Ben Etherington

Ben Etherington

About Ben Etherington

Ben Etherington is a lecturer at Western Sydney University. His current project is a historical poetics of Caribbean creole poetry; it seeks to trace the emergence of a creole poetics from the end of slavery through to its flourishing at the time of political independence. His book, Literary Primitivism will be published later this year by Stanford University Press.

Deconstructing Decolonisation: Victor Questel’s Collected Poems

For those unfamiliar with the Caribbean context, a pan man is a pan (‘steel drum’) player, and a mas’ man’ is a participant in the masquerade. They are key figures in the annual Trinidad Carnival: a festival which creolised the quasi-pagan, pre-Lenten festivities of the white plantation class in the slave era and Canboulay (French Trinidadian Creole for ‘cannes brulées’, or burnt cane), a celebration at least as old as emancipation (1834), in which those who had been enslaved re-enacted the rounding up of slaves that occurred when sugar cane illicitly had been burnt.

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