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JWIL mourns the passing of Prof. Gordon Rohlehr (1942-2023)

JWIL honors the loss and the lasting legacy of UWI Professor Emeritus Gordon Rohlehr, native son of Guyana, public intellectual, dedicated teacher and mentor, and eminent scholar of calypso and Caribbean popular culture and literature. His lifelong commitment to elucidating the unique cultural offerings and gifts of the Caribbean are to be found in his greatly influential and prolific body of work which ranges from Pathfinder: Black Awakening in The Arrivants of Edward Kamau Brathwaite (1981), Cultural Resistance and the Guyana State (1984), Calypso and Society in Pre-Independence Trinidad (1990), My Strangled City and Other Essays (1992), The Shape of That Hurt and Other Essays (1992), A Scuffling of Islands: Essays on Calypso (2004), Transgression, Transition, Transformation: Essays in Caribbean Culture (2007), Ancestories: Readings of Kamau Brathwaite’s Ancestors (2010), My Whole Life is Calypso: Essays on Sparrow (2015), Perfected Fables Now: A Bookman Signs Off on Seven Decades (2019), and Musings, Mazes, Margins: A Memoir (2020).

Rohlehr’s rich path as “warrior against amnesia” and “historian of the spirit” of the Caribbean’s people is captured beautifully here in Richard Drayton’s tribute to him in Guyana’s Stabroek News and in the memorial service in his honor on 4 February 2023.