Oxford & Caribbeanity Now

oxford and caribbeanity now

Christopher Codrington (Christ Church, All Souls), Joseph Lyons Waldron (St. John’s), the Rev. John Wilson (Queen’s) are just three of the many individuals in the University’s history responsible for enslaving Black subjects in the Caribbean and amassing fortunes from the Atlantic trade. Centuries later, Oxford scholars and students are actively addressing these legacies in a number of ways, from archival projects to public forums, and other forms of restitution. These academic efforts go a long way in helping our University atone for its past and understand its role in the establishment of the modern Caribbean, a region at the epicentre of global histories of slavery and indentured labour. As a University that prospered and built its global reputation on the grounds of such a history, we need to address our attitude toward the extended, everyday, and present life of that legacy.

The “Oxford and Caribbeanity Now” project seeks to enrich not just the intellectual lives of multidisciplinary students and scholars at Oxford, but the wider urban community that lives with us. It builds on the current momentum building across faculties, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate communities, all of whom are making important inroads into our collective recognition of the institution’s colonial past and our need to redress inequality. As a diverse and innovative set of academic-facing activities, performance-based collaborations between University constituencies and community organizations, and material-history explorations, it addresses the everyday experience of Caribbean life and culture in the university and in the city of Oxford. It asks how we can create structural changes to the social ecology of our university-in-a-city through the production of an integrative relationship with Caribbeanity, past and present. We are particularly interested in testing how we can help shape these changes at an intercultural and inter-generational level. Given the focus of our project on Oxford’s history and present, we focus on the English-speaking Caribbean experience and its diasporic extension

This project is running between 2021-2023.


Dr María del Pilar Blanco: maria.blanco@trinity.ox.ac.uk

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