The Project – Grenada and Dominica: Operation Urgent Fury at 35


Grenada and Dominica: Operation Urgent Fury at 35

2018 marks the 35th anniversary of the US invasion of Grenada that was driven by political unrest in the island nation, including the assassination of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. For this semester’s project we will reflect on the events, actions and movements leading up to Operation Urgent Fury with a particular theme in mind: the relationship between Dominica and Grenada, and Dominica’s role in Grenada’s revolution and the eventual actions of Operation Urgent Fury.

During the course of this semester (Semester I, 2018-2019), you will conduct archival and other primary and secondary research to learn more about the social, political and economic conditions taking place in the Caribbean, particularly the Windward Islands, during these nations’ journeys to independence. Beginning with the dissolution of the West Indies Federation, we will explore questions regarding the desire by local populations to gain political independence from Britain, the impact of that decision on the local economies and on local governance, and the ways that people of these island nations resisted various forms of oppression and hardship on the road to independence.

This project calls for you to investigate the relationship between these two burgeoning nations, the similarities and differences in their progress to independence and in the immediate aftermath of independence, and the communications between key figures in both countries during this period in Caribbean history. Consider the following key points:

  • What is the role of young people in movements for workers’ rights and independence?
  • How does independence change the quality of life and economic conditions for Grenadians and Dominicans?
  • Why and how does the United States get involved in matters of Caribbean sovereignty?
  • What are the circumstances leading up to the death of Maurice Bishop?
  • What lessons can be learned from the events leading up to Operation Urgent Fury 35 years later?

Of course, this is a digital humanities project, so your challenge is to build a resource that considers the impact of technology in form, content and audience.

  • You will collaborate to build this resource on a web-based platform with its own domain name under the umbrella of digital research projects at Create Caribbean Research Institute at Dominica State College.
  • You will use digital tools to design, research and present the project.
  • You will conduct formal academic research using archival and scholarly resources, both analog and digital, to answer the research questions you outline under your selected research topics:
    • Labour and Workers’ Rights
    • Economic Conditions
    • Anti-colonialism and Political Independence
    • Social Welfare
    • Relationship to the state/law enforcement
    • U.S Involvement in Caribbean Affairs
    • Youth Activism

The project has four linked formal assignments, which are detailed on the Assignments page:

  1. Inquiry essay and proposal
  2. Annotated bibliography
  3. Final Project
  4. Public Presentation

Key Resources you will use to engage this project include:

  • National Archives of Dominica and National Documentation Centre
  • Digital Library of the Caribbean
  • SPAT Memory Project Archives