General Notices

DREADNESS The Mystic Power, Philosophy and Performance of Shadow

Posted Tuesday, January 11, 2022

In celebration of Shadow’s 80th birthday, The Groundation Foundation and The University of the West Indies will host a one-day virtual symposium to honour his body of work to on Friday March 4, 2022. Shadow’s unique approach to creating and performing music has had an enduring impact on the Caribbean popular music scene. His powerful messages delivered in relatable storylines provide his listeners with sage guidance for everyday life (and death). His musical genius paid homage to his ancestral traditions while incorporating the various contemporary musical influences that emanated from outside of the region. In this way, Shadow’s music shifted the way the audiences consumed and enjoyed music both within and outside of the carnival season. His uncompromising adherence to the aesthetics and the politics of blackness gave the downtrodden, the dispossessed and the disenfranchised reasons to believe that everybody could be somebody in the world. In short, Shadow spoke to the Caribbean condition in ways that were distinctly accessible, resonant and revolutionary. We invite paper presentations in the following thematic areas in relation to Shadow’s work:  

• The mysticism of everyday life and living  

• The Dreadness of hell and escaping Mr. Death  

• Dreadness aesthetics in Shadow’s performance and style  

• Form, meaning and representation in the structure and style of Shadow’s music  

• Dreadness in Intimate Relationships – Yuh Lookin’ Fuh Horn  

• De Music Jumbie – Ancestral groundations in music and message  



Abstracts should follow these formatting guidelines: 

  • Heading must include: paper title, name and email address of author(s), and thematic area as indicated above. 
  • A short 50-word biographical note on author(s). 
  • A description of 300 words or less, including details of the key area(s) of inquiry and anticipated conclusion(s). 
  • Abstracts must be emailed in either PDF or Word format to or no later than January 21, 2022. Please be sure the subject line reads: ABSTRACT SUBMISSION – DREADNESS CONFERENCE.