States of Freedom: Freedom of States Symposium (2010)



June 16-June 18, 2010

University of West Indies, Mona/Duke University


–About the Symposium

–Program Schedule

–Notes on Presenters


Mona’s Visitor’s Lodge| University of West Indies, Mona

Welcome to the first international and multidisciplinary symposium being sponsored jointly by the University of the West Indies and Duke University. This joint venture, is framed by a timely signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the University of the West Indies and Duke University in 2009, which intends to: strengthen the UWI partnership with Duke University; foster productive intellectual exchanges; sharpen our academic research agenda and support possible future faculty and student exchanges.

The grounding of our symposium however emerged out of conversations between Caribbeanists in the region and Caribbeanist faculty at Duke. Caribbeanists housed in different departments at Duke have been meeting over the years, for talks, seminars, and symposia. More recently, the 2007 symposium on ‘Race, Space, Place: The Making and Unmaking of Freedoms and Unfreedoms in the Atlantic World and Beyond,’ supported by the Common Fund, brought Caribbeanists into conversation with other scholars to begin the creation of collaborations around broader themes, in order to stress the relationality of places and their social, cultural, economic, and political histories in modern ‘world systems.’

The motivation behind the overarching theme of this symposium, States of Freedom: Freedom of States, stems not thus only from a concern to think about questions of freedom in Caribbean studies from within the region, but also from a desire to consider these issues against the background of different understandings of freedom, and in light of paradoxical trends in the experience of such freedoms given complex historical, economical, political and cultural forces affecting the region. The historical encounter and fusion of cultures in the Caribbean is known as “creolization,” is considered to be the genesis of the particular orientations through which both enslaved and indentured, citizens and subjects, reconstituted their place, selves, or cultural bodies, and articulated and re-imagined particular notions of freedom. Under these ‘creolized’ but non-cosmopolitan conditions, Caribbean placed diasporas achieved many historical “firsts,” including the first ‘free’ black republic, in Haiti in 1804.This symposium will explore Haiti’s efforts, and the tragic dilemmas encountered in seeking to claim its place, not just as a local zone of triumph over colonial order, but also internationally.

In general the symposium will engage with the following areas of inquiry: How are notions of governance practiced and contested within and across national spaces in relationship to slavery and plantation (and post-plantation) economies? How are states of freedoms and unfreedoms being imagined, performed and represented in politics, the visual and cultural arts, as well as in literature, and how are these indicative of of the particular ways that knowledge, places, power, people, and ideas have been creolized/kreyòlized?

We wish to acknowledge with deep gratitude the sponsors of this historic venture. In particular, the office of the Provost, Duke University, the Duke University Center for International Studies (DUCIS), the Office of the Principal, Mona, the Vice Chancellor’s Office at the University of the West Indies, and the Dean of the Faculties of the Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as the Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), Mona. The symposium’s organizing committee is composed by: Duke University, Michaeline Crichlow (AAAS and Sociology), Deborah Jenson (Romance Studies); UWI-Mona, Patricia Northover (SALISES, Mona), Matthew Smith (Department of History& Archaeology), Sonjah Stanley-Niaah (Institute of Caribbean Studies).

We have a strong balance of scholars engaging in discussions on mutual research and academic interests over the course of the symposium. And we expect that this project will help to establish the goals of the MOU, and act as a platform for longer term collaborations that would enhance the flow of ideas on the critical issues of sovereignty, freedom, citizenship and governance within the Caribbean. Your participation in this symposium will help us realize this goal.



