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Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award

The Caribbean Studies Association’s most prestigious award honors the memory of distinguished Caribbeanist Gordon K. Lewis.  This yearly award is given for the best book about the Caribbean published over the previous two years in Spanish, English, French, or Dutch.

The nominated book should:

  • Approach the chosen subject or aspect of Caribbean life, conditions and situations from an interdisciplinary perspective
  • Clearly be shown to have regional impact.
  • Be a monograph in any discipline and field of Caribbean Studies to be considered.
  • Demonstrate high level of scholarship and originality.


American Imperialism’s Undead book coverRaphael Dalleo, American Imperialism’s Undead. The Occupation of Haiti and the Rise of Caribbean Anticolonialism. (University of Virginia Press, 2016).

Consulted many archives; research wide and deep; accessible and well written; deep continuous arguments; uses literature to make links across the Caribbean; fully interdisciplinary. Draws on Truillot “silencing” narrative. Argues that Haiti today can best be understood using the post-occupation period rather than the post-revolutionary and impact on the anti-colonial thinkers with a range of thinkers. Title plays with zombification and the zombie trope to create an anti-Haiti narrative. Expands boundaries of Haitian/pan-Caribbean/Pan-African.


Milagros Ricourt, The Dominican Racial Imaginary. Surveying the Landscape of Race and Nation in Hispaniola.(Rutgers University Press, 2016)
Revisionist underpinning challenging settled opinions about the ways that blackness has been marginalized. Archival research; personal experiences; interviews, good field work; good links to other Caribbean landscapes. Ecological framework; eco-systems of religions. Research well grounded.

Eric D. Duke. Building a Nation. Caribbean Federation in the Black Diaspora. (University Press of Florida, 2016)
Situates West Indian Federation in a much longer history where different groups and interests would anticipate that there would be a black majority; political divisions etc along with reaching out to the diaspora. Has a good pan-Caribbean in focus.

Hilary Mc D. Beckles. The First Black Slave Society. Britain’s “Barbarity Time” in Barbados, 1636-1876 (UWI Press, 2016)
Draws a distinction between the scope of slavery – its intensiveness and extensiveness in a small space; well-researched and provocative; reparations narrative also runs through it. Develops analysis of the stratification system; intensity of slavery. Anglo-Atlantic system of race with Barbados visible by 1650’s and 80-90% slaves.


Giselle Liza Anatol,  The Things that Fly in the Night.  Female Vampires in Literature of the Circum-Caribbean and African Diaspora (Rutgers University Press, 2015)

Hilary Mc D. Beckles.  The First Black Slave Society.  Britain’s “Barbarity Time” in Barbados, 1636-1876 (UWI Press, 2016)

Anke Birkenmaier,  The Specter of Races.  Latin American Anthropology and Literature Between Wars.  (University of Virginia Press, 2016).

Sarah Phillips Casteel,  Calypso Jews.  Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination (Columbia University Press,  2016).

Raphael Dalleo,  American Imperialism’s Undead.  The Occupation of Haiti and the Rise of Caribbean Anticolonialism. (University of Virginia Press, 2016).

Eric D. Duke.  Building a Nation. Caribbean Federation in the Black Diaspora. (University Press of Florida, 2016)

Adrian Fraser, The 1935 Riots in St. Vincent.  From Riots to Adult Suffrage.  (UWI Press, 2016).

Sharon Milagro Marshall,  Tell My Mother I Gone to Cuba.  Stories of Early Twentieth-Century Migration from Barbados.  (UWI Press, 2016).

Karen Y. Morrison, Cuba’s Racial Crucible.  The Sexual Economy of Social Identities, 1750-2000. (Indiana University Press, 2015)

Charmaine A. Nelson,  Slavery,  Geography and Empire in Nineteenth-Century Marine Landscapes of Montreal and Jamaica (Routledge, 2016)

Carrie Noland,  Voices of Negritude in Modernist Print.  Aesthetic Subjectivity, Diaspora and the Lyric Regime. (Columbia University Press, 2015).

Colin Palmer,  Inward Yearning.  Jamaica’s Journey to Nationhood (UWI Press 2016)

Carlos Alamo-Pastrana,  Seams of Empire.  Race and Radicalism in Puerto Rico and the United States (University Press of Florida, 2016)

Edward Paulino,  Dividing Hispaniola.  The Dominican Republic’s Border Campaign Against Haiti, 1930-1961.  (Pittsburgh University Press, 2016)

Andrea J. Queeley,  Rescuing Our Roots.  The African Anglo-Caribbean Diaspora in Contemporary Cuba.  (University Press of Florida, 2015)

Paulette A. Ramsay,  Afro-Mexican Constructions of Diaspora,  Gender,  Identity and Nation. (UWI Press, 2016).

Judy Raymond, The Colour of Shadows.  Images of Caribbean Slavery.  (Caribbean Studies Press, 2016)

Alai Reyes-Santos,  Our Caribbean Kin.  Race and Nation in the Neoliberal Antilles. (Rutgers University Press 2015).

Milagros Ricourt,  The Dominican Racial Imaginary.  Surveying the Landscape of Race and Nation in Hispaniola.(Rutgers University Press, 2016)

Mark Schuller,  Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti. (Rutgers University Press, 2016)

Tanya L. Saunders, Cuban Underground Hip Hop.  Black Thoughts, Black Revolution, Black Modernity.  (University of Texas Press, 2015).

Cariline Shenaz Hossein,  Politicized Microfinance:  Money,  Power and Violence in the Black Americas.  (University of Toronto Press, 2016)

Jerome Teelucksingh,  Labour and the Decolonization Struggle in Trinidad and Tobago. (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2015)

Jerome Teelucksingh,  Ideology, Politics and Radicalism of the Afro-Caribbean. (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2016)

Brendan Jamal Thornton,  Negotiating Respect.  Pentecostalism,  Masculinity and the Politics of Spiritual Authority in the Dominican Republic.(University Press of Florida, 2016)

Hanetha Vete-Congolo,  L’Interoralite Caribeenne: le mot conte de l’identite.  (Editions Connaisances et Savoirs, 2016.)


Prof. Edward Baptist, Caribbean History Specialist, History Department, Cornell University

Prof. Locksley Edmondson, Political Scientist, Africana Studies Emerita and Past President,  CSA

Prof. LeGrace Benson, Caribbean Art Historian,  Haitian Studies Association 2016 President (Emerita)

Prof. Viranjini Munasinghe,  Caribbean Anthropologist,  Anthropology Department,  Cornell University