EXTENDED DEADLINE: Call for Papers – 7th Global Reggae Conference – Feb 2022

The Institute of Caribbean Studies is pleased to announce the staging of the 7th Global Reggae Conference. Please see the call for papers including relevant details below for your information and circulation.

Call for papers

7th Global Reggae Conference

‘Reggae Films, Reggae Icons, Reggae Music’


The Institute of Caribbean Studies and Reggae Studies Unit at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and the Perry Henzell Estate in association with Sonic Street Technologies (ERC Research Grant) are delighted to announce the staging of the 7th Global Reggae Conference under the theme ‘Reggae Films, Reggae Icons, Reggae Music’ in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the release of The Harder They Come. Considered the Jamaican dub on Robin Hood, based on the main character of the ‘Reggae singer turn outlaw hero’, The Harder They Come was released on June 6, 1972 and became a cult film internationally. On the 2020 Rolling Stones list of top 500 film soundtracks The Harder They Come was ranked 174. The Harder They Come soundtrack has also been added to the Library of Congress catalogue making it the second reggae album to be added after Bob Marley’s Burnin and Lootin’.

Jamaica’s first feature film, The Harder They Come was produced and directed by Perry Henzell, co-written by Trevor D. Rhone, and is most famous for its reggae soundtrack, the making of icons, and its portrayal of Jamaican life. Not only did the film take reggae music worldwide but ultimately, the Jamaican language, ‘Rude Boy’ aesthetics and the ‘unorthodoxy’ of its filmic production. This Reggae film is often described as “possibly the most influential of Jamaican films and one of the most important films from the Caribbean”. Importantly, The Harder They Come has provided a space within Reggae Studies, Film & Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, and Celebrity Studies among other fields of inquiry for dialogue, criticism, production, academic writings and performance in numerous arenas.

Hosted typically as a premier biennial event, in this its 7th staging, the Global Reggae Conference shifts to a triennial offering in 2022. Hosted inside Jamaica’s Reggae Month, this conference will engage academics within a wide field of scholastic orientations and practice. In celebration of the productive space created by the film, this conference aims to bring together students, scholars, filmmakers, researchers, writers, critics, music afficionados, and artists to deliberate on the conference theme. This event comes as part of larger project on music, popular culture and Reggae Studies in particular, through which scholars, students, institutions have engaged in partnership to expand scholarship and outreach through research, creative production, community engagement, experimentation, archive building, and exhibitions, among others.

We welcome proposed papers, exhibitions, experimental media that address the following conference sub-themes:

  • Defining the Reggae Film
  • Reggae Films: Music, Medium and Message
  • Literary Criticism and the Reggae Film
  • Reggae Films and their Fictions
  • Postcolonial Cinema, Black Cinema
  • Reggae Films, Festivals, and Tourism
  • Reggae Films as Rhetoric and Discourse
  • To Script or Not to Script?
  • Reggae Films, Language and Authenticity
  • Reggae Films and the Influence of Other Genres (Kickers, Spaghetti Westerns)
  • Reggae Films and Rude Boy Aesthetics
  • Reggae Films and the Role of Rastafari
  • The Harder They Come as Cult Film
  • Reggae Films: Soundtracks, Scores and Message Music
  • Fashion and Style in Reggae Films
  • Reggae Films, Celebrity and the Making of Icons
  • Imagery, the Inner-city and Reggae Cinematography
  • Music Videos as Genre of Reggae Films
  • Reggae Films as Subculture
  • Reggae Films, Rude Boys, Shottas and Anti-Heroes
  • The Globalisation of Reggae Films
  • Reggae Films, Gender and the Role of Women
  • Violence and Stereotype in Reggae Films
  • Reggae Films and Social Transformation
  • Reggae Films in the Diaspora
  • Reggae Films and The White / Male Gaze
  • Reggae Films, New Media, and New Technologies
  • Reggae Film Spaces, Scenes and Locations
  • Reggae Films: Appropriation or Appreciation?
  • Dubbing the Reggae Film
  • Reggae Film Histories and Futures

We would also welcome presentations and displays made through innovative uses of media, music and technology alongside traditional formats. Presentation proposals from musicians, artistes and students are welcome.

Abstracts for individual or panel presentations of no more than 250 words supported by a short biography no longer than 75 words, should be submitted to the conference organisers for international peer review.

For pre-organised panels, include one abstract for each presenter. Each abstract should include the following information: name of author/authors; email address/es; name of associated institution; and keywords of presentation. 

We welcome innovative uses of technology and creative sessions formats as well as traditional paper presentations. 



Selected papers will be peer-reviewed and published in a commemorative anthology to mark the 50th anniversary of The Harder They Come available by June 2022. All paper submissions must confirm to the UWI press style available here.

Email all submissions to reggae.studies@uwimona.edu.jm with the subject heading “The Harder They Come Turns 50”. 

Contact the Global Reggae Conference 2022 Secretariat with queries at:

Institute of Caribbean Studies & Reggae Studies Unit

Faculty of Humanities and Education 

University of the West Indies, 

Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica. 

Email: reggae.studies@uwimona.edu.jm

Tel: 1 (876) 977 – 1951 Fax: 1 (876) 977 – 3430