Institute Roles

Juanita was employed in  November 2019 by the ICwS for six months as a Research Fellow on a pilot study, ‘Nationality, Identity and Belonging: An Oral History of the Windrush Generation and their Relationship to the British State’.  The project’s findings, feeding directly into her current work at the IHR, involves conducting oral history interviews with members of the Caribbean heritage community and their advocates (e.g., lawyers, church elders, MPs, activists, charities, and members of the media).  The project seeks to gauge the degree of awareness within the communities of the implications of changes to the UK’s immigration and nationality law and of growing challenges to the rights of some members to remain.  It will also examine how the communities sought to mobilize support for those threatened with deportation.

Research Interests

Juanita’s research interests include Black British History and the means through which legacies of empire continue to impinge on the relationship of the Windrush Generation(s) to that of the British State. 

She has a wider interest in oral history as methodology, particularly as a means of preserving the perspectives and experiences of the Black British community.  She is interested in the benefits and challenges of oral history as a tool for social change and the complexities that arise around positionality, intersubjectivity, co-production and memory.

Juanita is passionate about public engagement and sees this as an integral part of her work. This has led to regular engagement with the communities and grass roots organisations such as the Windrush National Organisation, the Black History Lunchtime Conversation Series, and Burning Works.

Wider academic work

Juanita gained her PhD in the Department of African Studies and Anthropology (formerly the Centre of West African Studies), University of Birmingham, in 2013, and is a winner of the prestigious RE Bradbury Memorial Prize.  Her particular expertise lies in post-colonial literature and particularly in 20th-century Anglophone-Caribbean literature, as well as oral history interviewing.

She is the editor of Creole Chips and Other Writings, a compendium of Edgar Mittelholzer’s uncollected writings, and has also written introductions to novels and chapters to collections, and published essays.  She has given prestigious key note lectures including in Guyana at the XXVIII Annual West India Literature Conference (2009) on ‘Corentyne Thunder: A Quiet Revolution’; at St Agnes College in India (2019), ‘Crossing Borders of Nations and Self: Migration and Migrant Literature in Theory and Practice’, and more recently at the Oral History Society’s Annual Conference (July 2022) on ‘When Home is a Hostile Environment: Voices of the Windrush Generation and their Descendants’.  

In October 2021 she organised an online conference with Dr Elizabeth Williams and Dr Angelina Osbourne, ‘Ain’t I a Woman – The Black Woman in a Historical and Commonwealth Context.  The conference, aimed primarily at aspiring young black female scholars, attracted more papers than could be accommodated over the two-day period and an audience of over 200 per day.

She was previously a part-time tutor at the London Metropolitan University teaching the components of two modules: ‘The Modern Caribbean’ and ‘The Making of the Caribbean’.  Topics included: ‘Post-Emancipation Society – The Plantocracy and the Freed People, 1838 to ca. 1900’; Origins of Indians in British Guiana and Trinidad’; The Roots of Rastafari in Jamaica; Black People in Britain – The 18th Century Presence; England & Slavery; and Britain’s 1919 Race Riots.

In addition to her scholarly work, Juanita is co-founder of the ground-breaking series Guyana SPEAKS.  Founded in 2017, it is an education and networking forum that is now a key monthly event in the calendar of the London-based Guyanese diaspora as well as those joining internationally via zoom. 

Juanita is a trustee on the board of the Oral History Society.  In line with her commitment to social development in Guyana, she is also a trustee for the Robinson Trust.  The fund enables applicants of Arawak/Lokono and Carib descent in Dominica and Guyana to pursue further education and/or community projects.

She was appointed a Judge on the panel of the Guyana Prize for Literature in July 2011 and is a member of a small group of mixed heritage creative writers, Third Space.  She has published collections of poetry including in The New Daughters of Africa (ed. Margaret Busby), In Search of Mami Wata (ed. Michelle Asantewa) and Songs of Yemaya (ed. Nichelle Marie Calhoun).


Edited Collections

Cox, J (ed.) Creole Chips and Other Writings (Peepal Tree Press: 2018)


Cox, J. & Hayes De Kalaf, E. At “tipping point”: New report signals limited drive within the Home Office properly to address the Windrush scandal | History and Policy (5 April 2022)

Cox, J. The Windrush Scandal in a Transnational and Commonwealth Context — Black Cultural Archives (3 August 2022)

Westmaas, J. Taiye Selasi's 'Ghana Must Go': A Reader's Reponse ( (23 April 2013)

Cox, J. ‘Edgar Mittelholzer: A Caribbean Voice – Part One in The Guyana Review (Georgetown, May 2008)

Cox, J. ‘Edgar Mittelholzer: A Caribbean Voice – Part Two’ in Stabroek News (Georgetown, June 2008)


Cox, J. “Buried in the Landscape: Edgar Mittelholzer's Creative Gene(sis), Revolting Subtexts and a Search for Truth”, Imagining the Guyanas: Ecologies of Memory and Movement Conference (Universite Paul-Valery: Montpelier, 5 Nov 2016)

Cox, J. “Introduction” in Mittelhozler, E. The Life and Death of Sylvia (Peepal Tree Press: Leeds, 2010)

Cox, J. “Mittelholzer’s The Life and Death of Sylvia: A Georgetown Symphony” in Gafour, A. (ed) Guyana Arts Journal (Georgetown: 2009)

Cox, J. “Introduction” in Mittelhozler, E. Corentyne Thunder (Peepal Tree Press: Leeds, 2009)