On 4 October 2023, Grenadian historian, archivist and writer John Angus Martin defended his dissertation titled “We Navel-String Bury Here”: Landscape History, Representation and Identity in the Grenada Islandscape, at Leiden University in The Netherlands.
After several years working on this multidisciplinary exploration of Grenadian identity across 5 centuries via the approach of creolisation, Martin’s committee agreed that his work met the necessary conditions to be defended, and, if successful, be granted the title of PhD. After 40 minutes of questioning by members of the committee, they returned with the unanimous decision that Martin could now be styled John Angus Martin, PhD.
Martin began his PhD study of landscape history, representation and identity in Grenada in the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University as part of the multidisciplinary European Research Council-funded project NEXUS1492: New World Encounters in a Globalising World under Prof. Corinne L Hofman, PhD, his adviser/promoter. Other members of his committee included promoter Prof. JCA Kolen, PhD and co-promoter Arie Boomert, PhD; Prof. Merle Collins, PhD, University of Maryland; Prof. Patrick Degryse, PhD, Universiteit Leiden/KU Leuven; Prof. Pieter ter Keurs, PhD, Universiteit Leiden; Joseph Sony Jean, PhD, Universiteit Leiden; Prof. Gert J Oostindie, PhD, Universiteit Leiden; Jason E Laffoon, PhD, Universiteit Leiden; and Winston F Phulgence, PhD, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. The paranymphs were Jana Pesoutova, PhD, and Yvette Martin.
Martin’s dissertation will be published in book form within the next year and made available for purchase, but will also be available via the Leiden University Libraries website at some time in the future.
Martin grew up in Williamson Road, St George’s, Grenada, the son of Venis Martin of Mt Moritz, St George, and Jean Albertina Martin, originally from St David. He is the author of several books on Grenada, including A to Z of Grenada Heritage (2022) and Island Caribs and French Settlers in Grenada (2013).
The abstract of his dissertation follows.