The Nicolas Guillen Philosophical Literature Prize are awarded at the international annual meetings of the Caribbean Philosophical Association. The prize is to be awarded to an author whose contribution to Caribbean thought is through the medium of the novel, poetry, theater, or cinema.

The Caribbean Philosophical Association is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of the association’s awards for contributions to Caribbean thought and philosophical literature. The awards will be conferred in a special session of the 14th annual conference of the Caribbean Philosophical Association, which will take place on June 22-24 at BMMC, CUNY in New York City. For more information on the conference, click here.



The Nicolás Guillén Lifetime Achievement Award
for Philosophical Literature:

Hortense Spillers

The Caribbean Philosophical Association is honoring Professor Hortense Spillers with the Nicolás Guillén Lifetime Achievement Award for her groundbreaking work in philosophical literary theory, whose influence spans the course of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences.  According to the Awards Committee’s report: “Professor Spillers remains our companion in profession and in thought, at once our fellow traveller in the most mundane orders of living and our guide to, in, and among, the stars, for as she is equally inimitable in her comportment and resolute in her commitment to the terms of accomplishment, hers is a gift of thought of the highest order, of possibility. We may thus turn and return – to the mundane, in intramural communion, to the task of thinking together with her black thought of ‘race,’ of ‘the problem of the color line,’ and of ‘revolution,’ of a re-engendering of what it means to be a Black woman, of world.”

Professor Neil Roberts, President of the Caribbean Philosophical Association, adds: “We are extremely delighted to present Hortense Jeanette Spillers with this lifetime achievement award.  Spillers is a foremost intellectual troubadour whose writings and teaching for over forty years have set the terms of discussion for a range of conversations in black studies, gender theory, critical theory, literature, and humanities more broadly.  Spillers’s iconic essay ‘Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book’ and collection Black, White, and in Color are required reading and continue to be taught and widely referenced.  Moreover, Spillers’s work has refashioned the meaning and significance of black feminist thought and the unconscious.  We thank Professor Spillers for her inspiration and keeping alive Guillén’s legacy.”

For more information on Professor Spillers, please click here.


The Nicolás Guillén Award for
Outstanding Book in Philosophical Literature  


La rebelión de las niñas: El Caribe y la “conciencia corporal
By Nadia V. Celis-Salgado

Nadia V. Celis-Salgado, La rebelión de las niñas: El Caribe y la “conciencia corporal.”  Madrid, Sp: IBEROAMERICANA, 2015.

Nadia V. Celis-Salgado is Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Bowdoin College.

Writes one evaluator: This is a brilliant, beautifully written book.  The author in effect performs a detailed study of the body, embodiment, corporeality, and oppression through an analysis of the conscious corporeality of girls in the Caribbean.   Such an undertaking would, one imagine, involve a form of protection thesis, one in which a girl is in effect a woman to be made, an adult, which raises the question of her status in her lived-reality as girl.   Drawing upon Sheila Greene’s insight of regarding children as valuable in their own right, as, in effect, subjects with rights, Celis-Salgado develops her argument over six chapters integrating ideas from an astonishing array of theorists from South America, Europe, and the Caribbean.  Bodily themes of sex, sexuality, racialization, and more come to the fore in this extraordinary work.  The theme of agency also comes forth in her discussion of rebelion and liberation…. This is theoretically rich stuff.

President Neil Roberts adds: “Nadia V. Celis-Salgado’s deft book shatters any logics reserving for boys the path to adulthood and maturity.  By emphasizing girls and attendant facets of the body, corporeality, embodiment, and subject formation, Celis-Salgado provides us a gift of scholarship that navigates Caribbean thought, feminist political theory, and human development, among other areas.  It’s marvelous accomplishment bridging poeticism and historicism carries forth the spirit of Guillén.”

Please click this link for the introduction to Celis-Salgado’s book:

The Black Radical Tragic: Performance, Aesthetics, and the Unfinished Haitian Revolution
By  Jeremy Matthew Glick

Jeremy Matthew Glick, The Black Radical Tragic: Performance, Aesthetics, and the Unfinished Haitian Revolution.  New York: NYU Press, 2016. 

Jeremy Matthew Glick is Associate Professor of African Diasporic Literature at Hunter College of the City University of New York.

From one of the evaluators: I love the author’s opening sentence of the introduction to this text,” wrote one of the readers: “The Haitian Revolution is a grand refusal to forget.”  The author’s task, then, is a form of uncovering through the paradox of what is sensed beneath what is seen.   The work incorporates resources of theories from the global south, in stream with the Caribbean Philosophical Association’s motto of shifting the geography of reason, in a rare synthesis of poststructural, postcolonial, Africana, Caribbean, Marxist—indeed, a majestically creolized methodology—through which the Francophone (Dessaline and Fanon) and Anglophone (C.L.R. James and Malcolm X) meet.   An unusual dimension of this work is its sobriety.  Instead of sexy anti-sovereignty and valorized fugitivity discourses of the present, the author straightforwardly announces the success of the Haitian Revolution on the sovereign nation it established.   The effort to undermine that sovereignty brought forth several themes through which the normative understanding of liberation—the ultimate goal of the revolution—is an ongoing and unfolding affair in black radical thought.   He in effect reads the Haitian Revolution as an ongoing text of Afro-modernity and a “palimpsest war of decolonization.”

Adds President Neil Roberts: “Jeremy Matthew Glick defies rigid disciplinary categorizations in this wonderful work, which frames the Haitian Revolution within a wider black radical tradition.  In contrast to recent treatises focusing on fugitivity and the rejection of sovereignty, Glick details the benefits and challenges of a sovereign Haitian state after 1804.  Incorporating an array of Afro-modern agents including C.L.R. James, Lorraine Hansberry and Malcolm X, in addition to inquiry into Benedicto de Spinoza, Glick shows how the imperatives driving the revolution in Saint-Domingue are indeed unfinished.  We salute this effort.”



Recipients 2016

Life-time Achievement:

Jamaica Kincaid

Philosophical Literature:

Arturo Dávila-Sánchez

Outstanding Book in Philosophical Literature:

Being Apart: Theoretical and Existential Resistance in Africana Literature
By LaRose Parris

Recipients 2015

Life-time Achievement:

Samuel R. Delany

George Lamming

Philosophical Literature:

Víctor Fowler Calzada

Outstanding Book in Philosophical Literature:

Creole Renegades: Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora
By Bénédicte Boisseron

Recipients 2014

Life-time Achievement:

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Philosophical Literature:

Frieda Ekotto

Outstanding Book in Philosophical Literature:

Pathologies of Paradise: Caribbean Detours
By Supriya Nair

Recipients 2013

Life-time Achievement:

Ana Lydia Vega

Philosophical Literature:

Jose Buscaglia

Recipients 2012

Life-time Achievement: 

The Mighty Chalkdust / Hollis Urban Lester Liverpool

Prafulla Kar

Philosophical Literature:

Gordon Rohlehr

Recipient 2011

Junot Díaz 

Recipient: 2010 

Gabriel García Márquez

Recipient: 2009

Edwidge Danticat 

Recipients: 2008

Ramabai Espinet

Wilson Harris



Nicholas Guillén

Click here for  biographical information on Nicholas Guillén