This year marks 36 years of the Journal of West Indian Literature‘s life as a regional University of the West Indies-led Caribbeanist project invested in highlighting and critically examining the prolific literary production of the Caribbean. This two-part Twitter residency featuring, first, immediate past JWIL editor-in-chief, Evelyn O’Callaghan, and, then, current JWIL editor-in-chief, Lisa Outar, reflected both on the Journal’s past and its current life as a leading site for promoting scholarship on Caribbean literature both in the region and globally. From March 7 to March 21, O’Callaghan and Outar offered archival records and memories of the Journal’s intertwined beginnings with the West Indian Literature conference, stories of the pioneers of Caribbean literary studies who helped create and support the publication at a time when publishing work on the region in the region was a rarity as well as reflections on the current work the Journal is doing to promote Caribbean literary studies and the rich work of region-based Caribbean artists.
Evelyn O’Callaghan, Emeritus Professor of West Indian literature, Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature at the University of the West Indies, Barbados campus, is recently retired. She has published on West Indian literature, particularly on women’s writing, early Caribbean narratives and, more recently, ecocritical readings of Caribbean landscapes in visual and scribal texts.
Lisa Outar is an independent scholar/editor who publishes in the areas of Indo-Caribbean literature, feminist writing and the connections between the Caribbean and other sites of the indentureship diaspora. She is co-editor of Indo-Caribbean Feminist Thought: Genealogies, Theories, Enactments.