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




3.2 (June 2009)


Bryce, Jane.

Professor of African Literature and Head, Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature,
University of West Indies,
Cave Hill. 

"Alternative Ways into Critical Discourse through Memoir and Fiction."  74-83.

An intriguing idea raised by both postmodern and postcolonial theory is the possibility that fictional texts generate their own critical paradigms, necessitating new and flexible ways of reading and interpretation.  Postmodernism’s critique of subjectivity and representation, and accompanying concepts of intertextuality, historiographic metafiction and counter-memory lend themselves to self-reflexive critical writing and an acknowledgement of the relative ‘unreliability’ of the critical voice.  Responding to such postmodern literary strategies, I will use examples from my recent work which attempt to marry a critical perspective with fictional forms such as the transgression of chronological realism, transcendence of generic boundaries and the self-reflexive narrator.

Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Autobiography: Writing the Self

McWatt, Mark.

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

"Poetry and Place: Seeing / Reading Landscape and Setting in Selected Caribbean Poets."  84-96.


Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Caribbean Literature / Poetry / Bachelard / Ecocriticism

Nanton, Philip. 

Independent Scholar;
formerly Project Officer,
HIV/AIDS Response Programme,
University of the West Indies,
Cave Hill.


"Protest and Performance: New Orality in Barbados."  97-104.

Performance poetry has long been a part of the tradition of Caribbean poetry.  However, a debate about its power, authority and limitations has recently resurfaced.  The question of its legitimacy has been posed in the following way: is performance poetry in the Caribbean a blot on the poetry landscape or the saviour of a dying tradition?  My paper reviews recent discussions in the region about the art form and offers a case study of the work of one popular exponent, the Barbadian performance poet Adrian Green.  From my review of Green's work, I suggest that much of the criticism misses the point.  His work suggests that performance poetry is a form of popular folk culture that draws from Caribbean traditions of the tea meeting, the man of words and communal religious expression.

Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Caribbean Literature / Poetry

Armstrong, Andrew. 

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



"'Great House Rules, Chattel House Blues': Narrative, Space and the 'Interpretation' of Barbadian 'History' in June Henfrey's Coming Home, and Other Stories."  105-122.

In this paper, I am reading Barbadian June Henfrey’s collection Coming Home and Other Stories as an interpretation or a different ‘reading’ of certain aspects of Barbadian history.  Using insights from Hilary Beckles’s twin texts, Great House Rules and Chattel House Blues, I make the point that Henfrey’s stories encode a trajectory from slavery to the late twentieth century in the thematisation of the struggles of women against the norms of patriarchy, whether seen in the violence of plantation slavery or the exploitation of the post emancipation society.  These stories work not only as representations of trans-Atlantic, middle passage plots, but also as narratives deeply concerned with freedom, the re-possession of the self and time consciousness.  The collection maintains moreover, an internal historical memory that shows the impact of change on the lives of Barbadian women over 150 years from the story of Nanny (“Freedom Come”) and Quashebah (“The Gully”) to that of Eva Simmons in “Goodnight, Miss Simmons” and Hilda in “Coming Home.”  The stories chronicle a certain aspect of historical change in Barbados through the stories of these women, refracted through the landscape as witness to this cruel history.  Thus, the sea, the canefields, the gully and the rough 'rab land' or, to quote from the description on the back cover of the text, “the fields of whispering sugar cane, the rugged Atlantic coast of crashing breakers and the womb-like gullies” together form a topography of witness.  Many of the protagonists in these stories are linked to aspects of the landscape: Sarah, Nanny and Hilda to the sea in their various ways; Quashebah to the gully; and Silas and Reuben to the canefields.  Additionally, the stories are framed within the idea of home, symbolized by the Barbadian landscape, which acts as both land of exile/estrangement and place of refuge, or welcoming space.  The paradox of home, seen in the landscape, or what I shall refer to as shifting topographies, is both harsh and forgiving.  The topography provides a thread that runs through the collection, as it unravels the author’s transhistorical consciousness.  Hence, history and time-consciousness are important themes and devices in this collection.  In addition, one may say that the politico-historical events in the stories are not only temporal markers of the internal historical memory which is deeply linked to spatial presentation, but also illustrative of the need, stated in the collection’s preface, to “seek to recover the roles and experiences of women in [Barbadian] history – and particularly, their struggle to change it – from slavery down to the present” (viii).

Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Caribbean Literature / Historiography

Venkatachalam, Shilpa.

Department of Liberal Arts,
University of the West Indies,
St. Augustine.

"Seizing the Self: Surmounting the Obsessive Device of the Self."  123-143.

This article will proceed to undertake an analysis of certain Heideggerean and phenomenological principles within the context of Dangling Man. Because it is focused only on certain principles of phenomenological investigation and Heideggerean thought, it is beyond the scope and, more importantly, beyond any intention of this article in terms of a conclusion to arrive at the claim that Bellow’s text or that the protagonist in it are Heideggerean or phenomenological in their world view.

Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Phenomenology / Existentialism / Hermeneutics / Heidegger / Husserl



Browne, Felicia.
"Nicholas Ruiz III, America in Absentia."  144-145.
Brandon, E. P.

Programme Coordinator,
Office of the Board for Non-Campus Countries and Distance Education, University of the West Indies; Lecturer, Philosophy Programme, University of the West Indies,
Cave Hill.

Faculty Page (UWI)

"Jannis Kallinikos, The Consequences of Information."  146-147.

Clarke, Richard L. W.

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


"Silvio Torres-Saillant, An Intellectual History of the Caribbean and Caribbean Poetics."  148-149.



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