Kedon Willis will take over the JWIL Twitter feed from Nov 15-22, 2021 to celebrate Jamaica Kincaid’s colossal impact on Caribbean writing by highlighting her devotion to telling Caribbean stories and her resistance to limits on how those stories could be told. Throughout the week, Kedon will spotlight media on how the author, in building her career, pushed against boundaries surrounding the depiction of women’s lives and their relationships, the conventions of the autobiographical genre, and the notion of Caribbean identity. In so doing, the residency will serve as a modest repository of the Kincaid’s fearlessness, ingenuity, and wit. The residency will also act as a digital analogue for City College of New York’s celebration of the legacy of Jamaica Kincaid on November 18. For info on that event, see https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/lhf/lhf-2021-celebrates-jamaica-kincaid
Kedon Willis (@KedonWillis) is an assistant professor of English at CUNY City College where he teaches Caribbean and Latin American literature. His areas of interest include comparative Caribbean literature and queer theory, and his research examines the evolution (and limits) of queer liberation in the writings of contemporary queer authors of Caribbean heritage. Kedon’s scholarship, creative writing and journalism has appeared in outlets such as the Journal of West Indian Literature, the Florida Review, Pree Magazine, the Wall Street Journal Magazine and the History Channel.
Announcing a call for papers for the Association for Commonwealth Literature And Language Studies (ACLALS) 2022 conference.
At a time when we are experiencing profound and unexpected disruptions to our shared spaces, routines, economies, societies, and work-lives, ACLALS 2022 proposes that we convene in Toronto (fingers crossed!) to consider the nature and implications of rupture, the commons, and their conjoining: the ruptured commons. Garnett Hardin wrote in 1968 about “the tragedy of the commons” – the tendency for publicly owned, shared space to degrade through the neglect, abuse, overuse, and simple taking-for-granted of its multiple owners, who, because there are so many, do not identify as owners and take little responsibility. With each new climate-change study we become more aware of the ways our common environment has seen its natural states and processes violated by human activity. The ruptured commons is at the heart of the concept of the Anthropocene and what Amitav Ghosh has called “the great derangement” of our unsustainable ways. The global pandemic, with its multiple and far-reaching disruptions, has forced us to rethink our common spaces and how we use them, from city streets to airplanes, domestic spaces to workplaces – including academic ones. Indeed, our work as scholars, teachers, and students has been ruptured in countless ways as our institutional commons of classrooms and conferences fragment into rectangle-bound faces and voices on screens. Finally, the “common” in Commonwealth has come under fire for decades, whether by rewriting it as “common poverty” or by rejecting its presence in the names of our discipline and, for some, in ACLALS itself. At a time when so much of our shared future is uncertain and when we have the opportunity to reimagine the commons, we invite delegates to place notions of rupture and commons in a wide variety of pan-historical contexts and scales from the local to the global.
See here for more details. Abstracts should be no more than 350 words and are to be submitted online by Nov. 30, 2021 at:
Between November 8-14, Janelle Rodriques (@Sister_Killjoy) will tweet selections from various scholarly, creative and historical reflections on Caribbean tourism, from Jamaica Kincaid to Kei Miller, from Kamala Kempadoo to Angelique Nixon. She will be curating – and invites us to curate together – various critiques of the region’s dependence on and our quarrels with tourism, as an extension of plantation politics and poetics.
Janelle Rodriques (@Sister_Killjoy) is a Caribbean literary scholar working in the United States. She is the author of Narratives of Obeah in West Indian Literature (Routledge, 2019), and has published in Anthurium, Caribbean Quarterly, Journal of West Indian Literature and Atlantic Studies.
