Internet and the Culture Wars: Caribbean Literary / Cultural Studies in Cyberspace, by Curwen Best, Best examines the area of Caribbean cultural studies in cyberspace. Although there are only a small number of published Caribbean writers, their work is made available on the internet. One of the key points which Best addresses that I think is very important is, why there is such a small number of published Caribbean writers. This is due mainly to the fact that the Caribbean can not offer access to major publishing house. Having little or simply no access at all to major publishing houses, many Caribbean writer’s to migrate to different areas of the world (such as New York and London). But not everyone is able to migrate abroad to gain greater access to a larger variety of publishing of publishing houses. Therefore, there should be more focus on establishing and or creating access to publishing houses in the Caribbean’s. So that the people of the Caribbean are afford the same access to publishing houses without migrating abroad. I think there should be more focus on establishing a network of publishing houses in the Caribbean, and less focus on traveling abroad.
When it comes down to accessing information on the limited number of Caribbean writers in cyberspace, most publishers display such work on their websites. However, very little information can be found by simply googling the names of various Caribbean authors. Also another problem is, various literary works of Caribbean writers are usually restricted to governmental organizations, academic institution. The average person (in both the Caribbean’s and the United States) not affiliated with an academic institutions or governmental organization, is denied access to literary work by Caribbean writers. Therefore, not only is the access to the digital world limited, the information available in cyberspace is also limited.
In the blog post Online Network, CienciaPR, Compensate for Puerto Rico’s Brain Drain, by Rodrigo de Oliveira, Oliveira explains how social media networks help to enhance the science community in Puerto Rico through a group called CienciaPR (Science Puerto Rico). It has been stated that in this blog that, Puerto Rico lacks modern scientific institutions. The CienciaPR was created as a direct result of the lack of scientific institutions. The CienciaPR network has approximately 7,000 members in over 40 states which also include, 158 Universities in the United .States. With most of Puerto Rico’s student population living outside of Puerto Rico, it has been very difficult to cultivate their science community. ” With so few scientist in Puerto Rico, it has been hard to foster local science,…”. CienciaPR enables Puerto Rican Scientist and also students who are living outside of Puerto Rico, to contribute to the science community in Puerto Rico.
Whether its access to publishing house or modern scientific institutions, the story in both the Caribbean and Puerto Rico are the same. People living in the Caribbean’s need not seek access to publishing houses abroad, they should be able to find publishing houses in their home land. The same thing can be said for the people living in Puerto Rico. The science community in Puerto Rico should not have to rely on the help of scientist and student living outside of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico should have access to modern scientific institutions in Puerto Rico, instead of having to wait for someone living abroad, to pass scientific information down to the people living in Puerto Rico.
I understand the importance of the brain -drain, I guess the point I was trying to make is, that there still to much dependence on outside sources. I think it would be better to focus on developing institution in PR that would help them mange their own brain-drain.
We constantly come across this issue in our class discussions and I certainly think it is an important one. The idea that Caribbean writers and artists must find success in “superpower” countries such as England or the U.S. to consider themselves successful and have their work be known is troubling on the one hand but on the other just very telling of our historical and political standing as “colonized” people and countries. Maybe it’s a bit of a stretch to make the connection, but in satisfying the tastes of the American or European audience/investors you are endowed (what looks like) instant success with worldwide attention, gratification, hometown glory, money, and now FB likes and twitter followers. Also, sometimes the publishing houses on the island will refuse to publish anything critical of the country’s culture or politics or won’t publish work of people who aren’t deemed good representatives of the island. Literature is a very respected form of cultural currency, this fact can be limiting for writers in some countries and may be hard to find them on the internet if their fan base is little.
The conclusion I draw from the example you give of the PR science community is quite different. It actually provides a model for a way to utilize the internet to foster local cultural production, perhaps “in a certain kind of way” to use Benitez-Rojo’s phrase. Meaning, the PR community has found a way to alleviate some of the brain-drain of migration. Perhaps other cultural communities could use it in a similar way for writing and other arts.