Posted by: ivetteromero | September 3, 2015

Art Exhibition—“Ebony G. Patterson: Dead Treez”


“Ebony G. Patterson: Dead Treez” will be on view at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) Ebony G. Patterson: Dead Treez” from November 10, 2015 to April 3, 2016. MAD is located at 2 Columbus Circle, New York, New York. The show was curated by Karen Patterson.

Description: Dead Treez is a monographic show by Jamaican artist Ebony G. Patterson, who splits her time between Kingston, Jamaica and Lexington, KY.  Incorporating a wide variety of media, Patterson embellishes tapestries, sculptures, and paintings to talk about visibility in terms of class, gender, race, and the media. Her highly embellished, almost illuminated images and objects are intended to attract and seduce the viewer, challenging them not just to look, but to see.

For Dead Treez, Patterson assembled six eye-popping tapestries adorned with glitter, silk flowers, and rhinestones, plus a life-size figural tableau of 10 male mannequins, dressed in a kaleidoscopic mix of floral fabrics. Meant to present a complex vision of what it means to be male in contemporary Jamaican culture, the mannequins are a meditation on dance hall fashion and culture, regarded as a celebration of the disenfranchised in postcolonial Jamaica. Placing in stark contrast what masculinity is, Patterson’s mannequins exhibit an effeminate style that operates to challenge traditional Jamaican expectations for manhood, while her tapestries depict murder victims (as sourced through social media) embellished to seduce viewers into witnessing the underreported brutality experienced by those on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. [. . .]

For more information, see

For more on the Dead Treez series, see previous post Ebony Patterson: Jamaican artist asking tough questions.

Posted by: ivetteromero | September 3, 2015

Kayaking Cuba: Guajimico and Hanabanilla


This is Part Three of a series on kayaking in Cuba by O. Ross McIntyre and Helen Whyte. You may also enjoy reading “Kayaking Cuba, Part One: Bay of Pigs and the Flats” (Part One, the Bay of Pigs) and “Kayaking Cuba, Part Two: Exploring Guama and Cienfuegos” Part Two, Guama and Cienfuegos. Many thanks to kayaker and artist Valerie Storfer for bringing this item to our attention. Here are just a few excerpts:

Southeast of Cienfuegos the mountains push up to the coast and the geography changes dramatically from that we had been paddling in. We turned off the highway to Trinidad onto a short gravel road that dropped fast into a thin strip of land along a diminutive estuary, Guajimico. At its upper end, hidden from the highway and casual viewers, a minute stream enters the sea from amongst the brush. A fine sandy beach that has resulted from its action lies at the head of the estuary. The sloshing of the incoming swells against the rocky sides of the inlet on their way to the sand was music to our ears, and we eagerly climbed the many steps from the parking area to a place where the full sweep of the estuary was visible as it meets sea beyond. Yes, this would be a different type of paddling.

[. . .] Below us on a small mostly level area was the building holding a restaurant and, of course, the bar. Just beyond it a small flock of chickens pecked away at the base of a tree in which some were already roosting. Beyond the tree the land dropped precipitously into the inlet that bent west in a gentle curve towards the sea.

[. . .] The lake is surrounded by a roadless preserve with a hotel and other facilities located at its west end. After a lunch at the hotel we put in the kayaks and headed down the lake into the face of an increasing afternoon wind. We were aiming for a restaurant, Rio Negro, located on the south shore about a third of the way down the lake. As we paddled, we were in the company of heavy fiberglass boats that had been fitted with inboard engines, small four-cycle air cooled gasoline motors, each carrying several passengers. Most of these were returning from Rio Negro where their passengers had been served lunch on a day outing. We were going to spend the night at Rio Negro.

After a tiring paddle into the wind we arrived at the covered dock for the restaurant and ascended the steep path to another example of a “Tahitian palm thatched” restaurant. The complex sits on a small plateau with a lovely view over the lake; it consists of several conical thatched dining rooms and bars on a concrete plaza. Overhanging trees and flowing plants contribute nicely to the ambiance. [. . .]

