Contact and clash, amalgamation and accommodation, resistance and change have marked the history of the Caribbean islands. It is a unique region where people under the stress of slavery had to improvise, invent and literally create forms of human association through which their pasts and the symbolic interpretation of their present could be structured.
Sidney W. Mintz is currently professor emeritus, department of anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. He founded the department there in 1975. He has done extensive field research in Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Haiti, as well as in Iran. He recently launched a research program in Hong Kong to study the consumption and production of soybean and is now examining soy products in the United States.