4:00 – 4:30


4:30 – 5:00

Chair, Dr. Matthew Smith, Department of History & Archaeology, UWI Mona

Welcome & Introductions

Prof. E. Nigel Harris — Vice-Chancellor, UWI
Prof. Brian Meeks — Director, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, UWI Mona
Dr. Mark Figueroa — Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI Mona

Introduction of Keynote Speaker Prof. Michaeline Crichlow
African and African American Studies, Duke University

5:00 – 5:40

Keynote Speaker
Prof. J. Lorand Matory Chair, African and African American Studies, Duke University
Paper Title -Free to Be a Slave: Slavery as Metaphor in the Afro-Atlantic Religions

5:40 – 6:00


6:00 – 6:30

Book Launch

Introduction by: Prof. Sean Metzger (Duke University)
Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination: Notes on Fleeing the Plantation Michaeline Crichlow with Patricia Northover (2009 Duke University Press)


Refreshment Break


DAY 2, THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2010

8:00 – 8:45 am


8:45 – 9:00 am

Welcome and Chair – Michaeline Crichlow (Professor African and African American Studies, Duke University)

9:00 – 10:40 am

Session A: Times of Entanglement – Historical struggles for Caribbean Freedoms

Chair: Patrick Bryan (Dept. of History and Archaeology, UWI Mona)

Paper 1: Jessica Byron (Department of Government, UWI Mona) – G.K. Lewis and Reflections on Sovereignty in the Caribbean Context from colonial nationalism to the present day.

Paper 2: Beverly Shirley (Open Campus, UWI Mona) – Powerful or Powerless?: Understanding the Gender of Leadership and the Leadership of Gender

Paper 3: Walter Mignolo (Romance Studies and Literature, Duke University) – Independent Thought and Decolonial Freedom: The Legacy of Sir Lloyd Best


10:40 – 11:00 am


11:00 – 12:40 pm

Session B: HAITI PANEL- From the First State of Freedom to a State of Emergency

Chair: Matthew Smith (Dept. of History and Archaeology, UWI Mona)
Paper 1: Julia Gaffield (Department of History, Duke University) – “So Many Schemes in Agitation”: British Negotiations with Haitian Leaders, 1804-1805

Paper 2: Deborah Jenson (French Studies and Romance Studies, Duke University) – States of Ghetto, Ghetto of States: Jean-Jacques Dessalines and the Sovereignty of Words

Paper 3: Jermaine McCalpin (Department of Government, UWI Mona) -Freedom, Truth and Justice in the Caribbean: an Examination of Truth Commission Experiments in Haiti and Grenada

Paper 4: Jean Casimir (State University of Haiti) -Wanted: Haitian Governments in Search of a National State


12:40 – 2:00 pm

LUNCH (Mona Visitors’ Lodge)

2:00 – 3:20 pm

Session C: Postcolonial Sovereignties – Citizenship, Statehood, and the Politics of Freedom

Chair: Trevor Munroe (Professor of Government and Politics – Visiting Fellow, SALISES, UWI Mona)

Paper 1: Michaeline Crichlow (African and African American Studies, Duke University) – Power and Its Subjects: ‘Good’ Governance Dilemmas under Contemporary Globalization Processes

Paper 2: Tennyson S.D. Joseph (UWI, Cave Hill) – Sovereignty For Sale: The China-Taiwan Diplomatic Tussle and the Politics of Materialism in Saint Lucia (Consequences for Caribbean Democracy)

Paper 3:
Sean Metzger (English and Theatre Studies, Duke University) -Incorporating: On Chinese/Trinidadian Cultural Production, Speculation, and the State


3:20 – 3:40 pm


3:40 – 5:00 pm

Session D: Liminal Acts of Freedom – Interrogating Freedoms through literature, ‘culture’, movement and performance

Chair: Claudette Williams (Professor of Hispanic and Caribbean Literature, Dept of Modern Languages and Literatures, UWI Mona)

Paper 1: Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw (French and Francophone Literature, UWI, St. Augustine) – The Poetics of Freedom and The Freedom of Poetics

Paper 2: Warrick Lattibeaudierre (Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, UWI Mona) – From Chameleon to Matador and back; towards a feminist politics of change in Montero’s del Rojo de su Sombra, Chamoiseau’s Texaco and Confiant’s Mamzelle Libellule

Paper 3: Taiwo Adetunji Osinubi (Département d’études anglaises, Département d’études anglaises, Université de Montréal) – Caribbean-African Relationalities, Or, Remainders of Formal Autonomy



