Carnival Culture
was an interdisciplinary workshop taught by Michael Eldridge of the Department of English and Eugene Novotney of the Department of Music.  We met two weeks before Carnival 1999:  once on Friday evening, January 29 and twice on Saturday morning and early afternoon, January 30.  Our exploration of Carnival's central role in Caribbean national and cultural life focussed on the musical, verbal and other popular arts associated with Carnival--in particular the steelband and calypso traditions of Trinidad & Tobago. We hope to offer the course again, possibly in an "expanded" format with distinguished guests, in future years.

This is a website in progress--check this space regularly for further announcements, information, and weblinks, such as: If you attended the course and would like to have a look at "Iere Now and Long Ago": A Century of Calypso in Trinidad, a multi-media website including text, pictures and sound, e-mail Professor Eldridge for the password.  We also encourage you to visit some of the websites below, and to use the following materials in the circulating collections at the HSU Library freely.
  • John Cowley, Carnival, Canboulay and Calypso: Traditions in the Making (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996).  GT4229 .T7 .C69 1996
  • Donald R. Hill, Calypso Calaloo: Early Carnival Music in Trinidad (Gainesville:  UP of Florida, 1993).  ML3565 .H54 1993
  • John W. Nunley and Judith Bettelheim, eds., Caribbean Festival Arts: Each and Every Bit of Difference (Seattle: U of Washington P, 1998).  GT4823 .N85 1988
  • Stephen Stuempfle, The Steelband Movement: The Forging of a National Art in Trinidad and Tobago (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1995).  ML3486 .T7 .S78 1995
  • Keith Q. Warner, Kaiso! The Trinidad Calypso: A Study of the Calypso as Oral Literature (Washington: Three Continents, 1982).  ML3565 .W37 1982
  • Calypso Breakaway, 1927-1941 (Rounder, 1990).  CD 1159
  • Trinidad Carnival: The Steelbands of Trinidad and Tobago (Delos, 1989).  CD 1247
  • Le Carnaval des Steel Bands (Playasound, 1990).  CD 1792
  • Panorama Steelbands of Trinidad and Tobago (Delos, 1993).  CD 2342
  • HSU Percussion Ensemble and Calypso Band.  VIDEO 1911
  • The JVC/Smithsonian Folkways Video Anthology of Music and Dance of the Americas.  Vol. 4: The Caribbean.  VIDEO 3046, Cassette 4
  • One Hand Don't Clap.  VIDEO 3223
  • Mas Fever: Inside Trinidad Carnival.  VIDEO 3955

Selected Carnival, Calypso and Steelband Resources on the Web:
Steelband: Steelbands & Panmen: Pan in RealAudio (see also the Amoco Renegades web site, above):
Calypso (General):
  • The Calypso Tent of The Air
  • Bajan Calypso Barn (see especially the "Soca Links" section of the "Links" page)
  • "Calypso" and "Soca" pages of the on-line All-Music Guide
  • Indefatigable calypso researcher Ray Funk's occasional (but indispensible) "Kaiso Newsletters"
  • Funk has also collaborated with Dmitri Subotsky on an excellent site called the Calypso Archives, featuring historical and discographical information, as well as profiles of over 400 calypsonians
  • Articles and books by Donald R. Hill, author of Calypso Calaloo and Professor of Anthropology & Chair of Africana/Latino Studies at SUNY Oneonta (N.B.: this is copyrighted material)
  • The Roots of Calypso: a website-in-progress by calypso afficionado and historian George Maharaj
  • "The Roots of Soca":  an informative account (in RealAudio) of the influences that paved the way for the emergence of soca in the mid-1970s.   (Georges Collinet, Afropop)  (Requires free registration.)
  • Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts)
    • Profile of Kitch by David Tindall for Caribbean Beat magazine
  • krosfyah (Edwin Yearwood et al.)
    • Profile of Edwin Yearwood by Roxan Kinas for Caribbean Beat magazine
  • Byron Lee (arranger & bandleader): profile by Pat Ganase for Caribbean Beat magazine
  • Roaring Lion (Hubert Raphael Charles, a/ka/ Rafael DeLeon): a 1990 interview
    • Ray Funk's obituary of Lion (d. July 11, 1999)
  • Machel Montano 
  • David Rudder
  • Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco)
    • Profile of Sparrow by Godwin Oyewole
  • Square One 
  • Profiles of many other calypsonians can be found by perusing Ray Funk's "Kaiso Newsletter," above
Calypso in RealAudio (see also the krosfyah and David Rudder web sites, above):

General information on and from the Caribbean:

Last updated: February 15, 2004 (thorough site revision will happen sometime in the next year) | Questions: Michael Eldridge