Guyana-born academic Arnold Harrichand Itwaru has passed away

Arnold Harrichand Itwaru

Arnold Harrichand Itwaru has died at the age of 79. He was a big light for so many people and will be remembered and celebrated for time to come. In the trajectory of his life he has touched thousands with his teaching, with his writing, his painting creations and with his presence.

He leaves behind his Life partner Natasha Ksonzek and three children Andre, Sherry and Mark Itwaru.

Itwaru was born in Guyana before immigrating to Canada where he spent most of his life in academics in the University system. Known as Arnold or Prof Itwaru, he earned his PhD in Sociology at York University in 1983, and went on to teach Sociology and the Social Sciences for 20 years.

In 1995 Arnold Itwaru began teaching at New College, University of Toronto, where he created the Caribbean Studies program designing every course initially and hiring from the diverse Caribbean community in Toronto. He directed the program for 10 years. And remained teaching in it up until the spring of this year,

In his role as editor of Other Eye Books he republished the early anti-racism study by Fred Case entitled Racism and National Consciousness. For seventeen years Dr Itwaru with the help of his partner Natasha and his students held the annual Racism and National Consciousness conference series at New College, named after the book by his former Principal and colleague. The conferences were open to both the university community as well as the general population and he made sure there was food for all, reminding people that if you feed the mind, you have to feed the body too. Many hundreds of people attended.

His publications include thirteen books of poetry, fiction, scholarly books, and also essays, bridging scholarly and literary traditional forms. They include the poetry books Shattered Songs 1982, The Sacred Presence 1986, Entombed Survivals, 1987, body rites (beyond the darkening1991, fiction works Shanti, 1988, Morning of Yesterday, 1999, Shanti\The Unreturning1992, and Home and Back in 2001. Scholarly works include: Mass Communication and Mass Deception1989, Critiques of Power1989, The Invention of Canada: Literary Text and the Immigrant Imaginary1990, Negative Ecstasy: the Star Trek Seductions & other Mass Deceptions2000, the cultural critique Closed Entrances Co-authored with Natasha Ksonzek in 1994, and the edited work The White Supremacist State: Eurocentrism Imperialism Colonialism Racism 2009.

Itwaru’s paintings number in the hundreds and were displayed in co-art exhibitions with Natasha Ksonzek from 1997 to 2013.

Arnold Harrichand Itwaru, September 2nd 1942 – September16, 2021