For full article, see

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 7.42.01 PM

Claudia Rankine has penned a beautiful essay on Serena Williams for The New York Times’ Magazine. Here’s an excerpt, with a link to the full article below.

here is no more exuberant winner than Serena Williams. She leaps into the air, she laughs, she grins, she pumps her fist, she points her index finger to the sky, signaling she’s No. 1. Her joy is palpable. It brings me to my feet, and I grin right back at her, as if I’ve won something, too. Perhaps I have.

There is a belief among some African-Americans that to defeat racism, they have to work harder, be smarter, bebetter. Only after they give 150 percent will white Americans recognize black excellence for what it is. But of course, once recognized, black excellence is then supposed to perform with good manners and forgiveness in the face of any racist slights or attacks. Black excellence is not supposed to be emotional as it pulls itself together to win after questionable calls. And in winning, it’s not supposed to swagger, to leap and pump its fist, to state boldly, in the words of Kanye West, ‘‘That’s what it is, black excellence, baby.’’

Imagine you have won 21 Grand Slam singles titles, with only four losses in your 25 appearances in the finals. Imagine that you’ve achieved two ‘‘Serena Slams’’ (four consecutive Slams in a row), the first more than 10 years ago and the second this year. A win at this year’s U.S. Open would be your fifth and your first calendar-year Grand Slam — a feat last achieved by Steffi Graf in 1988, when you were just 6 years old. This win would also break your tie for the most U.S. Open titles in the Open era, surpassing the legendary Chris Evert, who herself has called you ‘‘a phenomenon that once every hundred years comes around.’’ Imagine that you’re the player John McEnroe recently described as ‘‘the greatest player, I think, that ever lived.’’ Imagine that, despite all this, there were so many bad calls against you, you were given as one reason video replay needed to be used on the courts. Imagine that you have to contend with critiques of your body that perpetuate racist notions that black women are hypermasculine and unattractive. Imagine being asked to comment at a news conference before a tournament because the president of the Russian Tennis Federation, Shamil Tarpischev, has described you and your sister as ‘‘brothers’’ who are ‘‘scary’’ to look at. Imagine.

The word ‘‘win’’ finds its roots in both joy and grace. Serena’s grace comes because she won’t be forced into stillness; she won’t accept those racist projections onto her body without speaking back; she won’t go gently into the white light of victory. Her excellence doesn’t mask the struggle it takes to achieve each win. For black people, there is an unspoken script that demands the humble absorption of racist assaults, no matter the scale, because whites need to believe that it’s no big deal. But Serena refuses to keep to that script. Somehow, along the way, she made a decision to be excellent while still being Serena. She would feel what she feels in front of everyone, in response to anyone. At Wimbledon this year, for example, in a match against the home favorite Heather Watson, Serena, interrupted during play by the deafening support of Watson, wagged her index finger at the crowd and said, ‘‘Don’t try me.’’ She will tell an audience or an official that they are disrespectful or unjust, whether she says, simply, ‘‘No, no, no’’ or something much more forceful, as happened at the U.S. Open in 2009, when she told the lineswoman, ‘‘I swear to God I am [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat.’’ And in doing so, we actually see her. She shows us her joy, her humor and, yes, her rage. She gives us the whole range of what it is to be human, and there are those who can’t bear it, who can’t tolerate the humanity of an ordinary extraordinary person.

Continue reading at


Several hundred people gathered at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park on Monday afternoon to celebrate the life of Kyle Jean-Baptiste, the 21-year old actor who died last week in a fall from a fire escape in Brooklyn, as Andrew R. Chow reports in this article for The New York Times. Mr. Jean-Baptiste was the first African-American to play the role of Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables” on Broadway, as well as the youngest.

Bethesda Fountain was one of his favorite spots, especially to bring a date, said Hannah-Jo Weisberg, a friend. The crowd ended the memorial bysurrounding the fountain and singing the “Les Misérables” anthem “Do You Hear the People Sing?” Friends gave out flowers to those attending and left by the fountain programs from shows in which Mr. Jean-Baptiste appeared.

Every student in the theater program from Mr. Jean-Baptiste’s graduating class of 2015 at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, was present, as well as former classmates from LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan and fellow cast members from theater productions.

