Born on the ten-by-twelve-mile island of Antigua, writer Jamaica Kincaid inaugurated a remarkable literary life with reflections on what it meant to occupy A Small Place presumed to be largely uninhabited by the tourists who came to enjoy its beautiful beaches. In Hispanophone, Lusophone, Francophone, Anglophone and Dutch Caribbean letters, “the archipelago,” a cluster of islands, has been mobilized as a distinctive trope characterizing a unique geopolitical, existential, authorial, and theoretical disposition. Across the Atlantic some centuries earlier, Genevan-born Jean-Jacques Rousseau, upon encountering Paris, reflected that academies were most developed in empires that trained people in rules of civility and predictability that squelched their potential to “follow their own lights.” He suggested that the most important and innovative ideas almost always emerged from people who came of age in more remote stomping grounds, where they could be led by their own curiosities and priorities, undisrupted in pursuing their projects by distractions of narcissism and a public of glaring, monitoring eyes.
This year’s conference theme therefore continues the organization’s exploration of our larger motto of “shifting the geography of reason” through challenging the presumption that historic ideas and theory must emerge from large, metropolitan centers. We particularly invite reflection on the global range of small places from which many have undertaken theoretical endeavors and continue to produce vital ideas of worldly significance, the usefulness of Caribbean reflections on this situation, and more generally about how the scale and nature of the terrains where we work inflect the character of our thinking.
Deadline to submit proposals is past due. For questions, please write to Jane Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 2003 in Mona, Jamaica, the principal goal of the CPA is to support the free exchange of ideas and foster an intellectual community that is representative of the diversity of voices and perspectives that is paradigmatic of, but not limited to, the Caribbean. The Caribbean is thus understood not solely as a geopolitical region, but as a trope to investigate dimensions of the multiple undersides of modernity. Likewise, philosophy is conceived, not as an isolated academic discipline, but as rigorous theoretical reflection about fundamental problems faced by humanity. Understood in this way, Caribbean philosophy is a transdisciplinary form of interrogation aiming to elucidate fundamental questions that emerge with discovery, conquest, racial, gender, and sexual domination, genocide, dependency, and exploitation as well as freedom, emancipation, and decolonization.