Karib: Nordic Journal for Caribbean Studies has grown out of a series of invitations.
The first took place in 2010, when Hans Jacob Ohldieck asked a
fellow Caribbeanist at the University of Uppsala, Christina Kullberg, to come
to the University of Bergen. The occasion was a seminar series for Caribbean
Studies entitled “Karibia— Identitet og konflikt”, which a group of researchers
in Bergen had been organizing for a couple of years. From that
point we began talking about the need for a common Nordic forum for
Caribbean studies. Meanwhile two small publishing houses in Sweden began
working on the Swedish translations of Édouard Glissant’s epic poem Les Indes (Elisabeth Grate Förlag 2012) and his last poetic essay, Philosophie de la Relation (Glänta Produktion 2012). On this occasion, we invited Glissant to Stockholm. He accepted the invitation, but his health did not allow him to travel. On February 3rd 2011 he passed away. As much as it is a cliché or a “lieu-commun”, to use Glissant’s words, we truly wanted to keep his thinking alive. In honor of his work and as a beginning for the creation of a forum for Caribbeanists in the Nordic countries, Charlotte Bydler and Cecilia Sjöholm at Södertörn University together with Christina Kullberg co-organized the symposium “Archipelagic Connections”. The symposium took place in Stockholm and the key-note speakers, Celia Britton and J. Michael Dash, helped bringing Caribbean studies and Glissant’s writing to the Swedish audience. We also had the honor of having with us his widow, Sylvie Glissant. The event ended with a reading of Glissant’s last and not yet published poem in French, English, and Swedish. The next Nordic gathering took place in Bergen in April 2013 in the same spirit as in Stockholm: “Archipelagic Connections (II)”. These symposiums led, in their turn, to the first issue of´Karib: Nordic Journal for Caribbean Studies.
Bergen: Novus Press , 2014. Vol. 1, 1-6 p.