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The Department of History at UWI, St Augustine is one of the oldest Departments at The University of The West Indies. The Department is currently part of the Faculty of Humanities and Education (FHE) the origins of which were the Faculty of Arts (FAC) established in 1950, the Faculty of General Studies (FGS) opened in 1954 and the Faculty of Arts and General Studies (FAGS) created in 1972. The merger between FAGS and the School of Education (SOE) to become FHE took place on August 1, 1996. Interestingly, from 1950 to 1971, History was a unit in the Division of Social Sciences, one of four Divisions of the College of Arts and Science at St Augustine which replaced the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ITCA) in 1960. The other three Divisions were Humanities, Physical Sciences and Mathematics. It was only in 1972 with the creation of FAGS that History found its proper place in the humanities along with the Department of English and the Department of French and Spanish.
The pioneers of teaching and writing history at the UWI included Elsa Goveia, Douglas Hall, Roy Augier and Keith Laurence. They created history courses for all three campuses where none existed. They also contributed to increasing the number of publications available especially in the area of Caribbean History. The first PhD in History awarded in St Augustine went to Bridget Brereton in 1973. She is presently Professor Emerita of History at St Augustine. Professors Brereton and Keith Laurence were two pioneer lecturers in the Department of History at St Augustine with careers extended from 1972 to 1995 and 1973 to 2012 respectively.

Our Vision

We see ourselves as among the premier promoters of the study of Caribbean civilization who, through our research, will create new insights and methodologies.  We aim to create individuals aware of their identity and committed to community service, heritage management and region-centered historiography.  We hope to increase the historical consciousness of Caribbean peoples and engender recognition of the importance of a knowledge of the past in policy formulation in the region.


Our Mission 

We will continue to develop a research agenda, which will give insights into the region’s historical legacy and promote archaeological heritage management.Our research on the struggles and achievements of Caribbean peoples will help to develop confident and informed citizens.We will disseminate information and ideas to students and to the wider, national community through the use of appropriate technologies and methodologies.


Our Goals

Our courses cover the histories of Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, Europe and the Caribbean. We seek to focus on a number of major areas that complement the already comprehensive range of courses available. These new foci will have as their objective the establishment of the Department and the Faculty as a major international centre in these particular areas:

African & Asian Diasporic Studies:

Since the composition of Trinidad & Tobago's population makes our nation a natural laboratory for the study of the world’s peoples in one small space, we will promote synergies between African & Asian Diasporic studies areas.Our studies focus not only on movements to and from ancestral places, but equally on movements within the region, and from the region to North America and Europe.

Latin American Studies:

As regional and hemispheric integration movements become increasingly important, this area of study will assume greater and greater significance. As this area’s importance grows over the next decade, Trinidad & Tobago's geographical position and its oil and gas reserves will offer much potential for its rise as a major bridgehead to Latin America.The Department, therefore, will position itself accordingly.

New areas of research:

We seek to expand our focus beyond the English-speaking Caribbean to include the Spanish, French and Dutch Caribbean.We also seek to emphasise Cultural and Heritage Studies and consider the engagement with Digital History a primary objective.



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