Caribbean Identity

General Course Information

Course Lecturer Name(s):  Oliver Benoit

Course Director Name: Oliver Benoit

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information:

Course Director Contact Information: same as above 

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours:  by appointment 

Course Director Office Hours: by appointment

Course Lecturer(s) Office Location:  Ballsier Building - upstairs

Course Director Office Location: same as above

Course Support:   Nikisha Thomas;; ext. 3692

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

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: 

Caribbean identity, an interdisciplinary seminar explores the basic question, “is there a Caribbean Identity?” Drawing upon nationalism theories the seminar evaluates Caribbean society from a historical, social, economic, and political perspective. The course also examines the various paradigms of Caribbean writers and their discourse on the social underpinnings of Caribbean society in the context of national identity and its impact on a Caribbean identity.

Course Objectives: 

  1. The Objectives of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the various intellectual thoughts that have shaped Caribbean societies.
  2. The course aims to establish the extent to which these intellectual thoughts have contributed to the formation of a Caribbean nationalism or and nationalism(s) in the Caribbean. 

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • Better appreciate the social history of Caribbean societies.
  • Understand the major intellectual thoughts that have shaped Caribbean identity.
  • Acquire the skills required to link historical, social, economic and political concepts to theories of nationalism. 
  • Understand the development and intellectual legacy of Caribbean thoughts. 

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

SSCI – PO-1 Apply classical and contemporary sociological perspectives to explain complex social issues and problems; particularly, Caribbean social reality

SSCI – PO -2 Demonstrate their critical thinking skills to sociological analysis.

SSCI – PO -3 Employ sociological research methods to investigate and explain social issues

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 Grading Requirement:  


Percentage of Grade

Students are required to take an active part in discussions; 20% of the final grade will be based on this participation


Mid Semester paper (Individual)


Presentation & Final Paper (Group).




Marking Criteria

Students’ papers will be assessed on the ability to satisfactory address the question. Assessment will also be based on students’ knowledge of materials provided for the course, and their ability to draw crucial links between the use of theory and empirical evidence. Assessment will also be based on the proper use of grammar, essay structure, the argument supported by evidence, and understanding of theories, methods and evidence, as well as referencing and bibliography.

Course Schedule




Week 1: 



Introduction, Formation of Caribbean Societies. Understand National Identity in the Caribbean: 

Nationalism and Identity: Culture and the Imagination in a Caribbean Diaspora, by Stefano Harney Pages 1-31 

The Caribbean: The genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism, By Franklin Knight. Chapter 10 & 11

Week 2


Culture and National identity formation: the Caribbean discourse: The Barbados Republican status

The Birth of Caribbean Civilization: A Century of Ideas about Culture and Identity, nation and Society, by O.Nigel Bolland Sections from Part 3

Week 3

Colonialism and Nationalism and Ethnicity in the Caribbean: 

The Enigma of Ethnicity: An analysis of Race in the Caribbean and the World, (ed)by Ralph Premdas

Week 4, 

  The Significance of Race in the Caribbean




Race & Nation in the Formation of Brazil Identity, by Leone Campos de Sousa

 Ressentment, Nationalism and the Emergence of Colitical Culture in Grenada, by Oliver Benoit

 Frantz Fanon and the Dream of African Nationalism, by Oyeshiku Carr

Week 5

Modernity and Nationalism

Advanced Introduction to Nationalism, By Liah Greenfeld

Week 6


Modernity and Nationalism


Advanced Introduction to Nationalism, By Liah Greenfeld

Research Handbook in the Caribbean, (ed) Liah Greenfeld & Zeying Wu

Week 7


Making sense of Nationalism in the Caribbean.

Paper due

Week 8 


Week  9 

 Art, Material Culture and Nationalism in the Caribbean: What Can we learn from Barbados?

 Art and Culture by, David E. W. Fenner

Art, Architecture and nationalism, Athena  S. Leoussi’-transition#.YaitCJaIxMI.mailto  

Week 10 

Art, Material Culture and Nationalism in the Caribbean, ctd

Heritage and National Consciousness: Bricks as

Methodology and Metaphor, by Oliver Benoit


Week 11


Art, Material Culture and Nationalism in the Caribbean, ctd

The Question of National Identity and the

Institutionalisation of the Visual Arts in Grenada, by Oliver Benoit

Week 12

Shakespeare Mas in Carriacou

Open discussion

Week 13

Good Friday Holiday

No class

Week 14 

Presentation and discussion of group project


Week 15


Presentation and Discussion of group project.


Week 16



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.