THE ARTS JOURNAL is an independent, refereed Journal that provides fresh
critical perspectives on the contemporary literatures, social history, arts and cultures of Guyana, the Caribbean and their Diasporas.
The first thing to say is that prior to the launching of The Arts Journal in Guyana in 2004, there was virtually no critical material published in Guyana and easily accessible to students of the humanities and cultural studies. Literary and art criticism of Guyanese themes and issues were mostly to be found in journals published overseas, often economically prohibitive to students in Guyana.
Then, there was a clear need for more avenues available to scholars and creative writers at home, regionally, and in the Diaspora to publish their work. In addition, there was need to create a bridge with writers and artists in the Diaspora so that scholarly and creative works were not lost either way.
Up to the turn of this Century, important works of the visual arts and significant cultural artifacts in Guyana were critically neglected and hardly existed in the national consciousness. Some of these artists had passed on and their works were in danger of being forgotten without being brought into the national canon. The creative works of some strands of our plural society were still not being noticed.
During the last eight years, The Arts Journal has sought to fill these gaps by providing a blend of readable analytical material on Guyanese and Caribbean works of literature and the visual arts, and on aspects of social history and culture.
While The Arts Journal recognizes a tradition of critical debate across the disciplines on Caribbean themes, its aim is to extend the debate while reflecting the plurality and diversity of Caribbean peoples, and to attempt to bring to light works that have been under-represented or neglected in the “mainstream” tradition. The Journal sets out to find and illuminate such works and does so through critical essays, interviews, book reviews, travel writing, the short story, poetry and the visual and traditional arts and culture.
In addition, the consequences of globalization upon our lives and its rendering of national borders fluid and porous will demand more critical space for debate.
The aims of The Arts Journal are:
to strengthen the tradition of critical thinking in Guyana, the Caribbean and their Diasporas;
to recognize the plural nature of Caribbean societies and their several sensitivities and to illuminate Caribbean works from a culturally relevant perspective.
to bridge the gap between Guyana, the Caribbean and their Diasporas so that scholarly and creative works on either side are not lost;
to provide an avenue for publishing to scholars and emerging writers;
to bring the arts to the centre of individual consciousness and foster deeper understanding of the cultural environment to which we are heir.
Now in its seventh Volume, The Arts Journal is widely subscribed to by the libraries of universities, community colleges, senior secondary schools, public and private libraries, art galleries, art schools and museums, and other such institutions in Guyana, throughout the Caribbean, Canada, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom.
THE ARTS JOURNAL takes the view that the arts are a liberating, humanizing force; an affirmation of the spirit of man and society; and a reservoir for society’s beliefs and values. Even students who are offering subjects in other streams (business, law, the social and natural sciences, technology) have found the Journal instructive in practical ways, awakening them to a deeper understanding of the cultural space they inhabit and helping to sharpen their critical skills.
No democracy can survive unless its people can think critically and hold independent worldviews that are not clouded by the ambivalences created by race, colour, class, creed, politics, and other man-made divisions. Hence a critical Journal is a foremost asset in any society.
The Journal’s Editorial and Advisory Boards are comprised of professors, scholars, researchers, artists and writers, some of who serve across the University of the West Indies campuses, and in universities in USA, Canada and the United Kingdom.
VOLUME 7 NUMBERS 1 AND 2 deepens its focus on the arts with a more nuanced approach to studying the multiple strands of Caribbean society. There is no one label that can fit the distinctive cultural and historical experiences of Caribbean peoples. This notion underlines many of the discussions in this issue which contains fresh scholarship by leading lights in the discipline:
Emeritus Professor Kenneth Ramchand on the inimitable Sam Selvon: “The Other Selvons”;
Emeritus Professor Frank Birbalsingh on “Indigenization in Rooplall Monar ‘s Janjhat”;
Professor Mariam Pirbhai on “Tracing the Emerging Tradition of Indian-Guyanese Women’s Fiction: From Shinebourne to Gunraj”;
Ameena Gafoor’s timely “Reading Earl’s Lovelace’s The Wine of Astonishment”;
Professor Bridget Brereton on “Ethnic Histories: The Indo-centric Narrative of Trinidad’s History”;
Professor Verene Shepherd on “Remembering Phibbah: Ancestral Reflections in the International Year for People of African Descent”;
Dr. Paloma Mohamed’s very important article: “Of Moderate Company: The Survival of The Creole (1856-1907): Guyana’s second Coloured Newspaper”;
Dr. Rupert Roopnarine’s thorough critique of “Shadows Move Among Them 11: New Paintings by Stanley Greaves”;
Dr. Keith Lowe’s inspiring Keynote address on Chinese experience in the New World; “Counter Cultures: Exploring Shop Keeping in the Chinese Diaspora”;
New creative writing by Professor Cyril Dabydeen: “Welcoming Mr. Anang”; Professor Lomarsh Roopnarine’s “Drupattie’s Vanishing Hopes”; and Stephanie Bowry’s “Coffee Watch”.
BOOK REVIEWS are offered by Bernadette Persaud on Ryhaan Shah’s lyrical A Silent Life
And Akima McPherson on Anne Walmsley and Stanley Greaves’s Art in the Caribbean.
The cover image, titled Jugs and Fruits (2002), is the work Trinidadian artist Willi Chen.
We invite you to visit the Journal’s website: www.theartsjournal.org.gy for the positive reviews and responses it steadily receives and Editorial and Contents of each issue.
The ARTS JOURNAL is published twice yearly, as single issues in March and September, or once a year, in September as a double issue.
THE ARTS JOURNAL is indexed in: EBSCO Academic Search Complete Database; MLA International Bibliography; and PROQUEST Database.
For Subscriptions and Submission of Articles, contact the editor at: [email protected]
Available at all leading bookshops in Guyana and the Caribbean.
The editor of THE ARTS JOURNAL, Ameena Gafoor, can be reached on e-mail: [email protected] OR on Telephone: 592 227 6825
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