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ISSN 1993-0844
 

 

 

(RE)THINKING CARIBBEAN CULTURE II

1.2 (JUNE 2007)


ESSAYS
 

Kwasi Wiredu

Distinguished University Professor, University of South Florida

Faculty Page
Wikipedia Entry

PhilWeb Page

"Philosophy and Authenticity."  72-80.

At first sight, a philosophy is culturally authentic if and only if it reflects the characteristics of the given culture.  On this showing, for an African or a Caribbean philosophy to be authentically African or Caribbean is for it to have truly African or Caribbean qualities.  But cultures are not static.  Moreover, they are subject critique by its own denizens.  Hence authenticity is not just descriptive but also a normative concept.  This thought motives the search in this discussion for a balance between tradition and modernity in the definition of contemporary authenticity in philosophy in Africa and the Caribbean.

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Majid Amini

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Virginia State University

mamini@vsu.edu
 

"Caribbean Philosophy or Philosophy in the Caribbean?"  81-90.

Although there has been a vigorous and vibrant intellectual tradition in the Caribbean, there has been a conspicuous absence of a similarly self-conscious philosophical tradition.  However, given the recent express and explicit attempt to forge a philosophical movement in the Caribbean, the purpose of this paper is to examine the content and contours of such an enterprise.  Specifically, the paper is concerned with the contrast between Caribbean Philosophy, on the one hand, and Philosophy in the Caribbean, on the other, where the former intimates the possibility, if not the actuality, of regionalising, or more generally contextualising, Philosophy.  But, can, if at all, Philosophy be contextualised and in what sense?

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Clevis Headley

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Ethnic Studies and Diversity Initiatives, Florida Atlantic University

headley@fau.edu
 

"Rethinking Caribbean Culture: an Opportunity to Rethink Afro-Caribbean Philosophy."  91-105.

This essay considers the question of rethinking Caribbean culture through a critical investigation of the idea of an Afro-Caribbean philosophy.  This critical task is pursued  through the lens of Paget Henry’s recent Caliban’s Reason.  The case is made that Afro-Caribbean philosophy is not a set of texts responsive to what has traditionally been characterized as the perennial questions of philosophy.  Rather, Afro-Caribbean philosophy, among other things, is emergent from the existential modes of being that have radically shaped human existence in the Caribbean.

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Mark McWatt

Professor of West Indian Literature, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill.

Faculty Page

"Some Observations on the Notions of History, Time and the Imagination in the Thought of Wilson Harris."  106-113.

My goal here is to revisit some earlier papers of mine on Wilson Harris’s critical essays with a view to discussing Harris’s conceptualization of the history and identity of Caribbean people as well as his ideas concerning the role of the imagination in investigating the past(s) of Caribbean peoples.

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Faith Smith

Associate Professor and
Chair of African and Afro-American Studies, Brandeis University

Faculty page
 

"Can Anything Good Come out of Cedros?  ‘Nation Language’ in Nineteenth Century Trinidad."  114-119.

This paper argues that notwithstanding the persuasive appeals to a collective identity, rooted in the past, made by the region's poets and critics in the late twentieth century, claims made about or with the region's Creole languages are particular and situated.  John Jacob Thomas's defence of Trinidad Creole in the nineteenth century provides an interesting historical perspective. 

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Richardine Woodall

Dept. of English, York University, Canada

rglwoodall@rogers.com
 

"(Re)Thinking My '-Ness': Diaspora Caribbean Blacks in the Canadian Context."  120-126.

(Re)thinking my ‘-ness’ is meant to signify the semantic difficulties posed by the nomenclature "Caribbean culture" for some diaspora blacks in the Canadian context. The brackets in ‘(Re)thinking’ denote the gap, geographical, historical and epistemological, which impede, limit and restrict my access and participation in Caribbean culture. These brackets bracket me from my ‘-ness’: my black-ness, my Caribbean-ness, my Canadian-ness. Furthermore, the hyphen in ‘-ness’ is another marker, a grammatical and ontological marker, of my alienation from a Caribbean-ness displaced through migration and a Canadian-ness into which I cannot fully assimilate. My cultural and racial identity is held together by a fragile and tenuous hyphen that upon (re)thinking exposes the ruptures and discontinuity of the black Caribbean diaspora in the Canadian landscape.  The position that will be advanced in this paper is that Caribbean cultural identity in Canada is a site of crisis that is always becoming, fracturing and transforming: it is a temporal, contingent and historical space.

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REVIEWS
 

Philip Nanton

nantonp@sunbeach.net
 

"Shalini Puri's The Caribbean Postcolonial: Social Equity, Post-Nationalism, and Cultural Hybridity."  127-128.
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E. P. Brandon

Homepage
 

"Soran Reader, ed.  The Philosophy of Need."  129-133.

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