History professor wins GKSL book award



Dr. Lomarsh Roopnarine, JSU professor of Latin American and Caribbean history, is the 2018 recipient of The Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) Gordon K. & Sybil Lewis Book Award. Roopnarine’s work “The Indian Caribbean: Migration and Identity in the Diaspora” was chosen from 30 entries ranging in subject.

Roopnarine said he was semi-shocked and pleasantly surprised that a book on Indians without the title containing the derogatory word “Coolie,” which means backward and uncivilized peasant, had finally made it to one of the highest levels of academia in the Caribbean and abroad.

“After more than two and a half decades of studying Caribbean Indians, I was not sure if the field would remain in the margins of Caribbean academic and cultural consciousness, but for some reason, I feel that the GKSL Award given to me has moved the field now into the mainstream,” the professor expressed.

The CSA described Roopnarine’s book as an essential contribution to an understanding of the arrival, settlement, and eventual intra-and extra-regional movement of people of Indo-Caribbean descent.

“My hope is that the award will not only lift Indians but all Caribbean people and encourage the younger generation to study Indians in the Caribbean at a time when they are becoming increasingly invisible because of migration, globalization and ethnonational politics,” Roopnarine said.

The CSA is an independent professional organization devoted to the promotion of Caribbean studies from a multidisciplinary, multicultural point of view. It is the primary association for scholars and practitioners working on the Caribbean Region (including Central America and the Caribbean Coast of South America). Its members come from the Caribbean Region, North America, South America, Central America, Europe and elsewhere even though more than half of its members live in the United States many of them teaching at U.S. universities and colleges. Founded in 1974 by 300 Caribbeanists, the CSA now has over 1100 members.

To read more on Roopnarine’s book, click here.