Volume 2 No 1

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    Book review: Eric Williams: The myth and the man by Selwyn Ryan. Kingston: The University of the West Indies Press, 2009, pp. 842, ISBN: 978-976-640-207-5.
    (Department of History, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus,Trinidad and Tobago, 2011-03) Toussaint,Michael
    The review will draw attention to Selwyn Ryan’s extensive research on the topic and longstanding familiarity with the subject matter. It will comment on the strength, limitation and relevance of this recent work. Eric Williams was a noted Caribbean statesman and scholar. He served as Trinidad and Tobago’s first Premier and Prime Minister, and was that country’s Head of Government until his passing in 1981. As both a politician and an academic, Williams has done, stated and written much. Likewise, much has been said and written about Williams, regarding his contribution to global intellectualism, the development of Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean civilization. There have also been a number of attempts to psycho-analyse Williams. This review proposes to locate this latest contribution by Selwyn Ryan in relation to the broad corpus of literature already devoted to the analysis of Eric William’s life and career. Additionally, it will explore Ryan’s approach to the challenge of delineating myth from fact regarding this important and outstanding Caribbean personality.
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    The dougla in Trinidad’s consciousness
    (Department of History, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus,Trinidad and Tobago, 2011-03) Regis, Ferne Louanne
    Trinidad is a complex multi-ethnic society where the two major ethnic groups - Africans and Indians - are in competition for power: economic, political and social. These contestations force the meeting and mixing of these two groups but militate against their merger. This is a reality that impacts significantly on the lives of their offspring the Dougla who are birthed into this complex social, cultural and linguistic situation and whose social position within this divide remain unclear and uncertain. Before 2011, Douglas were not designated in official censuses as a marginal ethnic community or even a biracial minority group leaving them free to declare themselves African, Indian or members of the umbrella categories Mixed and Other. Despite the steady increase in the number of people who define themselves as Douglas, their position in Trinidadian society remains ambivalent and indeterminate. This presentation maps the comparative invisibility of Douglas in Trinidadian society from the second half of the 19th and 20th centuries via an examination of social history and anthropology, creative writing, and popular culture.
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    The roots/routes of the ancient order of foresters in the Anglophone Caribbean with special emphasis on Barbados
    (Department of History, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus,Trinidad and Tobago, 2011-03) Ramsay, Alicia Olivia
    Fraternal organisations transplanted into the Caribbean from the eighteenth century were aspects of European, African and American cultural expressions embraced by West Indians over time.This paper does not propose to expose any of the secrecy of fraternal organisations or Lodges, as they are known. It explores from the mid-nineteenth century, the roots and routes of the fraternal organisation, the Ancient Order of Foresters (AOF), primarily in Barbados and selected territories of the Anglophone Caribbean. It will be shown that former colonies such as Barbados were pivotal in both the early development and spread of some fraternal organisations in the Caribbean that had originated in Europe. This paper also seeks to determine whether there was any degree of regional unity facilitated by fraternalism. The intention here is to offer more perspectives on the connections between Barbados, the wider region and the former Mother Country, Britain.
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    Unrepentant Euro-centrism in the movie Amazing Grace of Freedom
    (Department of History, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus,Trinidad and Tobago, 2011-03) Matthews, Gelien
    In the year 2007, as part of the commemoration of the bicentennial anniversary of the British abolition of the trade in captured Africans, Michael Apted directed the movie Amazing Grace of Freedom. While the movie is a good historical source for understanding the role played by British abolitionists in ending Britain’s involvement in the forced human traffic from Africa, it is flawed insofar as it exaggerates the agency of white British humanitarians. The movie is Eurocentric, seeped in the dominant and traditional humanitarian and religious explanations for abolition, male oriented and totally disregards the self liberating ethos of the enslaved. The contribution of the wider British public, of women, of blacks in the United Kingdom of the enslaved in the colonies, and of economic factors in abolition are either sidelined or ignored altogether in the themes explored in the movie. A critique of the movie’s shortcomings is essential, not only because of its narrow interpretation of abolition but also because in an age of readily accessible technology just by the click of a button this attractively packaged but faulty historical source can get into the hands of millions of viewers around the world.
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    The participation of Guyanese women in politics and parliament during the administration of the Peoples National Congress
    (Department of History, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus,Trinidad and Tobago, 2011-03) McAlmont, Cecilia
    The Fourth World Conference on women was held in Beijing, China, September 1995 three years after the Peoples National Congress was defeated at the polls by Peoples Progressive Party. During that conference, the minuscule presence of women in the hierarchy of political parties, their limited participation in all areas of political activity and their under representation in parliaments were lamented. The above statement amply reflected the situation that existed in Guyana. In December 1964, as a result of elections held under the system of Proportional Representation, the PNC came to power in coalition with the United Force. The paper will focus on the participation of Guyanese women in the hierarchy of the PNC. It will also examine the percentages of women on the parties’ lists, in parliament and as ministers of government during the 28 years of the PNC’s administration.
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    Women potters?: a preliminary examination of documentary and material culture evidence from Barbados
    (Department of History, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus,Trinidad and Tobago, 2011-03) Farmer, Kevin
    The introduction of wheel thrown pottery in Barbados is seen as an exception within the femaledominated pottery tradition of the region. This paper will examine recent documentary evidence of a plantation in Barbados that counters such a gendered division of labour. This study will examine the influence that female potters might have had on the vessels forms created, as well as the factors that led to the inclusion of women in the pot house workforce. The paper will also discuss whether their presence was simply an exception to the rule in the occupational composition of plantation pot houses.
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    A brief history of early education of the deaf in Trinidad and Tobago
    (Department of History, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus,Trinidad and Tobago, 2011-03) Braithwaite, Benjamin; Drayton, Kathy-Ann; Lamb, Alicia
    A sketch of any aspect of the history of the deaf in Trinidad and Tobago is an important step towards understanding the underpinnings of their present status in the wider society. This paper outlines the beginnings of formal education of the deaf in Trinidad and Tobago. It includes an overview of the formation of the first school for the deaf in Trinidad and the transition of teaching methods used: from oralist techniques, through mixed oral and manual methods, and finally towards the use of natural sign language in the classroom. Through this record, the wider population can begin to understand the evolution of the deaf community in Trinidad and Tobago and their unique language, Trinidad and Tobago Sign Language (TTSL).
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    Women in British Caribbean society and the Victorian gender ideology in the post- Emancipation century
    (Department of History, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus,Trinidad and Tobago, 2011-03) Blommestein, Muriel
    The status guided Victorian gender ideology, based on the patriarchal rights of males, was a well established concept in nineteenth century Caribbean societies. It survived as an entrenched Eurocentric paternalism that was accommodated by other patriarchies. It promised respectability through Christian monogamous marriage and middle class wealth, and this solidified its early Christian/capitalist base. In the post-emancipation century, Caribbean women were challenged by this Euro-serving ideology that reflected a ‘gilded’, metropolitan culture. While‘marginalised’ subaltern women grappled with emotional and physical survival in this period, Creole elite women were no less badgered by the rigidity of existing cultural norms from slave society. This discussion looks at the origins and influences of this tenacious ideology on the lifestyles of women in the colonial British Caribbean. Clearly, the ideology maintained ‘clout’ in British Caribbean societies, even when articulated at such an illiberal moment in the history of the region.