Barbara T. Christian Literary Award

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A Call for Books for The Barbara T. Christian Literary Award

Barbara T. Christian“What I write and how I write is done in order to save my life.…Literature is a way of knowing that I am not hallucinating, that whatever I feel is. It is an affirmation that sensuality is intelligence, that sensual language is language that makes sense.”
– Barbara T. Christian

Born and raised in the Virgin Islands of the United States (VI-US), Dr. Barbara Christian dedicated her life to challenging ideas about race, gender, class, and epistemology – rejecting the belief that critical theory emanated solely from the West and that African diaspora and Caribbean ways of theorizing were somehow inferior to Eurocentric philosophical concepts.  A committed feminist, educator and published author, Dr. Barbara Christian pioneered the birth of black women’s literary criticism and theory.

This CSA literary award established in 2001 to honor the memory of distinguished Caribbean-American black feminist theorist Dr. Barbara T. Christian, celebrates her intellectual legacy and is given to the best book published within the most recent three-year period which explicitly and innovatively examines topics of race, gender, sexuality, class and intersectionality.

The CSA continues to work collaboratively with the Christian family to glean from our Caribbean and global communities to award the Barbara T. Christian Literary award, which, we officially relaunched in New Orleans, with a wonderful panel which included: Giselle Anatol, Carole Boyce-Davies, Percy Hintzen, Angelique Nixon, and Gina Ulysse.  It was truly inspiring.  Appreciation extended for Heather Russell assuming the committee chair responsibilities from 2015-2017.  From 2017 to present, Donette A. Francis serves as the committee chair.  In 2019, Chenzira Davis Kahina serves on this committee.

In paying homage to Dr. Christian’s intellectual legacy and continuing relevance to the work of the CSA, we are hopeful that we will get many wonderful and competitive submissions this year.  Monographs from all disciplines and fields of scholarship in the Humanities and Caribbean Studies will be granted serious consideration. Preference will be given to books written by one or more authors as opposed to edited volumes or anthologies.

The winner will be announced at the CSA2019 conference in Santa Marta, Columbia in June.  The prizes will include a certificate, plaque and cash award.


Donette Francis
Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC)
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Ave, Room 5318
New York, NY  10016