Book prize for Professor Diana Paton
The School is delighted to learn that Professor Diana Paton has been awarded the 2017 Elsa Goveia Prize from the Association of Caribbean Historians, for her book 'The Cultural Politics of Obeah: Religion, Colonialism and Modernity in the Caribbean World'. (Published 29 May 2017)
The Elsa Goveia Prize from the Association of Caribbean Historians is awarded every two years, and recognizes excellence in Caribbean history. Elsa Goveia was the first Professor of West Indian History, and the first woman professor, at the University College of the West Indies (now the University of the West Indies.).
Professor Paton's book, 'The Cultural Politics of Obeah: Religion, Colonialism and Modernity in the Caribbean World' (Cambridge University Press, 2015), is a history of the politics and practice of the Caribbean spiritual healing techniques known as obeah, and their place in everyday life in the region. The prize judges described it as ‘rich in analysis, broad in scope and meticulous in evidentiary detail’ and stated that it ‘makes an important contribution to Caribbean scholarship in social and cultural history and undoubtedly raises the bar for the next generation of scholars’.
The prize was awarded (in absentia) at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Tobago on 18 May 2017. Responding to the award, Professor Paton said ‘I'm absolutely delighted and incredibly honoured to be awarded the Elsa Goveia prize - both because of the importance of Elsa Goveia herself to my work and to the field, and when I think of all the wonderful books that have won this prize before.’
Professor Diana Paton joined the School of History, Classics and Archaeology as William Robertson Professor of History in July 2016. She is a historian of the Caribbean in global context, with particular interests in the history of slavery and emancipation, cultural history, the history of punishment, and gender history.