This article critically appraises the wealth of cultural criticism and epistemological developments in the study of Caribbean societies now increasingly grouped under an emerging discipline termed Caribbean cultural studies. It advances the claim that the critical study of Caribbean culture is in many ways inseparable from a study of its intellectual traditions in their social, political, and aesthetic dimensions. While this may seem unremarkable, it bears emphasizing that the study of culture and the creation of a Caribbean cultural studies emerged in a manner quite distinct from the formation of cultural studies in Europe and North America. To this end, the author sketches a number of overlapping traditions of writing on culture in the Caribbean that take us from the late nineteenth century and considers the work of two Caribbean theorists, C. L. R. James and Sylvia Wynter, for their own sustained meditations on the question of culture in the Caribbean.

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