SOAS University of London

Department of History

Shantelle George

BA History (SOAS), MA History (University of the West Indies)
  • Overview

Overview

Shantelle George
Department of History

Senior Teaching Fellow

Name:
Ms Shantelle George
Email address:
Office Hours:
Tuesdays 2-3pm by email appointment
Thesis title:
‘Religion, Identity Formation, and Memory among Liberated Africans and their Descendants in Grenada, 1836 – present’
Year of Study:
2011
Website:
http://soas.academia.edu/ShantelleGeorge
Internal Supervisors

Biography

I am completing my PhD and I am currently convenor for the course 'Atlantic Slavery and Its Legacies: Western Africa Ca 1500-2000'

PhD Research

Approximately 2,700 Africans were recaptured at sea by the Royal Navy and sent to the Caribbean island of Grenada in the mid-nineteenth century. Some were enlisted in the West India Regiment, but the majority were indentured in Grenada. Using archival sources, interviews, and observations, my research examines their ethnic and geographic origins, the circumstances of their displacement from their African homelands, their experiences during and after indentureship, as well as the cultural legacies they left in the island. Such cultural legacies include Orisha worship which was re-created by liberated Africans, their descendants, and later the African-Grenadian population. However, Grenada has largely been excluded from studies on global Orisha devotion, with the territories of Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, and Trinidad being the focus of much anthropological and historical concern. My research demonstrates that Grenada’s Orisha worship offers a unique opportunity to re-consider memory, cultural creativity, and transnationalism – elements central to African diasporic religious belief and practice. Further, by investigating this smaller branch of indentured African immigration to the Caribbean, my thesis explores the relationship between ethnic homogeneity, numerical superiority, and cultural preservation

PhD Publications

  • 'The Cosmopolitan Caribbean Spirit in Europe: Spiritual Baptist Adherents and their Struggle to Practice their Faith', chapter in European Cosmopolitanisms: Colonial Histories and Postcolonial Societies (forthcoming, 2016)

PhD Conferences

  • ‘Liberated Africans in Nineteenth-century Grenada’: Ethnic Heterogeneity and Cultural Legacies’, Society for Caribbean Studies Conference, The Drum, Birmingham (July 2015)
  • ‘Breaking the Kola Nut on New Ground’, Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) Conference, Liverpool Hope University (June 2015)
  • ‘Mami Wata in the Diaspora’, Igbo Conference, SOAS (May 2015)                                          
  • ‘Recreating Orisha Worship in Grenada’, African History Seminar, SOAS (February 2015)
  •  ‘”Grenada’s Last Africans”: Indentured Africans in Grenada’, Grenada National Museum (July 2014)
  • ‘”King and Governor of all de Ebo people in Grenada”: Tracing the Igbo through Documentary and Cultural Evidence’, Igbo Conference, SOAS (May 2014)
  • ‘”An Insane Attempt to Blend the Delusions of Africa with the Profession of Christianity”: Some Theoretical Issues Concerning the Spiritual Baptist and Orisha Traditions in the South-Eastern Caribbean’, Caribbean Postgraduate Network Workshop, UCL Institute of the Americas (November 2013)
  • ‘Indentured Africans and their Descendants in Grenada, 1836-2010’, African History Seminar, SOAS (May 2012)
  • ‘The Legacies of the Yoruba in the Caribbean’, Conference of Black Nationalities, UNESCO, Nigeria (August 2010)

Affiliations

  • Society for Caribbean Studies (SCS)
  • Royal Historical Society (RHS)
  • Collegium for African American Research (CAAR)
  • Institute of Historical Research (IHR)
  • Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD)