Caribbean Literature


Course description





This course represents the literary production (oral and written) of Caribbean writers, dating back to well over two hundred and fifty years ago. The term “Caribbean Literature” is assumed to refer to the continental writing of authors of African descent/ancestry and also those of mixed ancestry. Therefore, the term is to be understood in relation to the entire oeuvre of the literature and the arts of black writers especially, in the Caribbean.

In reading these texts and in reference to others, part of the subject of interpretative discourse will be the tropes of identity and journeying, the notion of the outsider and the interface of the construction of the ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’.

The course is organized in two parts: (a) Modular lectures, and (b) Seminars, involving individual review of recommended texts.


The course involves readings of the historical forces and catalysts responsible for the creation of the unique body of literature known variously as “Caribbean Literature” and/or “West Indian Literature”. The historical condition of slavery, its aftermath and consequences, and the fusion of African heritage with the Caribbean experience, have been noted as the significant basis of the body of literature known as “Caribbean Literature”.

The main matters for reflection includes issues of representations and identities in the major genres of contemporary Caribbean literary tradition, as well as the cultural and aesthetic imagination of the Caribbean author through a study of particular narrative, poetic and dramatic forms. 

Qualifications and Goals

To qualify to sit in this class, the students must be in the first semester of their penultimate year of a BA English degree, that is, 300Level. Students from other departments in Arts/Humanities, Media, Tourism and Events Management, International Relations and others interested in Caribbean history, culture and arts are equally welcome.

The goals of the course include the connection of homeland black people with their transpoted kiths and kins in the West Indies; the usefulness of literature as a platform for understanding Caribbean history and culture; employing tropes such as slavery, plantation economy, colonialism, postcolonial, multiculturalism, migration and globalisation in understanding the black Caribbeans.

Course content

*Caribbean Literature: A description

* Slavery, Struggle and the Narrative Self

* Plantation Economy/Peoples

*  Caribbean Aesthetics, Signification and Cultural Survivals

*  Figuring the Canon: The Authority of the Black Caribbean Text.

*  Cultural Identity in Caribbean Literature

*  Literary Survey of Caribbean Writings

*  Evidences of African Cultural Survival in the Caribbean.

*  Caribbean Island, Literature and Globalisation

*  Exploration of Recommended Texts.



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