Volume 11, Issue 2 (2014) Imagined Nations: 50 Years Later

In October of 2012, the University of Miami had the honor of hosting the 31st Annual West Indian Literature Conference. The annual conference coincided with the occasion of the 50th anniversary of independence in Trinidad and Jamaica. Quite naturally, this provided conference participants with the opportunity for reflection and dialogue on the last fifty years, not only in Jamaica and Trinidad, but also in other territories in the region. The conference theme, reconfigured for this volume of essays as Imagined Nations: 50 Years Later, represents an effort to open a critical space for scholars and artists to contemplate the imagined enterprise of independence, its successes and failures, as well as the ongoing struggles within marginalized communities of independent nation-states. Many of these essays also reflect on a range of emerging questions about the next fifty years of post-independence and the hopes and aspirations of a new generation of writers imagining this future through an increasingly diasporic lens. This issue represents a small cross-section of the debates that animated the conversations throughout the conference. It includes insights about the challenges of representing nationalism, sexuality and citizenship in pre- and post-independence literature, and ever-evolving questions of equality and self-determination.

Editor's Note


Anthurium Editors




The Man Who
Danielle L. Boodoo-Fortune


The Shapeshifter's Wife
Danielle L. Boodoo-Fortune


Kaleb the Movie Site

Editorial Board

Senior Editors
Patricia J. Saunders
Donette A. Francis
Review Editor
Raphael Dalleo
Managing Editor
Carolina Villalba
Graduate Research Assistant
Allison Harris

Cover Art


Kervans Barthelemy's award winning debut feature film Kaleb was one of the artistic centerpieces featured during the 31st Annual West Indian Literature Conference. As a Haitian-American film maker, Kervans Barthelemy opens the boundaries of the diaspora to new questions of religion, sexuality, home, and family. Kaleb interrogates the strictures of familial and religious values through patriarchal roles adopted in the home and church in an immigrant Haitian community.

Fashioned on the parable of the prodigal son, the film opens with the Samson family and the conspicuous absence of their son Kaleb, who has been cast out by his father Jacques. Kaleb has taken up with friends involved with drugs and guns, while his younger siblings still at home struggle with piety and their own sexuality. When Kaleb is accused of raping a woman, a crime he did not commit, his father must decide between reconciling with his son or holding on to his religious rigidity and possibly losing the rest of his family too. The film offers a unique reflection on the struggles of maintaining Haitian cultural and religious identity for immigrants in the United States.

Kaleb was awarded a Haiti Film Festival Selection at the Haitian Cultural Exchange; Best Actor and Best Feature Honorable Mention at the Artisan Festival International Cannes World Peace Initiative; and Best Feature Film at the Artisan Festival International Hamptons World Cinema Festival.