Join us from November 14-21, 2022 when Kim Evelyn will share reflections on teaching Caribbean Literature at @jwilonline. In an increasingly distracting world pulling our students’ attention in different directions, it can feel like a struggle to keep students engaged in the close reading work of literary studies and foster their appreciation for literary texts. Fortunately, the world of Caribbean literature and cultural studies is rich with compelling texts, controversial ideas, radical figures, and fascinating stories. Educators can tap into this wealth of resources with engaging pedagogical strategies that work in both general literature courses and Caribbean literature courses. Providing recordings of poetry readings/performance poems, documentaries, lectures, and interviews allow students to hear and see writers or other important figures off the page. Assignments such as creating playlists, conducting interviews, writing articles or non-fiction/personal essays, and researching archived works draw students into the joys of close reading and help them see the relevance of literary texts and other cultural products to their own lives and cultures. As a bonus, online tools offer students opportunities to develop career-relevant audience awareness and tech savviness as they collaborate on shared documents, dig into digital archives, or create timelines and maps. In this series, we’ll explore opportunities for engagement in meaningful pedagogy in Caribbean literature and cultural studies. I hope you’ll share your best practices too.
Dr. Kim Evelyn is an Assistant Professor of English at Bowie State University where she teaches Caribbean literature, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, and composition. At BSU, Dr. Evelyn has been recognized for her service to students and serves as a Fellow with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Her work has appeared in the Journal of West Indian Literature, The Caribbean Writer, Postcolonial Text, Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal, South Atlantic Review, and elsewhere, and is forthcoming in the edited collection, The Affects of Pedagogy in Literary Studies. In addition to Caribbean literature, her research interests include: diaspora, nation, and migration; dub poetry; Creole/Patwah languages in literature; media, propaganda, and advertising; and collaborative, engaged pedagogy. Dr. Evelyn earned her PhD in English at the University of Rhode Island where she taught writing and literature courses and served as Project Manager for the university’s National Endowment for the Humanities NextGen PhD grant. She tweets at @KimCEvelyn
You can read Kim Evelyn’s essay “Using Digital Tools and Collaborative Writing to Engage Students with Kamau Brathwaite’s Poetry” in the April 2022 issue of JWIL.
Join us from Oct 3 to Oct 10, 2022 for another JWIL Twitter residency. Bedour Alagraa (@balagonline) will take over our Twitter feed (@jwilonline) with a focus on the essay as a crucial poetic and political expressive medium in many different Caribbean intellectual traditions. As part of her residency, Dr. Alagraa will explore important essays by Caribbean writers including Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, Sylvia Wynter, among others.
Dr. Bedour Alagraa is Assistant Professor of Political and Social Thought in the Department of African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and is currently a Visiting Research Scholar in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Her book manuscript is entitled The Interminable Catastrophe (forthcoming from Duke University Press).
You can read her essay, “Lessons from Brathwaite: Breaking the Pentameter, Deepening Black Study” in the most recent issue of JWIL. https://www.jwilonline.org/current-issue/
Call for Papers: Special JWIL November 2023 Issue on Literature, Art, and Environmental Activism
Writers, filmmakers, musicians, and other arts performers have taken a leading role in protesting governmental failure and corporate responsibility for environmental destruction and disaster across the Caribbean. In the 2000s, Caribbean writers, filmmakers, visual and other artists have spoken truth to power in Puerto Rico and Dominica after the tragedy of Hurricane Maria, in the struggle to preserve Jamaica’s Cockpit country from bauxite mining, and against extractive industries, tourism, and other environmentally destructive forms of development. In fact, writers and artists have been documenting, illuminating, and protesting environmental destruction since Caribbean cultural traditions emerged.
We invite scholarly essays as well as the statements of artists and writers that illuminate the various and profound contribution of literature, film and other arts to Caribbean environmental activism. We hope to address the long history of artists’ and writers’ environmental concerns and activism, the wide geographical and social reach of their efforts across the Caribbean and its diaspora, the ways in which environmental change and crisis have shaped artistic form, and artists’ and writers’ vision for the future.
Prospective contributors should submit 300–500 word abstracts by 1 November 2022. Responses to abstract submissions will be sent by 15 November 2022; final versions of accepted papers will be due 15 April 2023. Scholarly essays should be between 6000 and 8000 words. Writers’ and artists’ statements or essays may be considerably shorter.
Please submit abstracts through the JWIL submission page: https://www.jwilonline.org/submission-guidelines/article-guidelines/
For queries about the issue, please contact Leah Rosenberg, email@example.com
Please click here for more information about the Journal of West Indian Literature.
