News Releases

Freedom and Power in the Caribbean: The Work of Gordon K. Lewis

For Release Upon Receipt - September 15, 2009

St. Augustine

The Centre for Caribbean Thought (CCT) UWI, Mona, in association with Africana Studies at Brown University and the Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras is proud to host the VIIth Caribbean Reasonings Conference entitled Freedom and Power in the Caribbean: the Work of Gordon K. Lewis, to be held June 3-5, 2010 at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Professor Gordon K. Lewis, (1919-1991) taught for many years at the University of Puerto Rico and wrote path-breaking books on the Caribbean’s history, politics and intellectual development. Texts such as Puerto Rico: Freedom and Power in the Caribbean (1963), The Growth of the Modern West Indies (1968), and Main Currents in Caribbean Thought: The historical evolution of Caribbean society in its ideological aspects (1983), exemplify the breadth of his interests as well as the range and quality of his output.

Lewis’ work transcended the region’s linguistic fragmentation and was consistent with the view that “No one could really claim to be a full practitioner in Caribbean Studies until he came to write ultimately, on the Caribbean as a whole.” (Main Currents in Caribbean Thought, (1983) Maingot, introduction vi). This conference in 2010 will reopen inter-territorial networks to enable studies across language barriers, a goal the Centre for Caribbean Thought has articulated and continues to realize since 2001 through several conferences and the “Caribbean Reasonings” book series with Ian Randle Publishers. It will also seek to introduce the seminal work of Gordon K. Lewis to a new generation of young scholars, interested in moving beyond constricting national barriers, in order to study the region in its entirety.

There is limited space on the conference programme for individual papers and panels, thus we are suggesting that proposals that fall within the following broad categories will be given serious consideration:

Critical examination of Gordon K. Lewis’s scholarship, particularly The Growth of the Modern West Indies; Main Currents in Caribbean Thought; Puerto Rico: Freedom and Power in the Caribbean; and Grenada: the Jewel Despoiled.

Critical work on the present state and the future of social sciences research in the Caribbean, with particular emphasis on pan-Caribbean research and inter-disciplinary studies.

Critical exploration of the state of Caribbean Thought in the contemporary period beyond Lewis’ assessment in Main Currents in Caribbean Thought.

The state of politics in the Caribbean, forty years beyond The Growth of the Modern West Indies.

The existential condition of Caribbean Intellectuals and intellectualism in the 21st century.

Reflections on the Grenada Revolution and Lewis’s assessment of its collapse in Grenada: the Jewel Despoiled.

Critical reflection on the state and status of Puerto Rico, beyond Lewis’ analysis in Puerto Rico: Freedom and Power in the Caribbean.

Critical analysis of the state and future of Pan Caribbeanism and integration movements.

Sports, culture and the future of Caribbean unity.

Abstracts should be sent as a Word attachment to Beverley Sutherland Lewis at:

FINAL date for submission: December 15, 2009. Hosted by: The Centre for Caribbean Thought, UWI, Mona, The Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras and the Africana Studies Department, Brown University, Rhode Island.