Literary imaginings

– 38th West Indian Literature Conference kicks off

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, October 17, 2019

Literary and Creative arts have shaped the fabric of Caribbean Culture and Society for decades.

The University of Guyana’s Faculty of Education and Humanities on Thursday brought together some of the Caribbean’s finest literary minds at the 38th West Indian Literature Conference held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).

Dubbed “Hinterland Journeys of the Imagination”, the conference was well attended by lecturers, poets, authors/writers and other creative minds who were treated to an authentic Guyanese folklore experience detailing the nocturnal adventures of an ‘Ol Higue’ – a popular Guyanese old wives’ tale.

Derick Cummings, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications who represented Hon. Catherine Hughes, said that it is important to focus on literary arts even with first oil coming in 2020. According to Cummings, the oil and gas sector will support every other sector of our society, including the development of our literary, creative and performing arts.

University of Guyana’s Dr. Paloma Mohamed echoed Cummings’ sentiments, adding that the University of Guyana is continually poising itself for growth in all new and existing areas. In her remarks, she underscored the importance of the focus on STEAM Education; a holistic educational delivery approach meant to stimulate minds in various sectors within Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

Al Creighton, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Humanities, who began his delivery in his first tongue – Jamaican Patois explained that language has been the mode of expression through which the “excursions of the imagination were transformed into print, into voice or dramatic action”.

Citing the Year of Indigenous languages (2019) as a vital part of the literature landscape, Creighton explained that since its birthing in 1981, the premier West Indian Literature Conference was the meeting of a small group of Caribbean campuses meant to assess the situation, the state and the future of West Indian Literature.


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