Join us from August 29 to Sept 5 for JWIL
‘s August Twitter residency. Nalini Mohabir (@BrownGirlEnvy
) will be sharing about the life and pioneering work of Frank Birbalsingh. Frank Birbalsingh is Professor Emeritus at York University in Canada. He is the author of 15 books, including seminal works such as Passion and Exile
, Indian-Caribbean Test Cricketers and the Quest for Identity
, Indo-Caribbean Resistance
, and Indenture and Exile
. Birbalsingh was part of a generation of Caribbean literary scholars that Nadi Edwards has termed “The Foundational Generation.” He was also a pioneer in the field of Indo-Caribbean studies, convening the landmark Indo-Caribbean conference at York University in 1988. Nalini Mohabir (@BrownGirlEnvy
) will reflect on Birbalsingh’s pathbreaking life and his wide-ranging scholarship.
Nalini Mohabir is associate professor of Postcolonial Geographies at Concordia University, Montreal.
Call for Papers: Special Issue of the Journal of West Indian Literature on the work of Pamela Mordecai
This special issue of the Journal of West Indian Literature seeks papers and reflections on the work of Pamela Mordecai. For over four decades now, Mordecai has been producing diverse literary works. She has published poetry, short stories, plays, textbooks, and other forms of writing, including a novel and a short-story collection. In addition to being one of the women writers who led the steady growth of Caribbean women’s literature since the 1980s, Mordecai has been at the forefront of the work of bringing visibility to Caribbean women’s literature via ground-breaking collections such as Her True-True Name. Yet, Mordecai’s oeuvre and other contributions to Caribbean literature and culture as editor, anthologist and publisher have not been sufficiently acknowledged by the critical community.
We invite scholarly articles that address different aspects of Mordecai’s work, including her located Caribbean sensibilities and rhetorical strategies, as well as her diasporic reach. We also welcome non-traditional academic submissions (such as creative reflections on her work and influences) and book reviews of her latest collection, A Fierce Green Place: New and Selected Poems (2022). Scholarly essays should be between 6000 and 8000 words. Creative pieces can be between 2000 and 5000 words, and book reviews 1000-1500 words.
Prospective contributors should submit 300-500 word abstracts by 31 August 2022. Responses to abstract submissions will be sent by 10 September 2022 and final versions of accepted papers will be due 15 October 2022. Please send abstracts and all inquiries to Carol Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Stephanie McKenzie (email@example.com)
About the special issue editors: Carol Bailey is co-editor of A Fierce Green Place: New and Selected Poems, author of A Poetics of Performance: The Oral-Scribal Aesthetic in Anglophone Caribbean Fiction (UWI Press, 2014), and the forthcoming book, Writing the Black Diasporic City in the Age of Globalization (Rutgers University Press, 2023). Stephanie McKenzie is Professor, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, and co-editor of A Fierce Green Place: New and Selected Poems. She is the author of three books of poetry (published by Salmon Press) and Before the Country: Native Renaissance, Canadian Mythology (University of Toronto Press, 2007; rpt. 2019).
From July 25 to Emancipation Day, August 1, 2022, JWIL will be hosting a Twitter residency which will focus on the life and the enduring work of George Lamming (1927–2022). In June of 2021, JWIL (@jwilonline) hosted a Twitter residency curated by Faizal Deen (@faizalbynight) to mark Lamming’s 94th birthday. This year, Faizal curates another residency in the wake of Lamming’s passing. He will share tweets from last year’s residency as well as bring together and reflect on the numerous tributes and obituaries about Lamming that have been published since his passing in June 2022. Faizal will also curate a space for collective memory and reflection. We invite you all to send us your written celebrations, observances, commentaries and remembrances of Lamming or his work or both. These will be shared @jwilonline over the course of the week. You can send your reflections on Lamming at any time during the residency – via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us @jwilonline. Together, let us collectively remember the legacies and futures of Lamming’s iconic presence as both artist and activist.