The memorial was relatively short. Brandyn Day, Mr. Jean-Baptiste’s best friend, gave the only speech. “He taught me how to love people,” Mr. Day said.

Mr. Day reminisced about Mr. Jean-Baptiste’s quest to make it to Broadway. “He followed Playbill like it was his job,” he said. “When he found out ‘Les Miz’ was coming back to Broadway, he kept saying, ‘I’m going to be in it,’ ” Mr. Day recalled. Mr. Jean-Baptiste was cast as an ensemble member in the musical and as an understudy for the role of Valjean a day after graduating.

“Les Misérables” was one of Mr. Jean-Baptiste’s favorite musicals: He played the police inspector Javert two summers ago at the New London Barn Playhouse for the New Hampshire Summer Stock series, and the student rebel Enjolras last year at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

Victoria Bussert, the director of the music theater program at Baldwin Wallace, recalled Mr. Jean-Baptiste’s prowess from his very first audition. “He came to us without a lot of experience, but with the most immense raw talent I’ve ever encountered,” she said in a telephone interview from Boise, Idaho. “He was certainly at the center of the Baldwin Wallace music theater family.”

Mr. Jean-Baptiste auditioned for “Les Misérables” first by tape during his senior year at Baldwin Wallace, then flew to New York to audition in person. “Everyone was blown away by his voice, his strength, his heart,” said Eric Woodall, a casting director for Tara Rubin Casting who handled the show. Interviewed by phone, Mr. Woodall recalled others in the audition room expressing skepticism about Mr. Jean-Baptiste’s ability because he arrived in a T-shirt. However, when he changed into a collared shirt, “suddenly he had the regalness,” Mr. Woodall said.

The actor was remembered for his love of video games and pranks, and his tendency to sing wherever he went. “If I ever got irritated with him, it’s because we’re on the train, and he’s singing out loud,” said Josue Sinvil, a classmate from LaGuardia. “But I’ve never met a kinder person.”

Ms. Weisberg has organized an online campaign to start a scholarship at Baldwin Wallace in Mr. Jean-Baptiste’s name. The fund-raising goal, $25,000, was reached shortly before the beginning of the memorial ceremony, eliciting cheers from the crowd.

For the original report go to

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 3, 2015

8th Annual Latin American Film Festival


8th Annual Latin American Film Festival

September 18-24, 2015

The Art Theater Co-op, 126 W. Church Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820

Organized by the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at the University of Illinois

This year the festival celebrates the newly reestablished relations with Cuba by screening two Cuban films:

Conducta [Behavior] (Ernesto Daranas, 2014, Drama)

Vestido de novia [His Wedding Dress] (Marilyn Solaya, 2014, Drama)

For the last eight years, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at the University of Illinois has organized a one-week Latin American film festival for the entire community. This year’s festival, running September 18 through September 24, will screen six recent fiction films and one documentary from different countries of the region. This year’s line-up is (click for more information):


ALL OF ME (Mexico)







Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 3, 2015

The Clintons’ Haiti Screw-Up, As Told By Hillary’s Emails


The family still doesn’t know how to wield its own power, Jonathan M. Katz writes in this article for Politico.
It’s hard to find anyone these days who looks back on the U.S.-led response to the January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake as a success, but it wasn’t always that way. Right after the disaster, even as neighborhoods lay in rubble, their people sweltering under tarps, the consensus—outside Haiti—was that America’s “compassionate invasion” (as TIME Magazine called it) had been “largely a success” (Los Angeles Times), offering further proof that “in critical moments of the history of mankind … the United States is, in fact, the indispensable nation” (Expresso, Portugal).

As the latest release of Hillary Clinton’s personal emails by the U.S. State Department Monday revealed, that perception was not an accident. “We waged a very successful campaign against the negative stories concerning our involvement in Haiti,” Judith McHale, the under-secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, wrote on February 26, 2010. A few weeks before, the public affairs chief had emailed newspaper quotations praising U.S. efforts in Haiti to Secretary Clinton with the note “Our Posts at work.” Clinton applauded. “That’s the result of your leadership and a new model of engagement w our own people,” she replied. “Onward!”

