Classics as School of Empire

Emily Greenwood

in Afro-Greeks

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199575244
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722189 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Classics as School of Empire

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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

Chapter.  17318 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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