JWIL pays tribute to Caribbean literary luminary George Lamming, who passed away on June 4, 2022 at the age of 94. A towering figure in Caribbeana, Lamming was one of the pillars of a foundational period of our literature, part of the Windrush generation. Creative writer, thinker, scholar, teacher, journalist, he brought all his gifts to bear on the weighty ruminations on Caribbean societies and the search for solutions for our development. Nadi Edwards notes that Lamming “was a brilliant writer whose complex experimental novels signaled the emergence of a distinct Anglophone Caribbean modernist fiction. He was also an insightful critic whose reading of folk culture, colonial exile and William Shakespeare’s The Tempest anticipated contemporary postcolonial theories of indigeneity, diaspora, and linguistic and cultural hybridity. To quote José David Saldivar, he is ‘the supreme commentator, the one author from our America, who pulls Old World colonialist and New World colonized writing into a coherent and continuous line’”. Lamming’s passing brings us closer to the end of an epoch, though his staggering legacy will never allow the “sun to set” on the Caribbean’s response to empire and its afterlives.
Join us from June 6-13, 2022 when Jarrel De Matas will be taking over our Twitter feed. Jarrel will be tweeting about our Caribbean sf tradition (science fiction/speculative fiction/fantasy/folklore). His Twitter residency will highlight some of the creative and intellectual ancestors of Caribbean sf. Over the week, he will shine light on writers such as Edgar Mittelholzer, Wilson Harris, Kamau Brathwaite, Derek Walcott, Suzanne Césaire, Sylvia Wynter, and Curdella Forbes – who he considers to be the initiators of our developing Caribbean sf tradition. He will provide excerpts of each writer’s work including interviews, as well as his own interpretive framework that can allow us to view our “old” creatives in new ways.
Jarrel De Matas is from Trinidad and Tobago. He holds an MA in English Literature from the University of the West Indies. He is a PhD candidate in English and a teaching associate of college writing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His main research interests are the confluence of Caribbean science fiction, speculative fiction, and posthuman studies. He is the producer of the podcast “The Caribbean Science Fiction Network.” Twitter handle: @caribbeansfnet.
Jarrel’s previous research in Caribbean studies can be found here:
May 11th is Kamau Brathwaite’s Birthday. Join us as JWIL teams up with sx salon to mark KB’s birthday. Between May 11 – 18th, sx salon‘s general editor Rachel Mordecai will take over our Twitter feed to share reflections on teaching Kamau’s work.
In addition to being one of the Caribbean’s foremost writers, Kamau was also a teacher. His pedagogies of the word were instructive. This Twitter residency will reflect on pedagogical questions. In particular, Rachel Mordecai will explore questions about teaching gender in and through Brathwaite’s poetry.
How might we teach these poems, with attention to gender, in our current moment? And what do these poems teach us?
Rachel Mordecai is associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Editor (since 2019) of @sxsalon. Her primary interests are Caribbean literature and culture; her work has appeared in Sargasso, Wadabagei, Kunapipi, @SmallAxeProject, and @jwilonline.
@RachelMordecai’s book Citizenship Under Pressure: The 1970s in Jamaican Literature and Culture appeared from @UWIPRESS in 2014. Her monograph-in-progress is on Caribbean family sagas, including the work of Maisy Card, Lawrence Scott, Maryse Condé, Édouard Glissant, and Dionne Brand.
Join us from 25th April – 2nd May for a JWIL Twitter residency with Natalie Wall, exploring artivism and monodrama in the work of d’bi.young anitafrika. Follow along at @jwilonline
Jamaican-Canadian dub artist d’bi.young anitafrika, creator of the anitafrika method and spolrusie publishing, is a black queer feminist dub poet who has authored twelve plays, four collections of poetry and recorded seven albums. anitafrika has reinvented the way that we understand black womxn’s theatre. As part of JWIL‘s recent issue on dub poetry, we published Natalie Wall’s essay “Catching Bullets with Her Ass: Matrilineality and the Canadian Dub Poetry Tradition in the Work of d’bi.young anitafrika.” This residency explores anitafrika’s critical and creative practice in the dub tradition.
anitafrika’s life and work has been shaped by the three main transnational hubs of dub. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, they came into the dub performance scene and tradition in Toronto. anitafrika is currently pursuing a PhD at London South Bank University investigating how Black womxn theatre makers globally embody theatre in a decolonial praxis; they are also Artist-in-Residence at the University of Toronto’s New College and curator of Incubate, a monthly performance and open mic event at Theatre Peckham. anitafrika is also now completing Dubbin Theatre, an anthology of their plays written from 2000-2022, and Dub Poetry to Dubbin Theatre.
Natalie Wall is currently the Research Impact Manager at Queen Mary University of London. Originally from Canada, Wall focuses on black Caribbean Canadian women’s performance, artivism, and antiracist scholarship and practice, and is currently writing a monograph titled White Generosity, to be published by Emerald Publishing, which examines the historical and contemporary construction of global reparations and black freedom.