But one person even closer to the secretary of state was singing a different tune—very, very quietly. On February 22, after a four-day visit to the quake zone, Chelsea Clinton authored a seven-page memo which she addressed to “Dad, Mom,” and copied their chief aides. That informal report tells a continuing story of the unique brands of power and intelligence wielded by the Clinton family in Haiti and around the world—and of the uniquely Clinton ways they often undermine themselves.

First off, there was the secrecy. The memo—by a Clinton, with a master’s in public health from Columbia University, pursuing a doctorate in international relations from Oxford and with a prominent role at her family’s foundation—would have obliterated the public narrative of helpful outsiders saving grateful earthquake survivors that her mother’s State Department was working so hard to promote. Instead, like so much of the inner workings of the Clintons’ vast network, it was kept secret, released only in an ongoing dump of some 35,000 emails from Hillary’s private server, in response to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit wrapped up in the politics of the 2016 presidential election.

Chelsea Clinton was blunt in her report, confident the recipients would respect her request in the memo’s introduction to remain an “invisible soldier.” She had first come to the quake zone six days after the disaster with her father and then-fiancé, Mark Mezvinsky. Now she was returning with the medical aid group Partners in Health, whose co-founder, Dr. Paul Farmer, was her father’s deputy in his Office of the UN Special Envoy for Haiti. What she saw profoundly disturbed her.

Five weeks after the earthquake, international responders were still in relief mode: U.S. soldiers roamed Port-au-Prince streets on alert for signs of social breakdown, while aid groups held daily coordination meetings inside a heavily guarded UN compound ordinary Haitian couldn’t enter. But Haitians had long since moved on into their own recovery mode, many in displacement camps they had set up themselves, as responders who rarely even spoke the language, Kreyòl, worked around them, oblivious to their efforts.

“The incompetence is mind numbing,” she told her parents. “The UN people I encountered were frequently out of touch … anachronistic in their thinking at best and arrogant and incompetent at worst.” “There is NO accountability in the UN system or international humanitarian system.” The weak Haitian government, which had lost buildings and staff in the disaster, had something of a plan, she noted. Yet because it had failed to articulate its wishes quickly enough, foreigners rushed forward with a “proliferation of ad hoc efforts by the UN and INGOs [international nongovernmental organizations] to ‘help,’ some of which have helped … some of which have hurt … and some which have not happened at all.”

The former first daughter recognized something that scores of other foreigners had missed: that Haitians were not just sitting around waiting for others to do the work. “Haitians in the settlements are very much organizing themselves … Fairly nuanced settlement governance structures have already developed,” she wrote, giving the example of camp home to 40,000 displaced quake survivors who had established a governing committee and a series of sub-committees overseeing security, sanitation, women’s needs and other issues.

“They wanted to help themselves, and they wanted reliability and accountability from their partners,” Chelsea Clinton wrote. But that help was not coming. The aid groups had ignored requests for T-shirts, flashlights and pay for the security committee, and the U.S. military had apparently passed on the committee’s back-up plan that they provide security themselves. “The settlements’ governing bodies—as they shared with me—are beginning to experience UN/INGO fatigue given how often they articulate their needs, willingness to work—and how little is coming their way.”

That analysis went beyond what some observers have taken years to understand, and many others still haven’t: that disaster survivors are best positioned to take charge of their own recovery, yet often get pushed aside by outside authorities who think, wrongly, that they know better. Her report also had more than an echo of the philosophy of her Partners in Health tour guides. More than five years later, her candor and force of insight impress experts. “I am struck by the direct tone and the level of detail,” says Vijaya Ramachandran, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.

