ISSN 1993-0844



Papers and book reviews are invited for an upcoming special issue of Shibboleths devoted to Caribbean philosophy and edited by Friedrich Ochieng'-Odhiambo.  For more information, please click HERE.

Other forthcoming issues include special issues devoted to George Lamming (in honour of his 90th birthday), Derek Walcott (to commemorate his passing), Frantz Fanon, and African Philosophy.


Please send book reviews to the General Editor, Richard Clarke, at this EMAIL ADDRESS.  Reviews, once accepted, are normally published in the two issues of Shibboleths that appear in June and December annually, but may also be published at other times of the year as the occasion arises.  All reviewers should follow the submission guidelines found below.


Volume 5:

bullet (December 2017)

Volume 4:

bullet (December 2016)

Volume 3:

bullet 3.2 (June 2009)
bullet 3.1 (December 2008)

Volume 2:

bullet 2.2 (June 2008)
bullet 2.1 (December 2007)

Volume 1: (Re)Thinking Caribbean Culture

bullet 1.2 (June 2007)
bullet 1.1 (December 2006)


bullet Please click HERE.


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Shibboleths: a Journal of Comparative Theory and Criticism is a publication of Shibboleths Publishing, Bridgetown, Barbados. 
© 2006-Present




VOL. 5 (DECEMBER 2017)


Worrell, Rodney.

Department of History and Philosophy,
University of the West Indies,
Cave Hill Campus.

"Cricket and Pan-Africanist Protests in Barbados, 1966-1992."  1-16.

Barbadians traditionally are very passionate about cricket.  Over the years, this sport has been and still continues to be very popular among large sections of the population.  Between 1966 and 1992, however, cricket was used as a site of anti-apartheid protests and an occasion to demonstrate Pan-African solidarity with the oppressed masses of African people in Southern Africa.  The Pan-Africanists in Barbados sought to demonstrate to their brothers and sisters in Southern Africa that they were cognizant of their tribulations and they would seek to concretely assist them by ensuring that the international isolation of South Africa in cricket was maintained.  This paper examines the actions of the Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM) in fighting against two South Africans and one Rhodesian playing in the Rest of the World versus Barbados cricket match in 1967.  It explores the role of the Southern African Liberation Committee in the ‘Robin Jackman Affair’ of 1981.  The article also surveys the reaction of the Pan-Africanists to the ‘rebel’ West Indian cricketers going to play cricket in South Africa in 1983.  Additionally, it looks at protests against the English cricket team in 1986 for selecting cricketers who toured South Africa.  Finally, the essay observes the response by the Pan-Africanists to the South Africa tour of the Caribbean in 1992.

Amini, Majid, and Niloufar Jafari.

Majid Amini is Professor of Philosophy at Virginia State University.

Niloufar Jafari is Lecturer in English as a Second Language (ESL) at Virginia Commonwealth University.

"Language of Thought and Mental Logic."  17-28.

Once a very prominent philosopher of mind remarked that he would have chosen Jerry Fodor's book, The Language of Thought, among all the books published in his field in the last fifty years, as the one he would have most liked to see burnt!  The fulcrum of Fodor's book that fueled so much ferocity on the part of the philosopher foe in question can be roughly formulated as follows: cognitive mental states are relations to mental representations which in turn are like formulas in a hardwired language-like medium that functions both to express the intentional content of mental states and to provide the domain of mental processes.  Obviously, since its Fodorian premiere in the theater of psychophilosophy, the hypothesis has seen its more than fair share of criticism, and detractors have been quick in exposing its vulnerabilities.  The purpose of this paper is to look at some of the more critical issues raised against the language of thought hypothesis and see whether they can be overcome by appealing to the insights and resources furnished by the nativist mental logic theory before deciding in our wisdom to commit it to the flames!


Nanton, Philip.
Philip Nanton is a scholarly writer and a published poet.  He is Honorary Research Associate at the University of Birmingham and occasional lecturer at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies, Barbados.  He has published two collections of poetry: Island Voices from St. Christopher and the Barracudas (Papillote Press, 2014) and Canouan Suite and Other Pieces (Papillote Press, 2016).  Canouan Suite was recognized in the Cuban Casa de las Americas Awards for Anglophone Caribbean Literature in January 2018 as a "stunning collection of poems that establishes a connection with visual artists of the Caribbean" that  "stands out for its stylistic and tonal diversity."  His most recent publication is Frontiers of the Caribbean (Manchester University Press, 2017).




“Caribbean Literary Epistemology as Frontier: Two Caribbean Poets and Thinkers – Kamau Brathwaite and Derek Walcott.”  29-43.

This essay argues that in their work the Caribbean poets, Kamau Brathwaite and Derek Walcott, each offer distinct challenges to the inherited colonial language situation of the Anglophone Caribbean.  I use the framework of the frontier, defined as a relationship between the ‘civilized’ and the ‘wild’, to explore the strategies that each poet has consciously adopted to challenge the existing paradigm of Caribbean literary epistemology.  I argue that Brathwaite’s challenge, with its emphasis on orality, nation language, noise, consciousness of ritual and shamanistic effects and experimentation with technology, can be read as a form of ‘wildness’.  Walcott, by contrast, simultaneously engages with and subverts the ‘civilized’ through the combination of formal and canonical poiesis with a postcolonial sensibility.  Measured in terms of tangible rewards, the outcome of each strategy has differed considerably.  While both poets are recognized as literary masters, the public celebration of Walcott’s oeuvre through such accolades as the Nobel Prize for Literature suggests its greater congeniality and acceptability to the ‘civilised’ world than the more difficult to assimilate work of Kamau Brathwaite.

