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Open Access Gordon Rohlehr and the Culture Industry in Trinidad

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Gordon Rohlehr and the Culture Industry in Trinidad

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image of New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

The terms "culture" and "cultural studies" in Trinidad and Tobago have been narrowly defined to mean Carnival and various other phenomena connected to the nationalist project. There has been little acknowledgement of cyber culture, alternative sexualities, consumerism, media, and in general the "Culture Industry", as theorised by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer. One critic, Gordon Rohlehr, has over decades presented a body of work ostensibly focused on Carnival, but which also contains a cogent critique and outline of the Trinidad and Tobago Culture Industry (as contemplated by Adorno). A close reading of Rohlehr's work, and his intellectual antecedents, reveal a compelling critique of the Trinidadian/West Indian notion and practice of culture and cultural studies, and suggests areas for the discipline's expansion to better serve the needs of the region.

Affiliations: 1: Orchard Gardens. Chaguanas.


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