But then came the recommendations—and a second classic pitfall. Far from speaking uncomfortable truths to her parents’ power, Chelsea was largely agreeing with their own assessments. At a March UN donors’ conference for Haiti over which Bill and Hillary Clinton presided, the secretary of state would tell the assembled delegates that the global community had to start doing things differently. “It will be tempting to fall back on old habits—to work around the [Haitian] government rather than to work with them as partners, to fund a scattered array of well-meaning projects rather than making the deeper, long-term investments that Haiti needs now,” she said, nearly repeating her daughter’s dismissal of the “ad hoc efforts” that had defined the early response.
Bill Clinton had also long been scathing in his assessments of aid work there. As the Associated Press correspondent in Port-au-Prince before, during and after the quake, I’d followed him on his visits since becoming UN Special Envoy in mid-2009. In public, the former president called for better coordination between NGOs and donors. In private, after long, frustrating days in the Caribbean heat, he’d sometimes just go off, lighting into the nearest staffer about partners’ missed meetings and broken promises. The former president also loved to apologize for his own past actions—destructive food policies which flooded the Haitian market with cheap Arkansas rice, and ordering a crippling embargo that destroyed the Haitian economy during the reign of a 1990s military junta (some of whose members had been on the CIA payroll).
Yet those introspections rarely extend to the present. As anyone who’s covered the Clintons can tell you, they armor themselves with staffers who hit back against almost any hint of criticism—especially when an election is near. The one thing the Clintons never seem to question is the idea that they, personally, should remain in charge. And that is precisely what Chelsea recommended in her report:
“The Office of Special Envoy—i.e., you Dad—needs authority over the UN and all its myriad parts—which I do believe would give you effective authority over [the NGOs].” Her father, the former president, should be a “single point of authority,” she said—overseeing a replacement for the organizational system of government agencies, militaries and NGOs.
The truth is that Bill Clinton was already by far the most powerful individual in this flawed system, with Hillary close behind. She was guiding the U.S. response as secretary of state. He was already UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy for Haiti, head patron of the Clinton Foundation and co-leader of the newly formed Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund. Weeks later the couple would share the dais at the donors conference, where governments and aid groups pledged some $10 billion for Haiti’s recovery. Her father would soon accept the co-chairmanship of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, the quasi-government body charged with allocating many of the funds. (“Finally,” chief of staff Cheryl Mills wrote to the secretary in a March 29, 2010, email, when news of the appointment leaked to the Haitian press.)
The irony is that, after pages of scathing analysis about the failure of international responders to understand and respect ordinary people in Haiti, Chelsea Clinton’s plan would have created an even more powerful foreigner operating at an even greater remove. She did call on this new Super Clinton-led structure to “support the Haitian government,” but noted that it could only build “local capacity and capabilities, where feasible”—a logical loophole the U.S. government would fall back on time and again as it kept to old habits after all, including refusing to provide Haiti’s government with direct budget support.
As it was, that personality-driven leadership style meant the response to the Haiti quake would focus on priorities set by those surrounding them, rather than those of majority of Haitians. The new email tranche shows how quickly the construction of low-wage garment factories and prioritizing exports to the U.S. market came to the center of the U.S.-led response in Haiti. That strategy, authored by economist Paul Collier, was what Bill Clinton had come to Haiti to promote as special envoy before the quake. Little more than two weeks after the disaster, Mills, a former Clinton White House counsel who became her point woman on Haiti, forwarded the secretary a New York Times op-ed by Collier and consultant Jean-Louis Warnholz rebranding the pre-quake strategy as a form of post-quake reconstruction.
“He now works for us,” she noted for her boss, referring to Warnholz.
The new emails also show how Hillary’s staffers brought former Liz Claiborne Inc. executive Paul Charron into the fold to collaborate with Hillary Clinton and Warnholz on helping to make the garment factories a reality. “As I communicated to Jean-Louis, I am happy to be helpful to you and the State Department on this project,” Charron wrote Mills in August 2010. Around that time, Charron made a key phone call to a former Liz Claiborne colleague now working as an advisor for the South Korean garment giant Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd., to encourage that company to come up with an investment plan in Haiti, the New York Times reported two years later.
In 2012, Bill and Hillary Clinton attended the opening of the brand-new, $300 million Caracol Industrial Park in northern Haiti, with Sae-A as the anchor tenant.
Today, there has been little reconstruction in Port-au-Prince. Most quake survivors have moved back into precarious homes, hoping another disaster doesn’t strike. The country is still being ravaged by a cholera epidemic that began nine months after the earthquake and has killed nearly 9,000 people. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have publicly acknowledged this epidemic, unrelated to the quake, was caused by United Nations peacekeepers—who in turn, as Chelsea correctly foresaw, have been able to avoid any semblance of accountability. President Michel Martelly, who Hillary Clinton helped put in office as secretary of state, is struggling to hold the country’s first elections since he took power, with observers watching warily to see if he will leave office next spring.
As for Caracol, the northern industrial park has created just 5,479 out of a promised 60,000 jobs when I visited in the spring, as workers complain about the long hours and low pay. Farmers who once tended land on the property complain they were pushed off without proper compensation (a claim the park’s boosters deny). Many of those living around the park now see it as the embodiment of the powerful Clintons’ disconnect. “They go to the park, but they don’t come to our village, because they care more about the park,” said Cherline Pierre, a 33-year-old resident who signs up would-be laborers near her home, a few miles from the park’s high gates.
All a reader plowing through the email tranche can do is wonder, what might have gone differently had Chelsea Clinton’s insights reached more people in real time, and if the Clintons had applied more of them to themselves. “I wish this had been made public when it was sent,” Ramachandran said of the report. “It might have helped.”

