(pron. kee-vin; no accent, no apostrophe, no space)
My name is Kevin Adonis Browne. I am an essayist, poet, photographer, teacher, lover, friend. I’ve been called a deep limer, a term I like very much. I dance (poorly), and I archive. Layla and Kyle are my children, and they know me. I count the Blue Devil, the Moko Jumbie, and the Midnight Robber among my ancestors. There is Bwa, which I (still) have yet to take up in more than a symbolic way.
I am a Trini man.
A Caribbean man.
An academic immigrant.
A doer of things.
At present, I work in the Department of Literatures, Cultural, and Communication Studies at The University of the West Indies-St. Augustine. I think, talk, tweet, and write about Caribbean Rhetoric. I’m the author of TROPIC TENDENCIES: Rhetoric, Popular Culture, and the Anglophone Caribbean (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013), which takes a theoretical look at the subject. I’m also the author and photographer of HIGH MAS: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Photography (University Press of Mississippi, 2018). I’m the co-founder of the Caribbean Memory Project, a Digital Humanities research project. There are a number of other projects—always other projects—which I hope to get to.
Suffice it to say that I do these things because I have an insatiable and inexplicable need to understand my people and—having understood—advocate for them from the vantage point of evolving clarity and a half-negotiated exile. I’m reminded, here, of an interview by Andre Tanker. I feel like this path, this area of study and action, actually chose me. I didn’t choose it. Yes, I’ve been trained in the field, as reflected on my CV.
However, in spite of the autonomy I crave, I am driven by things.
Some definable idea of my origins and the potential of that idea to make a difference (such that my conversations always seem to have a similar refrain, like a lavway). I am driven by the sublime dynamics of vernacular life—the everyday. There are other things I’d rather do from time to time, but they’re mostly imagined in the context of this pursuit of rhetorical understanding and the desire for what I might consider a meaningful life.
It’s a privilege and a challenge that I continue to embrace.
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