked the addition of workshops in fiction, drama, and poetry, literature seminars, and ultimately the expansion of the Caribbean Studies undergraduate and graduate programs.

Driven by the labor of community leaders, faculty, and administrators, the CWSI sought to “generate awareness of the Anglophone (African, Asian, and Creole) Caribbean’s literary culture and, in the process, increase the profile of the Anglophone Caribbean within the department, the college, the institution, and the greater Miami region of South Florida” (Saunders & Pouchet Paquet 186).

The collected CWSI archives consisting of readings from prominent scholars and intimate knowledge of the Institute’s growth are a testament to the profound care surrounding this program and the impact it continues to have on the University of Miami’s Caribbean Studies community writ large.

Miguel Vasquez is a fourth year English PhD student at the University of Miami with a dual focus in African American Literary Studies and Caribbean Literary Studies. His research focuses on the Harlem Renaissance period, exploring U.S. Black identity formation and its sociopolitical relationship to the U.S. invasion of Haiti (1915). Miguel also currently serves as Assistant Editor of Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal.

Twitter Residency on George Lamming

JWIL kicks off June with another Twitter residency. Between June 7 and 14, Faizal Deen – @faizalbynight – is tweeting about the great Caribbean writer, George Lamming. This residency will coincide with Lamming’s 94th birthday on June 8th, 2021!

https://twitter.com/jwilonline/status/1401835674152677376/photo/1

Faizal Deen was born in Georgetown, Guyana and moved to Canada in the late 1970s. He is the author of two books of poetry. His first book Land Without Chocolate, a Memoir (1999) was shortlisted for the AM Klein Prize in Poetry. The Greatest Films (2016) is his second book. JWIL Vol. 26 No.1 (2018) featured an interview with Deen entitled “The Anger of Very, Very Restless Spirits”: Plantation Arrivals, Diasporic Departures and Other Queer Narratives of Caribbean Becoming—A Conversation with Faizal Deen.”

JWIL also welcomes proposals and ideas for other Twitter residencies. Our previous residencies have included a focus on Kamau Brathwaite and on Caribbean archives. See our Call For Submissions for JWIL Twitter Residencies.

Launch of newly published three volumes of Caribbean Literature in Transition

Announcing the launch of the three volumes of Caribbean Literature in Transition, 1800-2020 in Cambridge University Press’s expansive, ambitious series “In Transition”. The three volumes seek to change the conversation around Caribbean literature in the English-speaking world by emphasizing the multilingual Caribbean, by highlighting women and queer writers, by featuring visual art, music, and nontraditional venues for literary publishing like newspapers, pamphlets, and contemporary social media. All three volumes bring together new essays by a range of newer and established scholars, organized around 4 sections each: literary and generic transitions, cultural and political transitions, historical regional transitions and critical transitions. We hope “Caribbean literature” won’t look the same after you read Caribbean Literature in Transition and that the canvas will be stretched to allow far more literary figures, cultural networks and critical approaches to come into view. We hope you will enjoy the journey of reading these works and can join us for their online launch on June 7, 2021 (Volume 3), June 8, 2021 (Volume 2) and June 14, 2021 (Volume 1) at 5.30 pm UK time. Register for the respective virtual launches via:

www.cambridge.org/CLT-event1 (June 7, Volume 3)

www.cambridge.org/CLT-event2 (June 8, Volume 2)

www.cambridge.org/CLT-event3 (June 14, Volume 1)

For more information, see CLT 2021 Launch events

Call for Papers — Recognition and Recovery of Caribbean Canadian Cultural Production

Michael A. Bucknor and Cornel Bogle invite submissions for a special issue of Canada and Beyond: A Journal of Canadian Literary and Cultural Studies on Caribbean Canadian cultural production which will feature scholarship that is engaged in the critical tasks of recovery and recognition of figures, texts, debates, collectives, and institutions that have influenced the field.

The editors welcome essays and interviews that focus on both historical and contemporary Caribbean Canadian cultural production including literature, music, film, and visual arts, particularly related to the following topics:

–The recuperation of writers and artists not traditionally recognized as Caribbean Canadian

–Caribbean Canadian and Black Lives Matter

–Caribbean Canadian archival materials

–Institutional networks and supports for Caribbean Canadian art

–Caribbean Canadian art and crises

–LGBTQ+ Caribbean Canadian art

–Women artists and women’s work

–Caribbean Canadian Children’s and Young Adult literature

–Appropriation and Erasure

–Caribbean Canadian Life Writing

–Francophone Caribbean Canadian writing

–Spanish Language Caribbean Canadian writing

–Caribbean Canadian and Indigenous relations

–The reception of Caribbean Canadian art

–Caribbean Canadian art in Western Canada

–Caribbean Canadian film

–Emerging Caribbean Canadian writers and artists

–Self-publishing and traditional publishing of Caribbean Canadian writing

All submissions must be original, unpublished work. Articles, between 6,000 and 7500 words in length, including endnotes and works cited, should follow current MLA bibliographic format. Submissions should be uploaded to Canada and Beyonds online submissions system and simultaneously sent to caribbean.canlit@gmail.com by July 31, 2021 to be peer-reviewed for Issue 10, 2021. For more information please contact the guest editors at the e-mail address above and see CFP Canada and Beyond.

 

 

In memoriam: Martin Mordecai 1942-2021

The Editorial Team of the Journal of West Indian Literature, as well as many of our advisors and readers, were saddened to hear about the death of Martin Mordecai in Canada. The father of Rachel Mordecai, who served as a JWIL Editor for many years, and the husband of Pam Mordecai and brother-in-law of Betty Wilson (both contributors to JWIL and the editors of one of the first anthologies of Caribbean women’s writing, Her True True Name), Martin Mordecai was a Jamaican man of words. He worked as a journalist, a civil servant, was one of the main forces behind the publisher Sandberry Press and was an excellent photographer, a poet and a novelist. He published a young-adult novel, Blue Mountain Trouble, and co-authored Culture and Customs of Jamaica with Pam but his place in West Indian literature was consolidated by his historical novel, Free, described by Nalo Hopkinson as “an astounding act of remembrance.” We extend heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.

