ISSN 1993-0844



Papers and book reviews are invited for an upcoming special issue of Shibboleths devoted to Caribbean philosophy and edited by Friedrich Ochieng'-Odhiambo.  For more information, please click HERE.

Other forthcoming issues include special issues devoted to George Lamming (in honour of his 90th birthday), Derek Walcott (to commemorate his passing), Frantz Fanon, and African Philosophy.


Please send book reviews to the General Editor, Richard Clarke, at this EMAIL ADDRESS.  Reviews, once accepted, are normally published in the two issues of Shibboleths that appear in June and December annually, but may also be published at other times of the year as the occasion arises.  All reviewers should follow the submission guidelines found below.


Volume 5:

bullet (December 2017)

Volume 4:

bullet (December 2016)

Volume 3:

bullet 3.2 (June 2009)
bullet 3.1 (December 2008)

Volume 2:

bullet 2.2 (June 2008)
bullet 2.1 (December 2007)

Volume 1: (Re)Thinking Caribbean Culture

bullet 1.2 (June 2007)
bullet 1.1 (December 2006)


bullet Please click HERE.


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Shibboleths: a Journal of Comparative Theory and Criticism is a publication of Shibboleths Publishing, Bridgetown, Barbados. 
© 2006-Present




2.2 (JUNE 2008)


Hilbourne A. Watson

Professor of International Relations,
Bucknell University

Faculty Page

"Raciology, Garveyism and the Limits of Black Nationalism in the Caribbean Diaspora."  85-95.

The racialization of class, ethnic, gender and other social relations in modern European societies contributed to the racialization of global politics with reference to colonialism, enslavement, imperialism, decolonization, modern sovereignty and other aspects of modernity.  The idea progress of and human perfectibility, to which Enlightenment thought contributed so much, reinforced the untenable notion that biological race was/is the source of inequality in human societies.  Such a misconception makes it difficult to appreciate global white supremacy as part of a larger hegemonic system of 'power relations' with which various ethnic and 'racial' ruling strata around the world are complicit.  Garveyism’s contributions to our understanding of the modern world are deeply influenced by those raciological forms of Western social and political thought and differ by degree rather than kind with those conceptions, on issues like human nature, race, power, culture, the state, self-determination, subjectivity, identity and change.

Sandra Pouchet Paquet

Professor of English and Director of Caribbean Literary Studies, University of Miami

Faculty Page


"The Serial Art of George Lamming: Myth and Archive."  96-106.

This paper draws on concepts of the 'archive' and 'intertextuality' to explore the values of Lamming’s serial art as a self-reflexive revolutionary poetics.  In Lamming’s first four novels, artistic quest is embodied in a series of narratives constructed around seminal political events that steadily strip away layers of illusion or entrapment that envelop the colonial and postcolonial Caribbean at different times and levels of experience.  In this fashion he generates a fictional chronology, each novel ordered within the parameters of a progressive movement towards an anticipated fulfillment of rupture or break with the region’s colonial beginnings that culminates in Season of Adventure.  The fictional quest narrates a myth of new beginnings as a process of liberation fashioned out of an accumulated knowledge about self and collectivity.  Given the sequence of Lamming’s fiction, Natives of My Person and Water with Berries, published in New York and London respectively in 1971, function as a kind of counter-narrative or counter-archive; they do not reverse the trajectory of the earlier novels so much as establish the limits of his initial trajectory.

Evelyn O'Callaghan

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

Faculty Page

"Form, Genre and the Thematics of Community in Caribbean Women’s Writing."  107-117.

Faced with what Faith Smith calls the 'violence of the heteronormative postcolonial state," what is my response as a teacher and 'scholar'?  What do we do when we 'do' Caribbean women's writing in the regional academy?  Can we revisit the notion that women's fictions and the visions they construct, particularly the projection of affective communities, can effect social change?  Caribbean women's writing has helped to foreground what has not been achieved in our societies: the emancipation of the marginal (race and ethnic groups, queer subjectivities, underclass women and children).  I want to look briefly at the work of Oonya Kempadoo, Shani Mootoo, Nalo Hopkinson and others to query whether they offer us alternatives to this failure; whether in their imagined communities we may find a transformative 'way of looking.'
Andrew Armstrong

Lecturer in Literatures in English,
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill


"It’s in the Blood!  Othello and his Descendants: Reading the Spatialization of Race in Caryl Phillips' The Nature of Blood."   118-132.

This paper examines the representation of race and race relations in a number of recent West Indian and ‘Black’ British fiction focusing primarily on literary ‘blackness’ in Caryl Phillips’s construction of the ‘dis-located’ figure of Othello and the ways in which his ‘story’ prefigures subsequent migrations, displacements and struggle for placement by the strangers within the gate.  I begin with a brief analysis of Wilson Harris’s The Angel at the Gate to lead into a discussion of Phillips’s representation of Othello in The Nature of Blood, which I wish briefly to examine under the topic the spatialization of race.  By the term, the ‘spatialization of race,’ I refer simply to the ways that non-Europeans, especially black people have been placed both within the physical and the imaginative architecture of Europe.

Mark McWatt

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



"Landscape and the Language of the Imagination: Reading Guyanese Literature."  133-145.

This paper argues that the ‘difference’ or ‘strangeness’ of Guyanese Literature is attributable to the effect of that country’s landscape upon the creative imagination of its writers.  Starting with Walter Raleigh’s book on Guyana as one of the earliest examples of the encounter of the imagination with that particular landscape, the paper uses photographs of landscape features – both on the flat, water-logged coastland and in the large and empty hinterland – to illustrate the (often disturbing) effect upon the human observer who must negotiate the difficulties of flooded coastal farmlands, vast forests, remote mountains, rivers, rapids and waterfalls.  It attempts to show that the difficulties of landscape, coupled with the country’s harsh history of slavery, indentureship and brutal toil, can alter perceptions  and breed compensatory myths of utopias or of demonic creatures concealed within the landscape.  These then subvert the normal expectations and accommodations associated with living in the place one calls ‘home’.  In particular, the writings of Martin Carter and Wilson Harris are used to illustrate these points.

Please note that the images in the powerpoint presentation (see link to the right) correspond to the images numbered sequentially in the PDF version of the essay.

Alternatively, you may prefer to read the HTM version of the essay with links to the images embedded in the text.

PDF Version

Images (Powerpoint Presentation)

HTM Version (with links to images embedded)

Richard L. W. Clarke

Lecturer in Literary Theory,
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill


"Some Thoughts on a (Caribbean) Sublime."  146-162.

I argue here that the discourse of the sublime, which reached its zenith during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, may offer a useful way of conceptualising the emergence of a Caribbean literary tradition (as well as Caribbean thought more generally) and its relationship to the European canon.  My contention is that it is possible to demarcate the Caribbean response into two camps, the 'philosophical' or 'neo-classical' (represented principally by Walcott) and the 'rhetorical' or 'neo-romantic' (represented by Brathwaite).



Neil Roberts

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty Affiliate in Political Science, Williams College



"Review of Paul Gilroy's Postcolonial Melancholia."  163-166.


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