The University of the West Indies, Open Campus

The University of the West Indies, Five Islands

The Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy (ABYEA)

The Antigua and Barbuda Studies Association (ABSA)

Announce the Call for Papers


Our 15th Annual Conference

October, 14–15, 2021

“Antigua and Barbuda: During and After COVID-19”

Greetings one and all! Yes, we are resuming our tradition of coming together to share thoughts about Antigua and Barbuda, after being blocked from doing so last year by the COVID-19 pandemic. So what better way to recover from this major interruption than to make the impact of this pandemic on Antigua and Barbuda our guiding theme. Although we will be resuming our dialogue, it won’t be in person as has been our custom. Thus, it is going to be an online version of our annual conference as travel is still quite risky, and this is the formal call for papers for our gathering in the Fall. So, do start getting your ideas together. Of course, that means there won’t be any delectable treats to facilitate our exchange of ideas.

Before going any further with this call for papers, on behalf of ABSA and ABYEA members, a warm word of welcome must go out to our new partner in this venture, UWI (Five Islands). Also, a warm word of welcome must go to Coleen Letlow, the new head of our long-standing partner, UWI (Open Campus). We are just moving from strength to strength.

Just in case you have forgotten, the guiding theme of our 2019 meeting was, “After the Ecological and Political Storms: Whither Barbuda’s Development?” Our keynote speaker was the well-known Caribbean environmentalist, Glenn Sankatsing. In 2018, our guiding theme was, “Milestones for Celebration: Antigua and Barbuda at 37, The University of the West Indies at 70, and the Open Campus at 10”. Our keynote speaker was Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies. With these preliminaries taken care of, let us return to the details of this call for papers.

As indicated above, the guiding theme of this reunion meeting will be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Antigua and Barbuda, both now and in the longer run. As scholars with different disciplinary backgrounds, there are many ways in which we can examine the impact of this pandemic. We can look at it through poems and short stories that capture the more personal experiences of this disruptive event. We can look at its impact from a medical/public health perspective, and I hope that some of our doctors and public health professionals will join us and share this perspective. We can look at this pandemic from an ecological perspective. How real are the suggestions that we can expect more of these as a result of growing ecological imbalances across planet earth? Such a strategy would connect with the strong ecological themes of our last conference. Of course, we would like to look at the social impact of the pandemic. Did it, like Hurricane Irma, expose deep fissures and inequalities in our society? Fissures between our social classes, or between Barbuda and Antigua? Was access to care and to vaccines open to all? Our last conference showed that social relations between Barbudans and Antiguans are still very unequal and is thus a major contradiction at the heart of our twin-island state. We must not let it slip off our radar.

Looking at the economic impact of the pandemic is a must for a developing economy like that of Antigua and Barbuda. How has our economy survived the disruptions of COVID-19? Did it have to be rescued by government or international intervention? What did COVID do to our finances, to our businesses and to our developmental plans? We are counting on our economists to supply us with answers to these questions. To complement our look at the economic impact of the pandemic, we will definitely need to have its impact on politics and governmental performance. So political experts and state watchers, let us hear from you.

One last suggestion for paper topics is the impact of the pandemic on Education. Just how disruptive was it for students and administrators at both the secondary and tertiary levels? Was it possible to make smooth transitions from in person to online learning? Was it as smooth in Barbuda as in Antigua, for working class students as it was for middle class students? These are all just suggestions that hopefully will motivate you or trigger topics not mentioned here. So, do let us hear from you with the presentations that you would like to make.

This last theme of the impact of COVID on education gives us some good ideas about who our keynote speaker(s) should be for this particular reunion meeting. In ABSA, we are thinking that this year we are particularly blessed, and should have two keynote speakers: the Principal of our new partner, UWI (Five Islands) and the new Head of our long-standing partner, UWI (Open Campus). This will give us the opportunity give them our special Antiguan and Barbudan welcome, while giving them the opportunity to share their thoughts with us.

This is our call for this year’s gathering. Let us make it a good one. We have lots to celebrate in spite of these being COVID times. So, let us hear from you with abstracts of about a page including your name, the title, a brief description of the presentation you plan to make, and your affiliation. These abstracts will enable us to organize some nice panels out of your presentations. We will need these timely and topical abstracts from you by August, 15th.

Please upload your abstracts in the form of a word document below:

Paget Henry

Coleen Letlow
UWI (Open Campus) 

Curtis Charles

Academic Affairs
UWI (Five Islands) 

Janet Lofgren
Editorial Assistant
A&B Review