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Opening Out the Way(s) to the Future

Call for Papers: Special Issue of EnterText on Caribbean Literature and Culture

“We can orient for the future only by comprehension of the present in the light of the past,”(i) observed the Caribbean philosopher, C.L.R. James. In his view, the arts and culture could provide direction and offer alternatives to present horizons. The “supreme artist,” he argued “summed up the past and […] opened out the way to the future.”(ii) In the Caribbean context, the need to envision alternatives to present horizons has taken on a new sense of urgency, particularly given the many challenges facing the Caribbean today, such as the exploitative dimensions of global capitalism, ecological risk, natural and health disasters – as in recent events in Haiti and St. Lucia – gender discrimination, sex tourism, labour exploitation, drugs and violent crime.

We invite scholars and creative writers of the Caribbean and its diasporas to explore present horizons and the (re-)envisioning of the future through an engagement with the past. More generally, this special issue on the Caribbean is concerned with questions such as: how can the creative and critical potential of the arts, social sciences, and humanities be harnessed to open out the way to the future? What insights do different experiences of lived time and space offer to contemporary historical and political perspectives? How do non-Western notions of time relate to revolutionary dreams and resistance movements, and visions of the Caribbean’s role in the global order? How do Caribbean artists, writers, historians, leaders, and philosophers represent the uses of the past? What are the perils and possibilities of looking to the past as a resource for navigating an uncertain future?

We particularly welcome revised versions of papers initially presented at the 35th Annual Society of Caribbean Studies Conference, Liverpool, 2011. Topics for the special issue include, but are by no means limited to:
• Liverpool and the Caribbean
• The Fall of the Plantation Complex
• Museums and Caribbean Histories
• Slavery, Commemoration, and Representation
• Ports and Cities
• Health, Social Policy, and Disability
• Environment and Natural Disasters
• The Challenges of Democracy
• Childhood and Education
• Theatre, Dance, and Performance
• Food and Material Culture
• Colonial Governance and Decolonisation

We also welcome creative writing submissions related to the topics of this special issue.
Editors of the special issue are Sandra Courtman and Wendy Knepper
Deadline for submission April 15, 2012
Length for scholarly articles: 5000-7500 words
Please address questions, proposals and submissions to

(i) C.L.R. James, “The American People in ‘One World’: An Essay in Dialectical Materialism,” (New
International, July 1944) in C.L.R. James and Revolutionary Marxism, Scott McLemee and Paul Le Blanc (eds.) Atlantic Highlands, Humanities Press, 1994, p. 168.
(ii) C.L.R. James, ‘The Artist in the Caribbean’ was delivered as part of Open Lecture series at the University College of the West Indies, Mona, (1959-1960), cited in C.L.R. James, ‘Two Lectures by C.L.R. James’, Caribbean Quarterly, 54:1 (March-June 2008): 179-187.

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