UWI hosts conference on Oliver Cromwell Cox

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

UWI, St Augustine campus principal, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine – File photo

Oliver Cromwell Cox (1901-1974), born in Trinidad and Tobago, was regarded not only as a scholar but a visionary whose insights into the fabric of society remains as pertinent today as they were in his time.

His work, from the pioneering Caste, Class and Race to Capitalism as a System, offers profound critique of the socio-economic groundwork of racial divisions, class struggles and the capitalist framework.

Cox’s legacy remains largely uncelebrated in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

But now the University of the West Indies (UWI), in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, Connected World and the Université des Antilles, is hosting the Oliver Cromwell Cox Conference on April 26 and 27.

The conference, Caste, Class and Race, aims to change the narrative, bringing Cox’s invaluable contributions back to the forefront of sociological thoughts and practice.

A press release said the conference also aims to examine both historical and contemporary issues through the lens of Cox’s work, while also making visible his contributions and the continued relevance of his work.

To date, the conference has attracted scholars and sociologists from North America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Some major themes that have emerged include race, class and capitalism, race, gender and caste, global decoloniality labour theory and capitalism, gender, caste, and reproductive rights, Africana world systems and pioneers of Caribbean sociology.

Cox’s most notable writings include the Modern Caste School of Race (1942), Caste, Class, Race (1948), Foundations of Capitalism (1959), Capitalism and American Leadership (1962), and Capitalism as a System (1964).

His most influential works highlighted his argument that racial divisions cannot be fully understood without examining them through the lens of class, conflict and economic structures.

UWI is calling on researchers/scholars, tertiary and secondary level students, policymakers, as well as people interested in sociology, gender studies, intersectionality, Caribbean history and globalisation studies to attend.

The conference will take place at the Learning Resource Centre of UWI’s St Augustine campus on April 26 and 27 from 5 pm-8 pm.

The opening ceremony takes place on April 25 and registration is free.