Introduction to Caribbean Studies

General Course Information

Course Lecturer Name(s):  Dr. Antonia MacDonald

Course Director Name:  Dr. Antonia MacDonald

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information:

Course Director Contact Information: 

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours:  Tuesdays & Thursdays: 11:00 a.m – 11:30 a.m. 

Course Director Office Hours:  Tuesdays & Thursdays: 11:00 a.m – 11:30 a.m. 

Course Lecturer(s) Office Location: Ground Floor, Ballsier Building

Course Director Office Location: Ground Floor, Ballsier Building

Course Support: Nicole Phillip, ext. 3823

Course Management tool: To learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: 

This interdisciplinary course is a survey of the social, cultural, economic, historical, political and  technological forces that have shaped and are influencing the development of the Caribbean region. The course is pan-Caribbean in perspective but emphasizes the experiences of the

Anglophone Caribbean and its Diaspora.

Course Objectives: 

This course

  1. Introduces the student to the social, cultural, economic, political, technological and environmental issues that affect Caribbean society. In reading and thinking critically about Literature, students will develop interpretive skills that they can transfer to other disciplines such as Business, Politics, Psychology, Science or Mass Media. 
  2. Introduces the student to the political and historical dimensions of  Caribbean culture.
  3. Introduces the student to the social, cultural, economic, political, technological and environmental issues that affect Caribbean society. 
  4. Provides the student with knowledge that allows them to analyze and debate how the relationships between the various aforementioned issues impact on twenty-first century Caribbean life.
  5. Provides the students with the competence in a broad range of theories and methods appropriate to interdisciplinary work in Caribbean Studies
  6. Provides the student with skills and knowledge that prepare them well for more specialized course work in the various majors in the School of Arts and Sciences
  7. Prepares the student with the skills to critically assess and effectively engage institutions, culture, and social structure and practices. By introducing the students to literary research, the course will also allow students to develop a larger critical vocabulary.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. Explain key concepts in Caribbean Sociology, Politics, Economics and Culture.
  2. Discuss the socio-historical backgrounds of Caribbean Society.
  3. Understand the impact of race and class in the formation of Caribbean society. 
  4. Apply a variety of theoretical perspectives to analyze Caribbean society.
  5. Analyze the ways in which Caribbean society and culture influence and are influenced by societies and cultures outside the region.
  6. Define Diaspora and explain its impact on Caribbean society.
  7. Apply knowledge and understanding of ICTs in the development of modern Caribbean societies. 
  8. Identify the natural resources of the Caribbean and explain the key issues involved in the sustainable uses of those resources
  9. Apply knowledge and understanding of international organizations to important issues in modern international relations
  10. Identify the major health issues affecting the Caribbean

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

GEPO 1: Critically analyze social, cultural, and environmental issues as an individual as well as from a global perspective.

GEPO 2:  Effectively and accurately consume and produce information orally, written, and visually to extract and construct meaning through creativity, analysis, and critical thinking

GEPO 3:  Examine the human experience through culture, perspective-taking, and tolerance towards becoming an empathic citizen of the world. 

GEPO 4:  Apply a variety of media, methods, and technology  towards thinking divergently, building awareness, and striving for problem solving innovation.

SAS Grading Scale: Grades will be assigned as follows:


A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 64.4% or less

Course Materials:


  •  Assigned readings from novels, journals and newspapers, Film, Art
  • Supplementary Readings/Resources: Where appropriate, additionally material will be provided in lectures, or will be placed in a Reading Folder on Sakai.

Course Grading Requirement:

  • 4-Part Game Changer project –  20 marks
  • Mid-term exam  –  30 marks
  • End of Semester exam –  30 marks 
  • Research Paper –  15 marks
  • Class Participation –  5 marks

Course Requirements:

Students will be required to:

  1. be prepared for class by doing the necessary pre-readings; 
  2. contribute thoughtful ideas to class discussions and engage in constructive debate;
  3. conduct themselves in ways that are appropriate to a respectful academic environment
  4. be respectful of the opinions of others
  5. be responsible team-members

Course Schedule


Week 1  - Jan 18, 20

  • Course Overview. Caribbean Game changers; people who are making or have made a difference.
  • Activity:  Identify the Caribbean game changers in the powerpoint slide show and discuss why they are regarded as game changers.

Week 2 - Jan. 25, 27 

  • Topic: Claiming Caribbean Identity:  Where are we? Who are we?  


  1. On a blank map of the Caribbean, identify the different islands.
  2. Read Nicholas Laughlin’s article: “Caribbean Identity”
  3. January 31: Due date for the Electronic Submission of Game Changer # 1. Details of this assignment will be provided to you in “Resources” folder on SAKAI

Week 3  - Feb 1, 3

  • Topic:  The Genesis of Caribbean society. 
  • The Pre-Columbian Caribbean – The Early Settlers  
  • Activity: Prepare for class discussion  Chapter 1 of Beverley Steele’s “Grenada: A History Of Its People”

Week 4 - Feb. 8, 10      

  • Topic: The Colonial encounter, Caribbean slave society                                                   
  • Activity: View and discuss following video

Week 5  - Feb, 16, 18

  • Topic: Social and political relations in Caribbean Slave society - Education in Caribbean Slave society
  • Activity 1:       Prepare for class discussion  Gad Heuman’s “The Social structure of Caribbean slave society”
  • Activity 1: Quiz on Sakai on “The Social structure of Caribbean slave society”

