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Cave Hill Research Students awarded prestigious Other Universals Consortium Scholarships

For Release Upon Receipt - Thursday, October 8, 2020

Cave Hill Research Students awarded prestigious Other Universals Consortium Scholarships

Two PhD candidates from The UWI, Cave Hill Campus are this year’s recipients of the Other Universals Consortium Scholarship.

Each year Other Universals-UWI awards two scholarships to PhD candidates at the university, and this year the selected candidates were Reyda Gay (PhD candidate Cultural Studies) and Vania Patrick-Drakes (PhD candidate Social Policy). They will each receive US $8,250.

Patrick-Drakes who is in the second year of her research focusing on race and racial tensions said she is grateful for the scholarship which gives students like her the opportunity to engage in post-colonial discourse. “I’m looking forward to the academic opportunities that it will afford me, and I also look forward to being able to better contribute to academic conversations surrounding post-colonial issues in contemporary Barbados,” she said.

Her work to date has included engagement with relevant literature, within and outside the Anglophone Caribbean and discussion with her academic supervisors regarding appropriate methodology for the research.

Gay also expressed gratitude, saying the scholarship will allow her to complete her programme.

“In the middle of the pandemic, I wasn’t really sure what my plans for this upcoming semester were going to be. To be awarded such a prestigious scholarship as the Other Universals, I think there was no way that I would be able to make it through the semester without it and I am beyond grateful to be selected as the second recipient.”

Gay is researching Cinematic Arts in Barbados with a focus on the constructs of identity. “I’m exploring space, and really the culture of film in Barbados; how Barbadian identity has been shaped, and also most excitingly, historicising film in Barbados. I know in the Caribbean there’s usually a generalisation of our cinematic activity over the years, but this research really gives me an opportunity to explore early cinematic life in Barbados, and what it meant to our culture and what it means to our culture today,” she added. She said she is looking forward to the reading workshops that they will be involved in over the next few months.

Both students thanked the Principal Investigator of Other Universals, Professor Aaron Kamugisha, their supervisors and their respective departments for their support.

Principal, Professor the Most Honourable Eudine Barriteau congratulated the students on the award, saying, “The areas that they are in fact researching are areas that are critical as we continue to examine issues of identity, culture and race in Barbados and the Caribbean… One of the things a university does is add to knowledge, and when you have students doing PhD research, doctoral research, what they’re doing is contributing knowledge that would benefit all of us. So we are extremely proud of them and we’re looking forward to the completion of their studies and hopefully a career as great academics.”

Prof. Kamugisha congratulated the candidates on their award and wished them success on their academic journey. He noted that a critical component of the Other Universals project is a rejuvenation and extension of Global South intellectual traditions of criticism in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The current member universities of the Other UniversalsConsortium are University of Western Cape, University of Cape Town, The University of the West Indies, American University of Beirut, University of Witwatersrand, University of Johannesburg, University of Ghana – Legon and the University of Addis Ababa.


Other Universals Consortium:

Other Universals, is a supra-national project being supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation over a five year period. The project creates a consortium of scholars across a number of universities in South Africa, East Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and the West Africa University of Ghana-Legon. Whilst it brings together a range of institutions, at its core is the idea of creating a forum for a small number of scholars working at these universities and across these regions, to be in conversation around a common set of intellectual-political preoccupations. The idea is to create research hubs which will meet annually, in either a colloquium or a small summer school. There is also support for graduate student fellowships at the PhD level at the participating universities.

Other Universals seeks to contribute to the widening of circuits of knowledge production that often favor the Northern Hemisphere, toward a more equitable inclusion of thinkers based in, and thinking from postcolonial locations. It seeks to develop comparative scholarship on traditions of thought that speak to universal predicaments from historically specific locations. It will actively foster national and international networks to which such scholars can turn for intellectual support as well as other resources in the furthering of their research, teaching, and institution building.

About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and four campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport.

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. Times Higher Education ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018. The UWI was the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)


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