Two-volume history of SVG to be co-authored by four historians
The Government has commissioned the writing of a textbook to assist with the teaching of local history in our secondary and post secondary educational institutions.
The book, which will be in two volumes, will cover over six centuries of the development of St Vincent and the Grenadines, from the earliest people (around 1400) to present day (2020), will be co-authored by Dr Garrey Michael Dennie, Dr Adrian Fraser, Dr Cleve Scott and Dr Arnold Thomas.
Delivering the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) 2019 Independence lecture on October 24, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves announced that he was “happy” that the team of Vincentian historians had agreed to work on the book.
He said they will work together on “a comprehensive book which the government is funding – the research, everything; the writing, the publication, so that we would have a standard text in the schools, so that we would be able to teach our history properly.”
Dr Garrey Dennie, who is an Associate Professor of History at St Mary’s College of Maryland in the United States, told SEARCHLIGHT that the idea is for different authors to cover different themes, and different periods of the nation’s history.
“I expect we would begin with the pre-Columbian societies in St Vincent and end around the late twentieth century / early twenty-first century,” he said.
Another co-author, and co-ordinator of the project, Dr Cleve Scott, lecturer in history at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies, in a call to We FM last Sunday thanked the Government for the confidence place in him and the other historians in commissioning them to write the text.
He particularly thanked the Prime Minister for fulfilling a promise he has long made to have a history of SVG written. Scott said the historians were written to by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture, informing that they had been identified by Cabinet, and asking if they were willing to be part of the project. He said they have all agreed, and have proposed that the book will be written in two volumes.
He said he is the person responsible for finalizing the proposed table of contents for the book, which will be discussed by the co-authors, then shared with the Cabinet to show what they intend to address within the two volumes.
Scott said as a team, they have agreed that the Grenadines will be dealt with in particular detail, as well as themes such as culture, sports, religion; they will try to be as comprehensive as they can be, while recognizing that the book is a text for the general reader.
He said it is clear to him from interactions with personnel from the Ministry of Culture, including chief cultural officer Anthony Theobalds, that “the government is not joking with this matter.”
The two other co-authors are Dr Adrian Fraser, the former head of the UWI Open Campus and Dr Arnold Thomas, a former diplomat and the international coordinator for the Caribbean for the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin International (GOPIO-SVG).