Jamaica in Slavery and Freedom: History, Heritage and Culture

Jamaica in Slavery and Freedom: History, Heritage and Culture

Jamaica in Slavery and Freedom: History, Heritage and Culture

Jamaica in Slavery and Freedom: History, Heritage and Culture

Synopsis

Jamaica's rich history has been the subject of many books, articles and papers. This collection of 18 original essays considers aspects of Jamaican history not covered in more general histories of the island and illuminates developments in Jamaican and West Indian history. The collection emphasises the relevance of history to everyday life and the development of a national identity, culture and economy. The essays are organized in three sections: historiography and sources; society, culture and heritage; and economy, labour and politics.

Excerpt

Shortly after becoming principal of the Mona campus, Professor Kenneth Hall encouraged the Department of History to publish a volume of original essays on various aspects of Jamaica's history which would be suitable for students of history and the general public. The result is Jamaica in Slavery and Freedom: History, Heritage and Culture. Contributors to the volume include faculty members and graduate students of the department, both past and present, as well as colleagues from the Departments of Literatures in English, Political Science, and from the University of the West Indies Library.

This collaborative effort generated essays which are organized into three sections: Sources and Historiography; Society, Culture and Heritage; and Economy, Labour and Politics. Although the collection could not represent all aspects of Jamaica's historiography, heritage and culture, the essays indicate recent developments in Jamaican and West Indian history. They point to the importance and relevance of history to everyday life, indicating its explanatory and interdisciplinary roles, and to history's relationship to questions of national identity, culture, and political, economic and societal developments.

The section Sources and Historiography comprises three chapters. The first, Joan Vacianna's "Some Primary Sources for the Study of Jamaican History: An Introduction to the Microform Collection of the University of the West Indies Library at Mona", is an annotated bibliography of primary sources. The list covers sources from the mid-seventeenth century to the twentieth century, and demonstrates the wealth of written sources available in Jamaica. Because many of these sources are copies of original documents held in archives overseas, local scholars can make ready use of otherwise almost inaccesssible data.

James Robertson's historiographical chapter draws on some of the sources mentioned by Vacianna and introduces us to the perspectives of English . . .

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