Symposium—Collaborating across the Divide: Digital Humanities and the Caribbean

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The symposium “Collaborating across the Divide: Digital Humanities and the Caribbean” will take place September 21-22, 2017, at the University of Florida (in Gainesville, Florida). We’re hoping that folks involved in Caribbean Studies from around the region might be able to attend, with this event both focusing on and being an opportunity for facilitating collaborations. All events are free and open to the public and will take place in the Smathers Library, room 100.

Description: Digital technology has made the early twenty-first century a critical moment of opportunity by providing access to a wide range of library and archival materials and by offering new means of teaching, analyzing content, and presenting literary scholarship. While digital technologies have the promise of bridging institutional and geographic barriers, they have also continued to reproduce colonial hierarchies and marginalize content from the Caribbean and the Global South. This symposium, “Collaborating Across the Divide: Digital Humanities and the Caribbean,” brings together scholars and artists from the Caribbean and the United States to discuss how to collaborate through digital humanities in ways that decolonize knowledge and empower Caribbean subjects, rather than reaffirm colonial histories of archiving and education.  The project will center on the Digital Library of the Caribbean (www.dloc.com), an international partnership. The objective of the symposium is to produce an action plan for making dLOC a hub for pedagogical, scholarly, and artistic collaboration.

Schedule:

Thursday, 21 Sept., 5-6:45pm: Introduction and Presentation: Oonya Kempadoo and Schuyler Esprit

Friday, 22 Sept.:

9-10:45am: Panel: Rosamond King and Matthew Smith

10:45-11am: Break

11am-12:45pm: Panel: Gabriele Hosein and Schuyler Esprit

12:45-2:15pm: Lunch Break

2:15-3:15pm: Panel: Thomas Hale and others

3:15-3:30pm: Break

3:30-5pm, Roundtable:

5-5:15pm: Closing remarks

Speakers:

OONYA KEMPADOO is author of Buxton Spice (1997), Tide Running (2001), and All Decent Animals (2013); winner of the Casa de Las Americas Prize (2002), and consultant in the arts and social development, including work with UNICEF, UNAID. She was Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence and Creative Writing Instructor (2013-2014) at two colleges in Connecticut; and serves advisor to Caribbean literacy non-profit “Hands Across the Sea” and co-founder of the Grenada Community Library & Resource Center in St George’s Grenada. An internationally acclaimed novelist, she is a leader in digital arts and educational collaboration in the Caribbean. Kempadoo has initiated two digital projects to support environmental sustainability in the Caribbean. The first, Naniki, is a speculative fiction, multi-media, eco-social project designed to engage students in the Caribbean and other countries in using digital technology and supporting environmental sustainability. The second, Carisealand, is a digital platform for scholars, artists, and the public for sharing projects on sustainability, designed and built by Create Caribbean Research Institute and its students (Dominica State College).

SCHUYLER ESPRIT is a scholar of Caribbean literature and cultural studies. Dr. Esprit holds a PhD in English literature from University of Maryland – College Park. She currently serves as dean of Academic Affairs at Dominica State College as well as director of the Create Caribbean Research Institute. She has pioneered Digital Humanities projects and digital technology training at the K-12 and College level in Dominica as well as collaboratively, linking classes at the Dominica State College and classes at colleges in the United States. She is now completing her book manuscript and its digital companion, both entitled Occasions for Caribbean Reading, a historical exploration of reading culture in the Caribbean.

GABRIELLE HOSEIN, Director of the Institute for Gender & Development Studies, at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine (Trinidad), which is home to several significant digital and public humanities projects, including Caribbean Review of Gender Studies, an open access peer-reviewed journal, of which Hosein is associate editor. Hosein is Principle Investigator for Politics, Power and Gender Justice in the Anglophone Caribbean, 2011-2014, member of the research team for the project Building Responsive Policy: Gender, Sexual Cultures and HIV & AIDS in the Caribbean, 2008-2011, and co-editor of Indo-Caribbean Feminist Thought Genealogies, Theories, Enactments (Palgrave 2016).

MATTHEW J. SMITH is Professor in History and Head, Department of History and Archaeology, The UWI, Mona. His areas of research include Haitian politics, society, and migration. He is the author of the books Liberty, Fraternity, Exile: Haiti and Jamaica After Emancipation (University of North Carolina Press, 2014), winner of the Haiti Illumination Project Book Prize from the Haitian Studies Association, and Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957 (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) which was a winner of the Gordon K and Sybil Lewis prize for best book in Caribbean History from the Caribbean Studies Association. He had contributed significantly to dLOC’s teacher training program and to its edited collection Haiti: An Island Luminous; his service work utilizes the digital for critical needs, including as Director of UWI-Mona’s Haiti Initiative following the 2010 earthquake providing assistance to Haitian university students and the Haitian national library, his work serving as Director of the UWI’s Social History Project, and as member of the Board of Museums and Archives of the Institute of Jamaica.

ROSAMOND KING (Associate Professor of English, Brooklyn College, CUNY) is a critical and creative writer and artist, whose work focuses on the Caribbean and sexuality. Her book Island Bodies: Transgressive Sexualities in the Caribbean Imagination won the 2015 Caribbean Studies Association Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Prize for the best Caribbean Studies Book. She is also a poet, artist, and performer with an extensive record of publications and performances. She is also a leader in digitizing LBGTQ archival materials from the Caribbean for dLOC and has collaboratively developed and taught with Dr. Angelique Nixon, a distributed online collaborative course (DOCC) in the US and Caribbean on sexualities.

THOMAS HALE was one of the founders of the African Literature Association, a field of study that developed in the early 1970s. Two of his early books reflect this initiative: The Teaching of African Literature and Artist and Audience: African Literature as a Shared Experience. He devoted several decades to research and publication on the oral traditions in West Africa, where he recorded epics narrated by griots, professional bards who maintain the cultural heritage of peoples in the Sahel region. He is also a prominent scholar on Aimé Césaire and has recently developed an online annotated bibliography of Césaire: http://lesecritscesaire.libraries.psu.edu/. He served as head of the Department of French and Francophone Studies at the Pennsylvania State University from 2001 to 2008.

For additional information, please contact Laurie Taylor (laurien@ufl.edu).

Program Team Members: Leah Rosenberg, Randi Gill-Sadler, Prea Persaud; Chelsea Dinsmore, Tace Hedrick, Emily Hind, Maria Rogal,  Malini Johar Schueller, Maya Stanfield-Mazzi, Dhanashree Thorat, Laurie Taylor

See full event details online at http://digitalhumanities.group.ufl.edu/event/collaborating-across-the-divide-digital-humanities-and-globalization-sept-21-23-2017/

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