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Afro-GreeksDialogues between Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Classics in the Twentieth Century$
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Emily Greenwood

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199575244

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575244.001.0001

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Classics as School of Empire

Classics as School of Empire

(p.69) 2 Classics as School of Empire

Emily Greenwood (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the influence of the colonial educational curriculum in the British West Indies on the invention of a distinctive mode of Caribbean Classics. The first half of the chapter describes the culture of elite education in the British West Indies, centred on the Cambridge Certificate examinations and the competitive grail of the island scholarships. The second half of the chapter argues that accounts of Classics in the colonial curriculum broadly correspond to three tropes: ‘Contesting the Curriculum’, ‘Afro‐Romans and Imperial Redistribution’, and ‘Finding one's Own Way in Classics’. Each trope is illustrated with reference to a range of anglophone Caribbean works, including V. S. Naipaul's Miguel Street (1959), C. L. R. James's Beyond a Boundary (1963), Eric Williams's autobiography Inward Hunger (1969), Austin Clarke's Growing up Stupid under the Union Jack (1980), and selected poems by Howard Fergus and E. A. Markham.

Keywords:   Harrison college, Queen's Royal college, Cambridge certificate, colonial education, island scholarships, Howard Fergus, Tony Harrison, C. L. R. James, Eric Williams

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