Study Abroad
Students will travel to a Caribbean island during the Spring inter-session...


Cultural Analysis of Caribbean Literature
ENG 280


Cultural Analysis of Caribbean Literature

Outline for Caribbean Literature Study Abroad.

Students will travel to a Caribbean island during the Spring inter-session and participate in experiences which will complete requirements for a cultural analysis of the literature. This is a three credit hour course. This course fulfills the requirement for Other Worlds as is required in SUNY general education.


  1. Two class meeting before the trip and one class meeting after the trip.
  2. Participation in all the activities while on the trip.
  3. Ten pages paper on analysis of one aspect of culture presented in the text.
  4. Daily journal of observations while on the trip.
  5. Complete analysis of the text of choice.



Journal 200
2. Paper 300
3. Participation 500

Suggested texts for each island



Jamaica: The Harder they come by Micheal Thelwell
Banana Bottom by Claude McKay
Mayal by Erna Brodber
St. Martins: Rainy Season by Drisana Jack
Trinidad: Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul
Cuba: The Kingdom of the World by Alejo Carpentier
Martinique: I Tituba by Maryse Conde
Haiti: Black Shack Alley by Joseph Zobel
Puerto Rico: Sweet Diamond Dust by Rosanno Frere
Barbados: In the Castle of My Skin by George Lamming
Guadalupe: The Bridge of Beyond by Simone Swartz-Bart
St. Kitts: Dream on Monkey Mountain by Derek Walcott

Topics in Cultural Analysis



bullet Dress
bullet Religion
bullet Education
bullet Mores: Lifestyle
bullet Folkways : Tradition
bullet Entertainment
bullet Celebration
bullet Politics
bullet Art
bullet Role of Music
bullet Role of Dance

Example of ideas to be discussed

bullet Cultural analysis of The Harder They Come
bullet Trip to Jamaica
bullet Food: Food in the villages living off the land and the sea food in the city food as commodity; eating to live
bullet Dress: Dress as status, dress as covering
bullet Religion: Rastafarianism, American Imported Religion, Garveyism, Pocomania
bullet Education: Book learning vs. experience
bullet Mores: Role of children; Working for a living; respect for elders
bullet Folkways: traditions of births and deaths; ganga culture; work sharing
bullet Entertainment: Storytelling ; Movie theatre, folk music
bullet Celebration: funerals;
bullet Politics: Proactive, the capture of Kingston
bullet Art: The artist in the village vs. the artist in the town
bullet Role of Music: Source of Income; voice of the people; voice of protest
bullet Role of Dance: Religious celebration, entertainment

Sample Class Schedule for Trip to Jamaica

Friday: Fly to Jamaica Montego Bay Go to hotel Evening  meal together
Accommodations: Bed and Breakfast
Saturday: Visit Rose Hall Museum Afternoon at the children’s home Dinner at the McNishes
Sunday : Free Morning for church or Mass or beach Travel to St Ann  
Accommodations: Cottages at the beach
Monday: Attend a class at Browns Town community college Mr. James Walsh Afternoon at First Hill Primary school where we will read to students and distribute books Mrs. Burnett Principal
Tuesday: Travel to Kingston Attend a play or the pantomime
Accommodations: University of the West Indies Students’ housing
Wednesday: Audience with the governor General, Hon Howard Cook Lecture Demonstration dance at the school of dance, Nicholeen Degrasse Director of the school of dance Attend performance of the National dance theatre
Thursday:  Visit the J. Wray and Nephew factory, Mrs. Valrie OConnor Lecture by the Medical Examiner of Kingston and St Andrew Dr. Clyde Morrison Dinner at the Donegals/Gordons
Friday: Discussion with the Minister of Education Mr. Whiteman Visit to the art gallery, the national museum, Port Royal . Party/ Reception at the Deslandes
Saturday: Travel to Montego Bay, day of shopping Free night
Accommodation: Bed and Breakfast
Sunday: Return to the USA

Dr. on call Dr. Clyde Morrison

Requirements for the trip


Requirements for the trip




Light weight comfortable clothing


Formal outfit for visit to the governor general (includes ties for men


Semiformal outfit for theatre


Medication if needed


An open mind. Remember this is a cultural study and you are not a tourist.



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