Call for Papers: Special JWIL April 2022 Issue on Kamau Brathwaite

Engaging Kamau Brathwaite:

This special issue of the Journal of West Indian Literature seeks papers and reflections on the work of Kamau Brathwaite, situating the writer/poet/scholar and his work within the canons of Caribbean, American, African-American, and/or postcolonial literature. In particular, we are interested in contributions that consider how, and why, we can/should/do engage Brathwaite’s work in our writing, research, and teaching today, a half-century after his first major publication.

With significant ties to Barbados, Jamaica, England, and Ghana, Kamau Brathwaite represents a truly transnational intellectual, though it may be argued that the Caribbean region was always the center – the groundation – of his thought processes. He has made major contributions across several fields and disciplines with his creative and critical writings, as well as his organizational, pedagogical, and editorial work. Thus, Brathwaite and his work may be engaged on/from multiple dimensions as relevant to contemporary conversations about race, region, rhythm, and representation. This special issue seeks to present that range of relevance to scholarship, service, and teaching today. We are open to scholarly papers and reflections that position Brathwaite’s work(s) as frame and/or focus for a central argument. We are especially interested in submissions that consider:

– Brathwaite’s less studied texts,

– his work as an editor and teacher,

– his influence on later generations of Caribbean writers, and/or

– approaches to teaching his writings.

While the Journal of West Indian Literature focuses primarily on literary topics, given Brathwaite’s own mixed methodologies, this special issue will necessarily include interdisciplinary engagements with his work.

Prospective contributors should email 300-500 word abstracts, along with a short bio, by 1 April 2021. Responses to abstract submissions will be sent by 1 May 2021 and final versions of accepted papers will be due 1 September 2021. Please send abstracts and all inquiries to Kelly Baker Josephs (kjosephs@york.cuny.edu).

Deadline for abstracts and bio: 1 April 2021

Full papers due: 1 September 2021

Publication: April 2022

About the special issue editor: Kelly Baker Josephs is Professor of English at York College, City University of New York, and Professor of English and digital humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Disturbers of the Peace: Representations of Insanity in Anglophone Caribbean Literature (2013) and co-editor of the forthcoming collection, The Digital Black Atlantic, part of the Debates in the Digital Humanities series.

In memoriam: Zee Edgell (21 Oct 1940 – 20 Dec 2020)

JWIL mourns the passing of the great Caribbean writer Zee Edgell. She is celebrated for her books Beka Lamb (1982), In Times like These (1991), The Festival of San Joaquin (1997) and Time and the River (2007). She was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2007 and retired from her role as Professor of English at Kent State University in 2009. Her novel Beka Lamb, which elucidated the colonial, patriarchal and class pressures on Caribbean women, continues to influence generations of readers. Here are some reflections on this important figure from her daughter, Holly Edgell.

https://hollyedgell.wordpress.com/2020/12/20/on-my-mother-zee-edgell/

The University of Chicago’s Department of English invites applications for Ph.D. candidacy in Black studies for the 2020-2021 admission cycle

The University of Chicago’s Department of English has announced that, for the 2020-2021 admission cycle, they will be admitting only students working in and with Black studies. They also highlight their particular strength in the area of Caribbean studies, with a growing group of Caribbeanist faculty across methods, languages, and periods, including Jessica Baker (Music), Ryan Cecil Jobson (Anthropology) Sarah Jessica Johnson (English), Agnes Lugo-Ortiz (Romance Languages and Literatures), Danielle Roper (Romance Languages and Literatures), Chris Taylor (English), and Kaneesha Parsard (English). For more details about the initiative, see here.

The Caribbean Digital VII to be held virtually, with three asynchronous digital community projects and a synchronous gathering on December 4, 2020

From the organizers –

“This year, the seventh annual Caribbean Digital event will be held virtually, with three asynchronous digital community projects and a synchronous gathering.

Currently, we are in the midst of collecting entries for one of the three community projects, our Directory of Caribbean Digital Scholarship. To suggest projects for inclusion in the Directory, you are invited to add links and annotations to our master spreadsheet between October 26 and November 20. 

We are also gearing up for our Collective Annotation of Aimé Césaire’s Notebook of a Return to My Native Land, which will run November 16 to 20. This event offers our community an opportunity to engage Césaire’s work in ways that will generate an original textual artifact. Please sign up here to receive timely information regarding participation in this venture.

Our third valence, a Keyword Collection for Caribbean Studies, initiates a collaborative exploration of words that serve as rich sites for research and pedagogy in Caribbean Studies. This collection is intended to be the beginning of a project that will grow with future Caribbean Digital events.

We are excited to work on these three projects with you. Please contact us at thecaribbeandigital@gmail.com if you have questions and/or wish to participate. All three ventures will be launched synchronously at the Caribbean Digital event on 4 December 2020, 1p-2p EST, which you can register for here.”

Dr. Ronald Cummings joins JWIL editorial team

The JWIL editorial team is very pleased to announce that we have welcomed aboard a new member of the collective – Dr. Ronald Cummings. Dr. Cummings is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literatures at Brock University, Canada. His research focuses on critical Maroon studies, gender and sexuality studies and on Caribbean literary historiography. He is co-editor (with Alison Donnell) of Caribbean Literature in Transition, 1970-2020 (Cambridge University Press, 2021). We are thrilled to have his expertise and commitment to Caribbean studies be a part of our collective work.