Canons, Curriculums and Critics

Authored by: Kenneth Ramchand

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature

Print publication date:  June  2011
Online publication date:  June  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415485777
eBook ISBN: 9780203830352
Adobe ISBN: 9781136821745


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In the late 1960s, the literature curriculum of the English Department at the University of the West Indies was a curriculum in English Literature, differing little from the literature curriculum of the average university in England. The ‘great’ books and ‘major’ authors were studied as the best representatives of the English literary canon. This canon was the alien culture’s best advertisement for its self and, just as in other parts of the former Empire, it was the stealthiest and most ubiquitous agent of the colonizing process. How structural this was, and how it affected the strongest minds can be seen with reference to the Trinidad-born intellectual C.L.R. James.

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