Joan Anim-Addo, Professor of Caribbean Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for ‘invaluable contributions to literature and to literary and cultural studies’ by leading US literary quarterly journal, Callaloo.
As founder and Director of Goldsmiths’ Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies, Professor Anim-Addo has brought the work of Caribbean writers to a wide public and academic audience, encouraged members of the black community to connect with and enjoy their literary history and has boosted our university's reputation for excellence and inclusivity in literary studies.
Since joining the Goldsmiths’ team in 1994 her teaching has inspired new generations of students to pursue their own literary ambitions, and fostered understanding and collaboration across barriers of history, culture and gender.
A defining feature of her writing has been a determination to give a voice to black women, whose experiences and cultural contributions have traditionally not been well documented or respected. Recent publications include a libretto, Imoinda, which re-imagines the life of a woman sold into the Atlantic slave trade – and which represents the ideal point of entry for newcomers to her work (it is available on Youtube ). Other work includes the poetry collectionsHaunted by History (2004) and Janie Cricketing Lady (2006), and a literary history Touching the Body: History, Language and African-Caribbean Women’s Writing (2007). She is the Founder-Editor of New Mango Season, the Journal of Caribbean Women’s Writing.
Professor Anim-Addo said:
“In these challenging times I take great encouragement from the curiosity and openness that students of every background are still showing towards other cultures – and the rich literature of the Caribbean diaspora will reward and teach anyone who chooses to engage with it.
"The enjoyment and study of great literature should not be off-limits to anyone, and I hope that I can encourage people who might face resistance to entering academic life to read, discuss and contribute for themselves.”
Dr. Marl’ene Edwin, Centre Manager at Goldsmiths’ English Language Centre (formerly Centre for English Language and Academic Writing), is a former student who Professor Anim-Addo helped inspire to enter academia. Read her story here
At Goldsmiths, Professor Anim-Addo is currently the convenor for the undergraduate options ‘Caribbean Women's Writing’ and ‘Black British Literature’. She also convenes the Pathway 'Literature of the Caribbean and its Diasporas' within the Comparative Literary Studies MA programme and is co-convenor (with Deirdre Osborne) of the UK’s first MA in Black British Writing.