For the original report go to

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 3, 2015

ttff/15 to go Bazodee with world premiere of Machel Montano movie


For decades, soca superstar Machel Montano has enthralled listeners and audiences with his infectious music and electrifying live performances. Now, he makes the leap onto the silver screen with his motion-picture debut in the film Bazodee, which will have its world premiere at the 2015 trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff/15).

The ttff is partnering with Monk Pictures, Indiepelago Films and FilmTT to bring Bazodee and members of its stellar cast to a T&T audience, on Wednesday 23 September from 8.00pm at the historic Globe Cinema in Port of Spain. The stars of the film will travel from India, the USA and the UK to be in Trinidad for the event. The screening will be followed by an after-party at Aria Lounge on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook and will include a short set by Machel Montano.

Tickets for this special event will be on sale at the ttff office, 199 Belmont Circular Road, Belmont, from Friday 4 September. Tickets for the screening (only) cost $250, while tickets for the screening and after-party cost $350. To book your tickets call the Festival office at 621-0709, or email

Bazodee is a musical drama about a rugged soca singer (Lee, played by Montano) who falls for a beautiful young Indian woman (Anita, played by Natalie Perera, a London-born newcomer of Sri Lankan parentage). Anita happens to be engaged to Kumar, a man she doesn’t love (Staz Nair, who’s set to join the cast of Game of Thrones for season eight of the popular show.)

Anita is the daughter of Ram (Bollywood star Kabir Bedi), a secretly deep-in-debt businessman. When Anita encounters Lee, hired at the last minute to perform at her engagement party, sparks fly, and soon the two fall for each other.

Nikhil (UK-based T&T actor Valmike Rampersad), Anita’s malevolent, future brother-in-law, notices. Once he discovers the truth about Ram’s finances, Nikhil threatens to expose everything, forcing Anita to fight for the wealth that truly matters—love.

Bazodee also features acting talents of a number of other T&T actors, including Teneille Newallo, who plays Poorvi, Anita’s cousin; and Cindy F. Daniel, who plays Anita’s servant Lalima.

The long-anticipated Bazodee is directed by Todd Kessler, an award-winning American film and television writer, producer and director. He is the director of the feature film Keith (2008), and co-creator of Nickelodeon’s pre-school series Blue’s Clues.

The world-premiere screening of Bazodee will be preceded by an introduction from Todd Kessler, Machel Montano and Natalie Perera, as well as some of its co-stars. After the screening, patrons can head to Aria Lounge, where they will have the opportunity to mingle with the stars. Machel Montano will perform a short live set at the after-party.

