Warwick University - Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies
2nd July 2011
Kenneth Ramchand (University of Trinidad and Tobago)
Alison Donnell (University of Reading)
Samuel Selvon is one of the Caribbean's most widely-read, popular and influential novelists, one whose works have, as early as their first publication, been granted classic status. While the author's significance is undeniable, historically Selvon's oeuvre has been read primarily to seek its insight into creolization in post-war Trinidad and the lived experience of the Windrush generation, or its replication of the tropes and techniques of calypso. Selvon's work, though, has much more to offer than this. While expressing a strong, Caribbean-centred cultural identity, his writing demonstrates a perceptiveness that extends beyond its immediate context.
Beyond Calypso will explore the full richness of Selvon's work and its echoes in Caribbean writing. In advance of the sixtieth anniversary of Selvon's first novel, A Brighter Sun, in 2012, this one-day event will draw together new perspectives on the author in order to celebrate his contribution to Caribbean, British and postcolonial literatures.
In addition to academic papers, Beyond Calypso will feature Selvon’s readings of his own work, restored from the Centre for Caribbean Studies’s sound archives, as well as readings from creative writers inspired by Selvon’s legacy.