Week 6 Feb. 22, 24   

  • Making our own History: Reform , Revolt, Reactions. 
  • Emancipation and Federation -            
  • Activity:  Electronic Submission of Game Changer # 2. Details of this assignment will be provided to you in “Resources” folder on SAKAI

Week 7 - March 1, 3  

  • Topic: Guest Lectures on The Haitian Revolution
  • - Speaker – Dr. Nicole Phillip-Dowe ( UWI Open Campus) -        Activity: Read Hilary Beckles’s article: The Hate and the Quake”

Week of March 7, 2022 

MID TERM week. Mid-semester EXAM

Week  9. March 15, 17            

  • Overview of Part II of the course:- Creating and Influencing: The Caribbean in the World .
  • Topic: Guest lecture on the Grenada Revolution: Speaker – Nicole Phillip-Dowe ( UWI Open Campus)           
  • Activity: Read and prepare for class discussion,  Merle’s Collins poem “ Callaloo”

Week 10  - March 22, 24         

  • Topic: The Caribbean in the Digital Age
  • Guest Lecture by Mr. Michael Roberts ( Dept. Of Info. Tech)                                       
  • Activity: March 21: Due date for the Electronic Submission of your Research Paper. Details of this assignment will be provided to you in “Resources” folder on SAKAI

Week  11 - March 29,  31 

  • Topic:  Environmental issues affecting the Caribbean and sustainable Development.
  • Guest lecture by Mr. Stephen Nimrod ( Dept. Of Biology. . .)
  • Activities:        -      Pop Quiz on Sustainable Development
  • March 28- Due date for the Electronic Submission of Game Changer # 3. Details of this assignment will be provided to you in “Resources” folder on SAKAI.

Week 12  - April 5, 7  

  • Topic: Tourism in the Contemporary Caribbean.
  • Guest Lecturer: Mrs Naline Joseph ( Dept. Of Business) 

Week 13:  April 12, 14            

  • Topic: The Creative Caribbean: Caribbean Literature, Music and Festivals  Activities: Discuss the following  extracts:
    • Samuel Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners
    • Merle Hodge’s Crick Crack Monkey
    • Discuss Louise Bennett’s ‘No little twang’
    • View and discuss the video on Jonkonnu

Week 14 – April 19 -21 

  • Topic:  International Associations, Affiliations and Alliances: Caribbean International Relations.
  • Guest Lecture by Dr. Reccia Charles ( Dept. Of Business) 
  • Activity: Read and prepare posted powerpoint slides on the roles and functions of selected international associations

Week 15 – April 26, 28

  • Topic: Caribbean Health
  • Guest Lecture by Dr. Damian Greaves ( Dept. Humanities. . )                                      
  • Activities: April 25 - Deadline for the submission of Game Changer# 4 - Details of this assignment will be provided to you in “Resources” folder on SAKAI 

Week of May 2   


School of Arts and Sciences Master Syllabi — Info for All Sections

Plagiarism Policy

Academic Integrity

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Plagiarism is regarded as a cardinal offense in academia because it constitutes theft of the work of someone else, which is then purported as the original work of the plagiarist. Plagiarism draws into disrepute the credibility of the Institution, its faculty, and students; therefore, it is not tolerated” (p. 48).

Plagiarism also includes the unintentional copying or false accreditation of work, so double check your assignments BEFORE you hand them in.

Be sure to do good, honest work, credit your sources and reference accordingly and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with very seriously following the university’s policies on Plagiarism as outlined in the Student Manual.

Your work may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software, submission to this system means that your work automatically becomes part of that database and can be compared with the work of your classmates.

Attendance Requirement

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Students are expected to attend all classes and or clinical rotations for which they have registered. Although attendance may not be recorded at every academic activity, attendance may be taken randomly. Students’ absence may adversely affect their academic status as specified in the grading policy. If absence from individual classes, examinations, and activities, or from the University itself is anticipated, or occurs spontaneously due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, proper notification procedures must be followed. A particular course may define additional policies regarding specific attendance or participation” (p. 9).

Examination Attendance

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

All matriculated students are expected to attend all assigned academic activities for each course currently registered. Medical excuses will be based on self-reporting by students. Students who feel they are too sick to take an examination or other required activity on a specific day must submit the online SAS medical excuse, which is available on Carenage. Students are only allowed two such excuses a year. Upon consultation with the Director of University Health Service, the third excuse will result in a mandatory medical leave of absence. The policies regarding make-up examinations are at the option of the Course Director” (p.46).

For additional specific examination policies and procedures, refer to the St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020), pages 31 through 37.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Policy

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

A student with a disability or disabling condition that affects one or more major life activities, who would like to request an accommodation, must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation to the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) located in the Dean of Students Office. It is highly recommended that students applying for accommodations do so at least one month before classes begin to allow for a more efficient and timely consideration of the request. If a fully completed application is not submitted in a timely fashion, an eligibility determination may not be made, and accommodations, where applicable, may not be granted prior to the commencement of classes and/or examinations” (p. 8).


It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the policies, laws, rules and procedures that while they could affect your grade for a course, have not been specifically outlined in the course syllabus. These are contained in the St. George’s University Student Manual.