Conference Honoring Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott in Trinidad

The Department of Liberal Arts, Faculty of Humanities and Education, University of the West Indies-St. Augustine will host a conference honoring Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott under the theme “Interlocking Basins of a Globe” on January 12-15, 2010, in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

Paper topics will originate from a range of standpoints to approach Walcott’s work, such as the politics of exile and belonging; literary ghosts and confreres; the visual imagination; rethinking the sublime; time, landscape, and myth; Caribbean contestation; and Walcott as critic, commentator, and journalist.

The organizers describe the conference focus:

Poet, playwright, essayist, critic, dramatist and painter, Derek Walcott, is recognized as one of the world’s greatest living writers. Among his many awards and honors is the Nobel Prize for Literature which he won in 1992. The conference “Interlocking Basins of a Globe” will explore the multifaceted nature of Walcott’s work. It invites reflections on his evolving thought and analyses of Caribbean civilization – his beloved Antilles, and the cartography of its origins. His far-ranging poetic imagination gives metaphoric expression to the creative possibilities of the ambivalences that exist within the New World psyche.  Its axes of loss and plenitude form the ground of unprecedented possibility, facilitating unique intersections between cultures that enable a leap into the new. Walcott theorizes the world of the Americas.

Walcott’s vision evolves from a desire to inhabit and be nourished by multiple worlds simultaneously. On the one hand, this response to New World history and sensibility has been, in some measure, shaped by his lifelong dialogue with the work and theories of other Caribbean creators and thinkers; and, on the other, from his acknowledged apprenticeship to literary ancestors and his collaboration with writers from across the globe. These streams have fed debates about the nature of his relationship to the Caribbean, and to Europe, Africa and Asia.  His many essays and commentaries often respond to such concerns and the politics of that relation contribute to the complex tapestry of his drama and poetry. 

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