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






Soyer, Samuel.

Instructor, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.




"Bloodline: Propinquity and Posterity in Maya Angelou's Poetry."  1-14.

Numerous and extensive dedications and many poems about family, friends, icons, and humankind generally signal the primacy Maya Angelou places on relationships as a subject.  Varied in style, theme and implication, these poems help situate Angelou’s art in her cultural bloodline for Fahamisha Patricia Brown who theorizes a concern with relationship as particularly characteristic of women poets in African American vernacular culture and a noteworthy gender difference with men poets.  They reflect, too, the varied 'stances' from which the women poets write and the concern for succeeding generations to which Brown also points.


Cobley, Alan Gregor.

Professor of South African and Comparative History and Pro Vice Chancellor and Chair, Board for Undergraduate Studies, University of the West Indies.



"Out of Many, One People?  Diaspora Studies, Postcoloniality, and the (Un)Making of Caribbean Identities."  15-25.

This paper reviews the emergence of diaspora studies over the past thirty years, with particular reference to the study of the African diaspora in the Caribbean and the Americas.  What were the modes of transmission of black culture and consciousness in the Atlantic world?  How was black culture and consciousness shaped and given agency by people of African descent in this region, and how influential was it in shaping a wider Caribbean identity?  What was the impact of other diasporas on the emerging discourses on Caribbean identity during the late colonial and early postcolonial periods?  In answering these questions, the paper suggests, we must given attention, not only to race and ethnicity, but to the complex interplay of these factors with class and gender in shaping Caribbean culture and consciousness.

Armstrong, Andrew.

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


"The Novel, Jane Austen, and Anglo-Atlantic Modernity: Reading 'Beyond the Shrubbery.'"  26-41.

In this paper I examine the role that the early English novel played in ‘narrating’ the interaction between British imperial interests at ‘home’ and those abroad.  I argue that while the novel thematised English domesticity and class formation, an empirical epistemology that was decidedly English and an examination of an English individual consciousness, it also wrote the ‘story’ of empire and imperial possessions.  From Daniel Defoe to Jane Austen and beyond, the novel not only contained Atlantic references and allusions but also represented England’s involvement in Atlantic modernity.  I argue that Jane Austen’s last published novel, Persuasion (1816) breaks from the trajectory of her earlier novels, goes somewhere new, through its dramatization of the role of the English navy in an Atlantic modernity in which England’s domination of the seas – the creation and maintenance of an 'empire of the seas' – played a significant role; thus the title of my study here, "The novel, Jane Austen and Anglo-Atlantic modernity."

Hunte, Nicola.

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


"Concepts of a Cross-Cultural Imagination: Wilson Harris' Critical Vision as a Way of Reading Narratives of Memory."  42-60.

The aim of this discussion is to highlight the validity of Wilson Harris’s critical approach in negotiating issues raised in imaginative literature, in particular those narratives that employ the tropes of occluded voices or fragmentary presences in their treatment of memory.  In order to illustrate the viability of Harris’s theory of a cross-cultural imagination, I will attempt to offer a comparative discussion of four such narratives of memory: Derek Walcott’s Omeros with David Dabydeen’s Turner and Toni Morrison’s Beloved with Octavia Butler’s Kindred.  The frame of my discussion will highlight features of postcolonial theory in apposition to Harris’s concepts concerning ‘conquistadorial legacies’ as they are applied to my reading of these texts.  In doing so, I hope to demonstrate how Harris’s perspective offers more insightful and dynamic possibilities for approaching texts that attempt to represent collective trauma.


Asgill, Sherry.

Instructor, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados



"Three Men and a Diary:  Freedom, Identity and Moral Judgement."  61-73.

Right and wrong, good and bad, the ascription of moral blame and responsibility are all elements of normativity indispensable to a collectivity’s consideration of rights, duties and punishments.  Responsibility for actions may be a precondition for moral praise or condemnation, but to what extent can individuals be responsible or blameworthy for their actions and omissions?  Freedom, in some way, must be a necessary condition for individuals to be subject to normativity.  What is the role of the notion of the self, and what kind of self must be involved in decision-making?  This paper explores these ideas by looking at the theories of Jean-Paul Sartre and Kwame Anthony Appiah and uses the diary of an 18th century planter as a kind of case study to ground these notions.

Clarke, Richard L. W.

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

"Hybridity, the Athenian Male and Euripides' Ion."  74-99.

In this paper, I argue that Euripides’s Ion is a play produced at a time of radical social transformation and informed, thus, by a certain tension between what Raymond Williams would term the residual, dominant and emergent ideologies attendant thereon.  I contend that the City Dionysia functioned for the masculine Athenian spectator in a manner analogous to the Lacanian mirror stage and was, as such, one of the most important ideological state apparatuses in operation in fifth century Athens.  The male spectator drew a sense of his personal and social identity from the images portrayed on stage in this annual communal event in the course of an interpellative process which served in this way to foster civic cohesion. I n foregrounding an orphan in quest of his identity, however, the Ion problematises this regime of imaginary identifications by underscoring the protagonist’s sheer uncertainty in the face of hybridity.  Ion encounters on every side mongrelised and, thus, uncategorisable phenomena as a result of which the hitherto unquestioned distinctions inherited from mythic discourse between Athenian and foreigner, male and female, gods and humans, etc. break down and the inherent alterity of his own precarious subjectivity is foregrounded.  This disintegration is as much due, I will argue, to the egalitarian ethos of the dominant ideology of the polis as it is to the pressures exerted thereon by the emergent ‘structures of feeling’ that accompanied the increasing demands for equality on the part of both women and foreigners in fifth-century Athens.



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