For more information about the ttff/15, visit

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 2, 2015

Roundtable: Anti-Haitianism in the Dominican Republic


Roundtable: Anti-Haitianism in the Dominican Republic

Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 2-5 pm

Florida International University, MARC Pavilion (2nd floor of the MARC Building), 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33199

The Steven J. Green School of Public and International Affairs will be hosting a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 2:00 PM in the MARC Pavilion of FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus. Discussants include Dr. Ernesto Sagás, Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies Department, Colorado State University; Eduardo Gamarra, advisor to politicians from both Haiti and the Dominican Republic; and Dr. Ediberto Román, Professor, Law, FIU. The roundtable will be moderated by Dr. Frank Mora, Professor, Politics and International Relations and Director, Latin American and Caribbean Center and Dr. Jean Muteba Rahier, Professor, Anthropology and Director, AADS.


Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 2, 2015

CFP: Race, Religion, Culture and Education in the Caribbean



Proposed book: Race, Religion, Culture and Education in the Caribbean

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit proposals for chapters in a forthcoming book titled Race, Religion, Culture and Education in the Caribbean.

The proposed book will focus on the relationship between race, religion, culture and education in the Anglophone Caribbean. It will investigate the crossroads between ethnic diversity (anthropology) and teaching and learning in the region. The edited volume will seek to address the following questions: How, why and where do various ethnic groups learn, perform and behave differently? How is schooling organized in various ethnic-based educational institutions? How are dissimilar cultures transmitted covertly and overtly in schools? What insights can anthropology give into practical problems encountered in teaching and learning? The book will also explore several educational and anthropological theories that provide lenses for understanding the intersection between sociology, cultural studies and education.

Target audience: Academic instructors, administrators, advisors, counsellors, and policy and programme specialists in high schools, colleges and universities in the multi-ethnic Caribbean

Abstract submission guidelines

Abstracts must not be more than 250 words in English, and must be formatted as follows:

  1. TITLE OF PAPER: Use bold type. Do not use abbreviations.
  2. AUTHOR/S: Begin on a new line two spaces below the title. Include only the highest academic qualification achieved in/and the subject area.
  3. INSTITUTION: Begin on a new line immediately below Author/s.
  4. CONTACT: Include email and postal addresses and phone number in the next line.
  5. TEXT: Begin text on a new line, two line-spaces below, and arrange under the following headings: (i) Objective: State the main objective/research question/hypothesis of the study.

(ii) Design & Methods: Briefly describe how the study was conducted by indicating sampling, sample size, procedures, measurements, etc.

(iii) Results: State the outcome of the research or the findings of the data analysis.

(iv) Conclusion: Limit to only those points directly supported by the results. Be as clear and specific as possible about the “take home” messages.

Abstract deadline: Sunday November 29, 2015

Abstract acceptance notification: Sunday December 27, 2015

Chapter (≤ 5000 words in APA style) submission deadline: Sunday April 24, 2016

Tentative book publication deadline: August 31, 2016

Editor: Dr. Kumar Mahabir (Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Florida), Assistant Professor, Centre for Education Programmes, University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT)


Tel: (868) 674-6008, Tel/fax: (868) 675-7707, Mobile (868) 756-4961

Sources: (August 24, 2015) and;fe1ac944.1508 (August 27, 2015)


Symposium: “American Occupations: The United States and the Caribbean in the 20th Century”

Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

Thursday, November 19, 2015

9:30 am – 5:00 pm


Harvey Neptune (Temple University)

Shalini Puri (University of Pittsburgh)

Valerie Scoon (Florida State University)

Matthew J. Smith (University of the West Indies, Mona)

In July 1915, 330 US Marines landed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and began an occupation that would last 19 years. The United States military had already occupied Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic would follow in 1916.

This seminar takes the centenary of the US occupation of Haiti as an opportunity to reconsider that occupation in the context of other prominent American interventions in the 20-th century Caribbean, specifically Trinidad during World War II and Grenada in the Cold War 1980s.

Leading scholars will address the causes, effects, and implications of each American occupation. Why did the United States intervene in each case, and how did US policy in the Caribbean evolve during the 20th century? Importantly, speakers will consider the enduring consequences of each occupation in the Caribbean itself—what long-term effect did these events have on notions of race, culture, sovereignty, and independence?

FSU film professor Valerie Scoon will also screen her recent film Grenada: Colonialism and Conflict.

For more information go to

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