The Gender Split: West Indian Literature, 1961-1990

This site presents data, visualizations, exhibits, and a map drawn from the Writers, Readers, and Scenes: Visualizing Caribbean Literature project to critically compare and explore the ethnic variances, expressive styles, authorship countries and thematic expression of male and female Caribbean authors from 1961–to 1990.

In the scope of this project, a “Caribbean author” is classified as a writer born in countries belonging or relating to the Caribbean Sea (including the West Indies) and the surrounding coasts, as well as authors of Caribbean heritage.

In The Gender Split: West Indian Literature, 1961-1990, researcher Mhea Bardouille asks:

  • What are the most common genres used by male and female authors who published books between 1961 and 1990?
  • What are the thematic differences between the works of female and male authors?
  • What are the ethnic parallels and distinctions between male and female authors, and which gender uses their literary works to share their cultural experiences?
  • Which Caribbean country has the highest concentration of male and female authors who published between 1961 and 1990?


In this reseach study, a randomized sample of 575 books published from 1971–1990 was taken from the Create Caribbean’s project, Writers, Readers, and Scenes: Visualizing Caribbean Literature. Moreover, the project period was divided into three decades: 1961–1970, 1971–1980, and 1981–1990, in order to observe the numeral trend based on a focal point. A relative sample was chosen at random based on the total number of published books in the WRS project per decade. This may be expressed as a table:

Publication Year Male Female Total
1961-1970 81 14 95
1971-1980 112 33 145
1981-1990 243 92 335
Total 436 139 575


This project offers different possibilities for users; as a resource for research, the visualizations showcase patterns, trends, and outliers from the data sets that digital humanists and scholars can use in digital pedagogy or in their own projects to explore humanist inquiry.

More importantly, this site acts as a “Caribbean Corner” by reminding users, especially the youth, of the unique culture of the Caribbean, the melting pot, and by appreciating each author’s distinct voice as they tell this story.