Around the Corner: SALISES’ Fifty-Fifty Conference: “Critical Reflections in a Time of Uncertainty”

Fifty-Fifty: Critical Reflections in a Time of Uncertainty,” hosted by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies-Mona, will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, from August 20 to 24, 2012.

Guest speakers will include Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves; Jamaican Minister of Finance Dr. Peter Phillips; Leader of the Opposition in Jamaica, Andrew Holness; Chancellor of UWI and former Director of the Pan American Health Organisation Sir George Alleyne; United Kingdom MP Diane Abbott (of Jamaican descent); professors emeriti of UWI Norman Girvan and Selwyn Ryan; and historian Verene Shepherd.

Description:  Jamaica and T&T’s golden jubilees are cause for great celebration, especially given their performance at the Olympics; but also, a time for deep reflection.

When Usain Bolt’s image flashed across the British Houses of Parliament in the run-up to the Olympics, it proved just how powerful Brand Bolt and, by extension, Brand Jamaica, has become – more powerful, some might argue, than that of the British Monarchy. When so many Jamaicans are celebrities, the issue of celebrity rights is a serious economic issue. Two papers presented at a law and justice conference in February focused on celebrity rights and the setting up on an image rights registry in Jamaica. The conference was hosted by SALISES at UWI, Mona, as part of its massive “Fifty-Fifty” project to mark Jamaica and T&T’s golden jubilees.

SALISES will present its “final” analysis of Jamaica’s social and economic issues over the last half-century when scholars from across the region gather at [this] mega conference. The conference will be a forum to discuss the last half-century of independence in the Commonwealth Caribbean, in particular Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago; the successes and the failures; the best and worst practices; and possible solutions to the region’s myriad problems.

Already, SALISES has hosted or collaborated on 30 conferences and seminars over the last two years, spanning politics (featuring former prime ministers Edward Seaga, PJ Patterson and Portia Simpson Miller); gender and development; children’s issues; law and justice; the Grenadian revolution; education; social policy; climate change; and rural resilience.

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