Dr. Emily Zobel Marshall will be taking over the JWIL twitter feed from October 4-11, 2021 to reflect on the pioneering Jamaican poet, Jean “Binta” Breeze. There is always a strong political dimension to Jean’s work: her poetic voice called for change and resistance to the oppressive and corrosive forces of ignorance and prejudice, and she was committed to bringing her message of hope and resistance to international audiences. During this twitter residency, Emily will be tweeting about how Jean confronted gender inequality and explored black womanhood in her poetry and music. She will also focus on how Jean shaped a previously very male-dominated dub scene both in the UK and the Caribbean.
Dr. Emily Zobel Marshall is Reader in Postcolonial literatures at Leeds Beckett University. Emily’s research specialisms are Caribbean literature and Caribbean carnival cultures. She has also established a Caribbean Carnival Cultures research platform and network that aims to bring the critical, creative, academic and artistic aspects of carnival into dialogue with one another. Emily is a regular contributor to BBC radio discussions on racial politics and Caribbean culture. Her books focus on the role of the trickster in Caribbean and African American cultures: her first book, Anansi’s Journey: A Story of Jamaican Cultural Resistance (2012) was published by the University of the West Indies Press and her second book, American Trickster: Trauma Tradition and Brer Rabbit, was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2019.
The Caribbean literary community lost the legendary Jamaican poet Jean “Binta” Breeze in August 2021. Her indelible influence on the dub poetry movement will surely be reflected in the forthcoming JWIL November 2021 special issue – “Movements and Moments: On Dub Poetry” – being edited by Michael A. Bucknor and Phanuel Antwi. Below are some of the many tributes to her legacy:
JWIL mourns the passing of the celebrated Caribbean folklorist, Al Ramsawack. Ramsawack published hundreds of folklore and fictional stories in newspaper articles, in ten books, numerous radio broadcasts and television features. Some of his best-known publications are Anansi, the tricky spider (1970), Forest folklore of Trinidad and Tobago (1980) and Folklore Stories of Trinidad and Tobago (2017). Many of his publications build on five decades of folklore research in Trinidad and Grenada. In Trinidad and Tobago, he became a cultural icon as the writer, producer and host of Cross Country, a television show exploring the country’s flora and fauna. For this extensive work, he received numerous awards, including the San Fernando Arts Council Award, the Media Award in 1997 and the President’s Humming Bird Silver Medal in 2004. We were pleased to publish an interview with Ramsawack in our April 2021 issue, likely the last before his death. See “‘There was no book to tell you anything about this’: Al Ramsawack and the Oral Archives of Caribbean Folklore” by Dr. des. Jarula M.I. Wegner and Amanda T. McIntyre in JWIL Vol. 29, No. 1
Earlier this year, the Caribbean watched as St. Vincent and the Grenadines was rocked by the La Soufrière volcano eruption. For our August/September twitter residency, JWIL makes space to talk about the literary culture, history and heritage of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Between August 30 and September 6, Linzey Corridon will be tweeting about Vincentian literature.
Linzey Corridon (he/they) is a Vanier Scholar and PhD student in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. Linzey is a 2020/21 fellow and researcher at the Lewis and Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship at McMaster University.
“Vincentian Literary Constellations Old and New” is a project by Linzey Corridon which seeks to generate further public awareness around the literary pursuits of a select group of local and diaspora Vincentian writers. While the publicized written endeavors of Vincentians might be fewer than that of some other Caribbean nationalities, Vincentians continue to write with a commitment to transforming local, regional, and international thought and praxis.
Over this Twitter residency, a series of artist profiles will be made available to the public, highlighting significant contributions from both established and emerging Vincentian writers. In highlighting these contributions, with the aid of published works, audio-visual recordings, and brief interviews with some of the featured writers, the project will construct an illuminating picture of just how rich Vincentian writing remains to local and diaspora histories.
In 2015, JWIL became an online journal. We continue to explore and embrace what it means to be online and to move beyond the printed page as the primary site for doing journal work. Please send us your proposals for Twitter residencies via the “Contact Us” link on our webpage. https://www.jwilonline.org/contact-us/
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.
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!
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.
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: