DREADNESS The Mystic Power, Philosophy and Performance of Shadow 1941-2021

deadline for submissions: 
January 21, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Groundation Foundation and the University of the West Indies

In celebration of the Mighty Shadow’s 80th birthday, The Groundation Foundation and The University of the West Indies will host a one day virtual symposium to honour his body of work to be held on Friday March 4th 2022.


Shadow’s unique approach to creating and performing music has had an enduring impact on the Caribbean popular music scene. His powerful messages delivered in relatable  storylines  provide his listeners with sage guidance for everyday life (and death).   His musical genius paid homage to his ancestral traditions while incorporating the various contemporary musical influences that emanated from outside of the region.  In this way, Shadow’s music shifted the way the audiences consumed and enjoyed music both within and outside of the carnival season. His uncompromising adherence to the aesthetics and the politics of blackness gave the downtrodden, the dispossessed and the disenfranchised reasons to believe that everybody could be somebody in the world.  In short, Shadow spoke to the Caribbean condition in ways that were distinctly accessible, resonant and revolutionary.


We invite paper presentations in the following thematic areas in relation to Shadow’s work:

  • The mysticism of everyday life and living 
  • The Dreadness of hell and escaping Mr. Death
  • Dreadness aesthetics in Shadow’s performance and style
  • Form, meaning and representation in the structure and style of Shadow’s music
  • Dreadness in Intimate Relationships – Yuh Lookin’ Fuh Horn
  • De Music Jumbie – Ancestral groundations in music and message




Abstracts should follow these formatting guidelines:

•           Heading must include: paper title, name and email address of author(s), and thematic area as indicated above. 

•           A short 50-word biographical note on author(s).

•           A description of 300 words or less, including details of the key area(s) of inquiry and anticipated conclusion(s).