Fall 2013

Panama Silver, Asian Gold:  Migration and the Birth of Modern Caribbean Literature

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-452  |  English, as ENGL-474

Moodle site: Course


C. Rhonda Cobham-Sander (Section 01)


(Offered as ENGL 474 and BLST 452.)  Concurrent migrations of Chinese and Indian indentured laborers to the Caribbean and Afro-Caribbean workers to and from the Panama Canal, at the turn of the twentieth century, profoundly influenced the style and scope of modern Caribbean literature.  Both migrant groups worked under difficult conditions for exploitative wages, yet members of each managed to save enough to enter the educated middle class.  Their cultural forms and political aspirations shaped Caribbean literary production as well as anti-colonial political movements.  In this course, students will learn how to use digital, print, and audio-visual archival material related to these migrations to enrich their reading of Caribbean literature.  Librarians at Frost as well as scholars, librarians, and students at two other universities will join us.  We will hold some class discussions online and students at all three campuses will learn how to create finding aids for the archives we use.  We will read works by Claude McKay, H.G. de Lisser, Marcus Garvey, George Lamming, V.S. Naipaul, Ismith Khan, Ramabai Espinet, Meiling Jin, and Patricia Powell.

A previous course in English, History, or Black Studies is recommended.  Open to juniors and seniors.  Limited to 12 students.  Fall semester.  Professor Cobham-Sander.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to Black Studies majors who have taken BLST 300 and English majors who need a 400-level seminar.


Foreign culture taught in English, Community based learning, Writing attentive, Speaking attentive


2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013