ICS Panel Discussion: America’s Virgin Islands, A History of Rights and Wrongs

As part of its Conferencias Caribeñas 7 lecture series for the 2010-2011 academic year, the Institute of Caribbean Studies of the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras (UPR-RP), invites the academic community and the general public to the panel “Conversación con el Dr. William W. Boyer en ocasión de la segunda edición de su libro America’s Virgin Islands: A History of Rights and Wrongs (2010)” with Dr. William  W. Boyer (Professor Emeritus Charles Polk Messick, Department of Political Science and International Relations, and Visiting Scholar at the Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research, University of Delaware). Dr. Dale Matthews (Research Associate, ICS, and Professor at the School of Business Administration, UPR-RP), Dr. Lomarsh Roopnarine (University of the Virgin Islands) and Wilfredo A. Géigel (Society of Virgin Islands Historians) will be panelists.

The activity will be held on Thursday, December 2, from 1:00 to 3:00pm in Amphitheatre REB 238 (Ramón Emeterio Betances Building), School of Social Sciences, Puerto Rico-Río Piedras.

Book description: This second edition of America’s Virgin Islands by William W. Boyer is the only history of the United States’ territory covering the period from 1492 to 2010. Especially emphasized is the period since 1917 when the U.S. acquired the Islands from Denmark. Constituting three small Caribbean islands—St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John—each is unique, but together they are widely known as a favorite tourist destination featuring sun, sand and surf.

In many respects, the territory is a microcosm of the human family. The diversity of its physical environment is matched by the diversity of its people. The focal point of the book is a record of the struggle of the Islanders’ greater number as slaves, then serfs, and lastly as citizens to gain control of their own destiny. Broadly conceived, this is a history of human rights and human wrongs. The author does not merely portray the history of the Islands and their people; he also shows how the Islanders share the same aspirations as other colonial subjects. In so doing he taps previously unused sources.

The relationship between the USA and the Virgin Islands has been marked by indifference and vacillation on the part of American officials. Moreover, the thousands of tourists who flock to the territory annually are unaware of the Islands’ checkered and rich history. For many, the Islands are simply a tropical paradise. America’s Virgin Islands is a fascinating, extensively documented, and detailed source of information, valuable to those interested in a political and cultural perspective, to those interested in African American or Caribbean history, and likewise to those who live in or visit the Islands.

This activity will be broadcast LIVE online via http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cc71. Comments and suggestions on this presentation will be very welcome at iec@uprrp.edu.

For further information, you may call Dr. Humberto García Muñiz, Director, at (787) 764-0000, extension 4212, or write to iec@uprrp.edu

For more information on the book, see http://www.cap-press.com/books/isbn/9781594606878/America’s+Virgin+Islands

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