Scholarly analysis on the prevalence of Haitian stigmatization in The Bahamas, the relationship between religiosity and Bahamian gambling impulses, and the efficacy of corporal punishment in Bahamian schools, headline the 2020 edition of the University of The Bahamas’ (UB) premier scholarly publication.
The 26th volume of UB’s International Journal of Bahamian Studies (IJBS) was officially published on Friday, 23rd October, 2020, replete with 11 different articles from 18 different authors—both local and international—to make this year’s edition one of the largest and most comprehensive in the IJBS’ 26 years of production.
“IJBS allows us to grow Bahamian studies and to expand access to research about the Bahamas around the world,” said UB Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Maria Oriakhi. “As a result, research published in the journal has the potential to have a significant impact both here at UB and in The Bahamas, as well as overseas. A key activity of any institution of higher education is that of creating knowledge and adding to cultural experiences.”
This year’s IJBS volume features six original articles on six separate topics. UB adjunct professor and Director of Institutional Strengthening and Accreditation Mr. William Fielding highlights the occurrences of bullying in The Bahamian workplace in the first known study on workplace bullying in The Bahamas. UB adjunct professor of Communication and Creative Arts Mr. Christopher Saunders delves into the issue of whether religious beliefs predict Bahamians’ motivation and propensity to gamble; and Mr. Fielding, along with UB Assistant Professor of Sociology Dr. Nicolette Bethel, conducted an extensive study into the attitudes and knowledge of Bahamian university students about sexual consent.
Multiple international scholars also contributed to this year’s robust edition, namely Dr. Andrew Jones of Kennesaw State University, who examined the relationships between the Scottish community and the Afro-Caribbean and Anglican populations of New Providence during the first half of the 19th century; Dr. Charmane M. Perry of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who conducted a study on the experiences of stigmatization and acts of resistance amongst the Haitian diaspora in The Bahamas; and Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega of Florida International University (FIU), who, along with several co-authors, studied the first expedition of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to The Bahamas nearly 90 years ago.
“Although we definitely don’t have as much research about The Bahamas as our other Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, in large part because they have had research universities for decades and larger populations, if you Google search The Bahamas, there’s quite a bit of research that actually goes on about The Bahamas,” said IJBS Managing Editor Dr. Raymond Austin Oenbring. “But our research institutions haven’t traditionally been involved with that research. IJBS, one of its many functions is as a way to build connections between the Bahamian research community based out of UB and the broader community and international scholars who study The Bahamas.”
Ms. Raquel C. Chavarria, an FIU undergraduate student who worked along with Dr. Francisco-Ortega on the USDA study, agreed. She said as a budding international scholar, it was an immense honor to have been invited to contribute to the compilation of this year’s IJBS; her work being enshrined in the scholarly UB publication was merely the icing on the cake.
“I think the fact that [the IJBS] is also accepting international articles from different locations is also amazing, because I think it’s not a limitation so much as there’s a certain perspective that you have as a native as being entrenched in the community,” Ms. Chavarria said. “And it’s always interesting to see what someone coming outside of that can be able to notice and perhaps just draw attention to it, so it’s something that we can celebrate or even work on more.”
This year’s volume also features three literature reviews from a cadre of UB Librarians, such as UB Libraries Ms. Christine Swann and Mrs. Shananda M. Hinsey, and UB Special Collections Librarian Mrs. Rosemary Munroe-Whylly. UB Nursing & Health Sciences/Graduate Studies & Research Librarian and former IJBS managing editor Ms. Virgina Ballance also contributed to this year’s volume, teaming up with Mr. Fielding to assess the existing literature on corporal punishment in The Bahamas, with an emphasis on its use in schools.
Rounding off the contributions to this year’s contributions to IJBS Volume 26 were that of UB Associate Professor Dr. Ian Bethell-Bennett, who explored the legacy of legal dispossession, dislocation and marginalization of Bahamians as a byproduct of British colonialism; while UB Assistant Professors Dr. A. Marie Sairsingh, Dr. Anne Ulentin, Dr. Niambi Hall Campbell-Dean, Dr. Christopher E. Curry, and Dr. Richard G. Ellefritz offered their collective perspectives on the importance of diversity and inclusiveness in academia.
“As you can see, this journal continues to make a tangible contribution to scholars, which affords a voice with which to tell our story and contribute to Bahamian knowledge,” Dr. Oriakhi said.
According to Dr. Oriakhi, IJBS is looking forward to an eventful 2021. In addition to the regular fall issue, IJBS will be releasing a special IJBS in Spring 2021 that will focus on the effects and aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. That issue will be guest edited by UB English Studies professors Dr. Saskia Fürst, Dr. Dustin Hellberg, and Dr. Bethell-Bennett.
“I look forward to working with them as the issue proceeds to publication,” Dr. Oenbring said.
The IJBS is a scholarly, peer-reviewed, open access research journal published by UB that is both international and uniquely Bahamian in focus. Originally launched in 1980 as College Forum, the journal was re-named IJBS 10 years ago. The journal publishes research papers and other scholarly products such as conference proceedings that are not only relevant to UB and the wider Bahamas, but also stimulate participation in such activity by members of the University and the national and international research community. Each volume features a combination of articles based on scientific and sustained analytic enquiry, book or media reviews of scholarly interest, and advocacy papers. As an open access journal all issues are freely available online.