Cudjoe, Selwyn Reginald 1943-

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CUDJOE, Selwyn Reginald 1943-

PERSONAL: Born December 1, 1943, in Tacarigua, Trinidad; immigrated to the United States, 1964; son of Lionel R. (a signal operator) and Carmen Rose (a homemaker) Cudjoe; married Gwendolyn M. Long, December 21, 1968 (marriage ended); children: Frances Louise, Kwamena. Education: Fordham University, B.A., 1969, M.A., 1972; attended Columbia University, 1971-72; Cornell University, Ph.D., 1976; postdoctoral study at University of Strasbourg, 1978.

ADDRESSES: Offıce—Department of Africana Studies, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02181. E-mail— [email protected].

CAREER: Fordham University, Bronx, NY, instructor in Afro-American studies, 1970-72; Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, assistant professor of Afro-American studies, 1973-74; Ohio University, Athens, associate professor of Afro-American studies, 1975-76; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, assistant professor of Afro-American studies, 1976-81; Cornell University, Ithaca, senior lecturer, 1980, associate professor of Africana studies, 1981-82; Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, professor of Africana studies, 1986—, Marion Butler McLean Professor of the History of Ideas, 1995-99. Harvard University, visiting fellow at W. E. B. DuBois Institute for African-American Research, 1991, visiting scholar in African-American studies, 1992-94; also taught at Brandeis University; speaker at Auburn State Prison, Auburn, NY, and teacher for Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth-in-Action. Calaloux Research Associates, president; interviewer for Trinidad and Tobago Television.

AWARDS, HONORS: Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1991-92, 1994-98, 1996-97; senior fellow, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, 1992.


Resistance and Caribbean Literature, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 1981.

Grenada: Two Essays, Calaloux Publications (Wellesley, MA), 1983.

Movement of the People: Essays on Independence, Calaloux Publications (Wellesley, MA), 1983.

A Just and Moral Society, Calaloux Publications (Wellesley, MA), 1984.
V. S. Naipaul: A Materialist Reading, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA), 1988.

(Editor and author of introduction) Caribbean WomenWriters: Essays from the First International Conference, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA), 1990.

(Editor) Eric E. Williams Speaks: Essays on Colonialism and Independence, Calaloux Publications (Wellesley, MA), 1993.

(Editor, with William E. Cain) C. L. R. James: HisIntellectual Legacies, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA), 1995.

Tacarigua: A Village in Trinidad (documentary film), Calaloux Publications (Wellesley, MA), 1995.

(Editor and author of afterword) Maxwell Philip, Emmanuel Appadocca, or, Blighted Life: A Tale of the Boucaneers, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA), 1997.

Beyond Boundaries: The Intellectual Tradition of Trinidad and Tobago in the Nineteenth Century, Calaloux Publications (Wellesley, MA), 2002.

Contributor to books; author of foreword or introduction to The Still Cry: Personal Accounts of East Indians in Trinidad and Tobago during Indentureship, 1845-1917, Calaloux Publications (Wellesley, MA), 1985; Those That Be in Bondage: A Tale of Indian Indentures and Sunlit Western Waters, Calaloux Publications (Wellesley, MA), 1988; History, Fable, and Myth in the Caribbean and Guianas, by Wilson Harris, Calaloux Publications (Wellesley, MA), 1995; and Free Mulatto, by John Baptista Philip, Calaloux Publications (Wellesley, MA), 1996. Contributing editor, Freedomways; member of editorial board, Encarta Africana.

SIDELIGHTS: Selwyn Reginald Cudjoe once told CA: "I have always felt the need to articulate and to interpret the world from the point of view of a person who has always been considered as an 'object' in the world's historical process. At the moment, I am committed to writing for and about the liberation of my people. In this sense, my work is highly partisan and eschews all attempts at objectivity.

"I believe that a person, particularly a writer, must be a highly committed individual. One must believe in something, see the world from a particular vantage point, and hope—through publication—to give some sort of clarity to that point of view. To respond to one's material from a specific standpoint (bereft of the absent sense of 'objectivity') is not to be interpreted as a disregard for the integrity of the evidences that one encounters. One must always pay strict regard to the evidences and draw a conclusion from them. It is, however, to affirm that one interprets social (and even scientific) phenomena from a particular perspective—from a specific orientation to the world—and it is from that strictly partisan vantage point that I respond to my world.

"I am not, at this stage of my career, interested in responding to my world purely from an abstract or scholastic position. I believe that in order to understand the social phenomenon at its most revealing (and one might say, most 'truthful') one needs to be involved actively in the processes of practical life. Thus, I try to merge my theory of social development with the practical aspects of my everyday life, and that is the locus which directs the approach to my present set of writings. As such, V. S. Naipaul: A Materialist Reading—the product of about six years of arduous work—signifies the end of a particular aspect of my intellectual career. Highly theoretical and in response, in the main, to bourgeois critics from the First World, this text represents what I consider a work of my more mature period of writing."



American Literature, June, 1996, review of C. L. R.James: His Intellectual Legacies, p. 500.

Black Scholar, spring, 1995, review of C. L. R. James, p. 68.

Choice, February, 1989, review of V. S. Naipaul: AMaterialist Reading, p. 938; July, 1991, review of Caribbean Women Writers: Essays from the First International Conference, p. 1778; April, 1994, B. B. Solnick, review of Eric E. Williams Speaks: Essays on Colonialism and Independence, p. 1349.

College English, January, 1994, Danny J. Anderson, review of Caribbean Women Writers, p. 82.

Contemporary Sociology, May, 1997, Obika Gray, review of C. L. R. James, p. 39.

English Journal, April, 1992, review of CaribbeanWomen Writers, p. 37.

English Language Notes, September, 1992, Roberta L. Salper, review of Caribbean Women Writers, p. 69.

Feminist Studies, spring, 1995, Maria Helena Lima, review of Caribbean Women Writers, p. 115.

Feminist Teacher, spring, 1993, Shirley P. Brown, review of Caribbean Women Writers, p. 62.

Journal of Modern Literature, fall-winter, 1989, Eric Sellin, review of V. S. Naipaul, p. 392.

Modern Fiction Studies, summer, 1989, Harveen Sachdeva Mann, review of V. S. Naipaul, p. 398.

New Directions for Women, May, 1991, review of Caribbean Women Writers, p. 17.

Reference and Research Book News, September, 1995, review of C. L. R. James, p. 55.

Religious Studies Review, July, 1989, review of V. S.Naipaul, p. 253.

University Press Book News, March, 1991, review of Caribbean Women Writers, p. 38.

Women's Review of Books, September, 1991, review of Caribbean Women Writers, p. 21.

World Literature Today, spring, 1989, Harold A. Waters, review of V. S. Naipaul, p. 356; winter, 1992, Charlotte H. Bruner, review of Caribbean Women Writers, p. 186.*