• Resistant Narratives in the Age of Disaster: The Example of Dominica

    This paper was presented on my behalf at the Caribbean Studies Association annual conference held in Havana, Cuba in June 2018.  On September 23, 2017, a mere five days after Hurricane Maria pummeled through Dominica and left the world wondering if hundreds or thousands were dead, the Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit went to the United Nations General Assembly to address heads of state and to make a declaration: climate change dealt the world a major blow in 2017 through the merciless assault of hurricanes on Dominica and other countries including Puerto Rico, Barbuda, St. Martin and the US Virgin Islands. At the time of his address, Dominicans in urban…

  • 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…