McWatt, Mark A.

Professor Emeritus of West Indian Literature,
University of the West Indies,
Cave Hill Campus.


"Eight Poems."  44-51.

These are eight out of about fifteen poems that I’ve been writing and revising over the past month or so.  I’m grateful for Richard Clarke’s kind offer to publish them in Shibboleths—in lieu of a scholarly article, since I haven’t written any such thing in months!  I realize that these are different from my typical poems of the past: I call them 'story-poems,' since they all have a strong narrative purpose. . . .  I realize that I have probably sacrificed aspects of my usual poetic language and style in order to tell these 'stories,' but I am willing to continue this experiment in the hope that readers will find some value in the stories themselves: in the variety of settings and moods and times.  I hope you will enjoy reading at least some of them.


Inniss, Tara A.

Department of History and Philosophy,
University of the West Indies,
Cave Hill Campus.

"'Resolved to Make a Trial of It': The Plantation, Medical Experimentation and the Development of Medical Knowledge in the British Caribbean."  52-65.

This paper adopts a Foucauldian framework to analyse the implications of medical experimentation in Caribbean slave societies.  Using concepts derived from both The Birth of the Clinic (1963) and Discipline and Punish (1975), it offers an investigation into how the plantation space could become a human laboratory in which black bodies could be surveilled and controlled for the development of Western medicine in an unequal knowledge exchange rendering European knowledge systems superior, while relegating Caribbean-based African knowledge systems to the status of superstition.  The enslaved black bodies (usually of children) were property and were seen as both and object and a subject for medical experimentation.  The paper excavates the medical treatises informed by experiences in Caribbean slave societies for the construction of European / Western medical knowledge and science in the 18th-19th centuries.  It reveals a complex set of relationships and hierarchies that are not yet quite fixed, but certainly positioning European knowledge systems and its practitioners above all others at a time when both science and empire were undergoing expansion.  There is a clear resolution of European medical practitioners to use their opportunity and skill (as well as the unacknowledged skill of African practitioners) within the Caribbean laboratory to define the boundaries of Western medical knowledge and asserting sole ownership of its communication.















Quintyne, Kelvin.

Foundation Language Programme,
University of the West Indies,
Cave Hill Campus.

"A New Model Needed for Teaching Academic Writing."  66-73.

The first-year writing programme at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill – formerly known as the Foundation Language Programme, now called the Academic Literacies Programme – arguably fell largely within what academic literacies theorists Mary Lea and Brian Street call the academic socialisation model.  Unsatisfactory student performances in some courses caused reflection on the need for some adjustments to the author’s and the programme’s approaches to teaching writing for academic purposes.  In two of the programme’s courses, out of necessity, there is normally a mix of students from different faculties and disciplines registered in each class.  While this makes discipline-based teaching largely impractical, I argue that there is still the possibility of adopting a modified academic literacies model involving an interdisciplinary approach to improve student writing.

McWatt, Mark A.

Professor Emeritus of West Indian Literature,
University of the West Indies,
Cave Hill Campus.

"Overseas Calls."  74-81.

Rodriguez Cuberos, Edgar Giovanni.

Facultad de Ciencias de la Educacion, Humanidades y Artes,
Fundacion Universitaria Juan de Castellanos, Tunja, Colombia.

"Las 'Otras' Infancias que vienen: Apuntes para una Ética de la Singularidad y Subjetividad desde las Interactiones Niňos-Humanoides [The 'Other' Childhoods On Their Way: Notes Towards an Ethics of Singularity and Subjectivity Derived from Children-Humanoid Interactions]."  74-.

Antes de finalizar la mitad del presente siglo, el desarrollo de la inteligencia artificial (IA) y las tecnologías robóticas presentarán una interfaz humanoide funcional de amplia distribución.  Esto supone múltiples e inquietantes retos antropo-filosóficos y educativos, más allá de un tema de 'ciencia ficción,' se trata de una perspectiva real e inmediata que exige debates y posicionamientos en temas que hace unos años eran considerados como campos de las 'pseudociencias.'  Parte del avance alcanzado por el diseño de humanoides robóticos consiste en las preguntas derivadas de la interacción social y muchos experimentos se realizan para conocer la respuesta de públicos específicos como los niños.  Por ello y a partir de evidencias, el presente texto presenta algunos argumentos que permitan incluir dentro de los nuevos discursos sobre infancia y su diversidad, parte de las demandas que la tecnología robótica hace a las ciencias sociales y las humanidades en términos de lo que supone una nueva ética y de subjetividades autómatas y humanas en interacción.  Abordar el tema es de radical importancia si se reconoce que las infancias que vienen harán parte de una cuarta revolución industrial, por lo que muchas condiciones necesariamente tendrán que cambiar así como nuestros puntos de referencia para su análisis y comprensión.

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