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Dr. Paulette Ramsay promoted to Professor

The University of the West Indies, (UWI) Mona is pleased to announce the promotion of Senior Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, Faculty of Humanities & Education, Dr. Paulette A. Ramsay, to the rank of Professor. The promotion comes in the wake of assessment of her academic accomplishments and contribution to her field.

Paulette Ramsay holds the Bachelor of Arts, Masters of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from The UWI, Mona Campus. She has gained wide recognition as an interdisciplinary scholar and researcher, who is known in the region and internationally for her work in the broad field of Modern Languages and Literatures, language pedagogy and for her contribution to the growth of the field of Afro-Hispanic Studies.  She has made a significant contribution to the creation and expansion of knowledge about Afro-derived peoples and their literary and cultural production in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Cuba and Mexico.  Her work has brought the history, racial and cultural dynamics related to various diasporic communities in Latin America and the Hispanic Caribbean to centre stage.  Her post-doctoral work on Afro-Mexico, Afro-Cuba, Afro-Ecuador and Jamaican descendants in Ecuador has also been ground-breaking, with her book entitled Afro-Mexican Constructions of Diaspora, Gender, Identity and Nation being the first to interrogate issues related to the literary and cultural production of the forgotten Afro-Mexican people of Costa Chica and Oaxaca. This book received the Principal’s Award (2016) for Best Research Publication (Book).

In addition , Ramsay has published twenty-six peer reviewed scholarly publications, more than ten review essays, two translated books, one co-edited book, Blooming with the Pouis: A Rhetorical Reader for Caribbean Tertiary Students, Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing across the Curriculum, and joint authorship of numerous high school books, as well as Encyclopaedia and Dictionary entries. She is also well known as a translator, creative writer and poet having also published four works of fiction – one novel Aunt Jen which has been translated into German and Italian and is widely studied as part of Caribbean Literature courses in the USA, the UK, France, Germany and Italy, and three poetry anthologies October Afternoon, Under Basil Leaves and Star Apple Blue and Avocado Green, as well as several short stories.

Professor Ramsay served as Head of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at a time when enrolment in Spanish, and French, in particular, were in decline.  As Head, she focused on leading the Department into innovative ways of bringing foreign languages to students to facilitate their acquisition of a global education. A significant contribution led to the development of the Policy to Reposition Foreign Languages in The UWI, which has allowed students across The UWI, Mona to do courses in Foreign Languages. This has resulted in the development of new minors as well as a significant increase in the number of students in the Department. She also worked in collaboration with the Embassy of Colombia in Jamaica, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jamaica and The UWI Administration to annually organize a course for the teaching of Spanish to civil servants in Jamaica. As recognition of the expansion of numbers in French which had previously been on the decline, and for collaborating with the French Embassy, she was awarded the Chevalier Ordre du Mérite by the Government of France.

The new Professor served as the first Coordinator of the Writing Centre at The UWI, Mona and developed a programme of operation designed to help students improve their writing skills and communicative competence in English. In addition to the curricula review and reform undertaken as Head of the department, Professor Ramsay also has an impressive record of postgraduate supervision within and outside of her department.

Paulette Ramsay’s contributions in public service and outreach have also been commendable. She has provided extensive professional and academic advice and technical support in the Modern Languages field to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and has also been a member of the Examining Committees for Spanish in both The Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) and in The Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). She has assisted with the E-Learning Jamaica project that is seeking to write and adapt Spanish lessons for online teaching. 

Her work in the field of Afro-Hispanic Studies is highly valued and is frequently cited. Additionally, she has often been invited by international Journals to serve on their Editorial Boards, as well as to review articles and new books about diasporic and transnational issues related to Hispanic Caribbean and Latin American Studies.

She is an active member of the College Language Association, USA; Afro-Latin American Research Association, Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars and the Association of the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora.


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