• Digital Maroonage in the Caribbean

    Below is the text of a presentation I gave in December 2016 at the Caribbean Digital III Conference held in New York City. Dominica is a maroon country. Its topography and social geography reveal a complex network of resistance to slavery and imperial oppression and authority. People are resistant to everything that remotely resembles newness or change, or anything simply because someone a. I say this with great generalization only to emphasize the level of skepticism with which I enter a small island society. Like many of the other small islands of the archipelago, Dominica’s economic landscape further textures the maroon ethos of the nation. It is against the backdrop…

  • Topography, Topology, Typography: The Library as Place, Text and Tool in Caribbean Digital Research Classrooms

    Below is the text of a talk I delivered at the ACURIL Conference in June, 2017. Although I was not able to attend the event in Puerto Rico, I was able to create a screencast and participate live. I’ve included the here as well.  When I left the United States and an Assistant Professor position to move to Dominica and re-start my life as an independent scholar, I couldn’t yet imagine what form my scholarly work would take but I knew from the summer research experience the year before that the library and archive space would be central to whatever projects or employment opportunities that I would pursue. My research…

  • Phyllis Shand Allfrey’s The Orchid House: returning home to a new generation

    I was asked by Polly Pattullo of Papillote Press to contribute the introduction to Phyllis Shand Allfrey’s 1953 novel The Orchid House. For me, this was a special request because it came from someone who I admired personally and professionally, and who had also done so much work in recovering the image of Allfrey here in Dominica. I discovered Allfrey’s writing during my college and graduate school work, although her name had been mentioned while I was growing up. Including The Orchid House in my doctoral dissertation on reading practices introduced me to new ways of reading Caribbean literature and, more importantly, new lens through which I could view the complex…