Trinidad’s President Paula May Weeks has paid tribute to the Guyanese-born Professor Emeritus Gordon Lawler, a recognized authority on West Indian literature and calypso, who died last weekend. he was 80 years old.
Lawler, who taught at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus, was described in a statement by the head of state as “another member of Trinidad and Tobago’s distinguished society.”
The cause of death has not yet been made public.
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Rohlehr was awarded the Chaconia Medal, Silver Award in Literature, Culture, History and Education at the 2022 National Awards by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
Citation states that he “designed, piloted, and taught the first course in West Indian literature. Played a central role in introduction and education.
“His belief was that literature had a fundamental role to play in developing a proper self-awareness without undermining the needs of the wider world. It demonstrates insight, critical awareness and awareness of the synthesis of the many social, historical, linguistic and political currents that underpin reality.
“His most important contribution to raising public awareness is his astounding work on calypso. I’ve been searching for it long before it became popular.
Rohlehr, who has written several books on various aspects of Caribbean culture, said his interest in studying and writing about calypso music was sparked in 1967 by the second meeting of the Caribbean Artists Movement, held at his flat in north London. said to go back toOrlando Patterson Responds to Kamau Brathwaite, George Ramming, Aubrey Williams and Others Debating “Caribbean Aesthetics”
Reflecting on Rohlehr’s death, former UWI Professor of International Relations Mark Kirton told the Guyana-based online publication Demerarawaves.com, “He was an authority on West Indian literature and calypso.
“He was a true scholar and expert, always willing to offer advice and guidance to young scholars and students,” Carton added.
Honors Gordon Lawler graduated from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica in 1964 with an honors degree in English Literature before writing his doctoral dissertation titled Alienation and Commitment in the Works of Joseph Conrad at the University of Birmingham, England. was (1964-1967)