DAY 3, FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2010

8:30 – 9:00 am


9:00 – 10:30 am

Session E: PLENARY

Welcome & Chair: Deborah Jenson Professor of French Studies Duke University

Introduction of Keynote Speaker:
Patricia Northover Fellow, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, UWI Mona

Keynote Address: Rupert Lewis Professor of Political Thought Department of Government, UWI Mona; & Associate Director of the Center for Caribbean Thought, UWI, Mona

Paper Title: Engaging the Crisis of Contemporary Caribbean Politics

10:30 – 10:50 am


10:50 – 12:10 pm

Session F: The Politics of making and unmaking Freedoms in the Caribbean

Chair: Jermaine McCalpin (Department of Government, UWI Mona)

Paper 1: Eris Schoburgh (Department of Government, UWI Mona) – ‘Informal Citizenship’ – Conceptualizing expressions of freedom in contemporary developing societies

Paper 2: Jahlani Niaah (Institute of Caribbean Studies, UWI Mona) – ‘Polite Violence’ and Rastafari’s Pedagogy of Freedom

Paper 3: Brian Meeks (SALISES, UWI Mona) – Labour Day Crisis in Jamaica: First Impression

Paper 4: Nyan Whittingham (Department of Government, UWI Mona) – Fighting for Freedom: Local Government’s role in delivering states from a state of un-freedom amidst global trends


12:10 – 1:10 pm


1:10 – 2:50 pm

Session G: The Political Economy of (Un)Freedoms in the Caribbean and beyond

Chair: Peter Clegg (Visiting Fellow, SALISES, UWI Mona)

Paper 1: Kenneth Surin (Chair of Literature Programme, Duke University) – Revising the Delinking Strategy: Is there a Caribbean Model, or, Can Lessons be Learned from CLR James and Walter Rodney?

Paper 2: Richard Rosa (Department of Romance Studies, Duke University) – Governing Tourism: representation, domination and freedom in Puerto Rico: 1949

Paper 4: Patricia Northover (SALISES, UWI Mona) – Abject Blackness, Hauntologies of Development and the Demand for Authenticity-A Critique of Sen’s ‘Development as Freedom’


2:50 – 3:10 pm


3:10 – 4:50 pm

Session H: The Arts of Creolization: Visual politics and expressions for freedoms

Chair: Annie Paul (SALISES, UWI Mona)

Paper 1: Carolyn Cooper (Department of Literatures and English, UWI Mona) – Caribbean Fashion Week: Creolising Beauty in “Out of Many One” Jamaica

Paper 2: Veerle Poupeye (National Gallery of Jamaica) – The Iconography Of Freedom And Bondage In Modern And Contemporary Jamaican Art

Paper 3:
Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián (Spanish and Latin American Studies, Duke University) -Exorbitance: Toward a Political Aesthetics of Inter-Atlantic Insularity


4:50 – 5:00 pm

Conference Closing
Patricia Northover, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, UWI Mona

5:00 – 6:30 pm

Cocktails & Cultural Event

Notes on Presenters

Jessica Byron, a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica. Her undergraduate and initial postgraduate training was done at UWI, Cave Hill and St. Augustine campuses. She holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, University of Geneva, Switzerland. Before coming to lecture at UWI Mona in 1994, she lectured at the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands, before that working as a diplomat for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. She has been a visiting lecturer at the Universite Antilles-Guyane in Guadeloupe and at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in San Andres, Colombia. Her research interests include hemispheric and regional integration, European-Caribbean relations, small states and the multilateral system. She has been a member of the Junta Ejecutiva of CRIES, a Steering Committee member of the Globalization Studies Network, a member of the Caribbean Studies Association, the Latin American Studies Association and the International Studies Association. She is currently one of the convenors of the Building Global Democracy Programme, based at Warwick University.

Jean Casimir is a Professor at the Faculty of Human Sciences of the State University of Haiti, where he teaches courses on culture and society of Haiti and the Caribbean . He received his formal training in Sociology and Anthropology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), with a particular focus on studies of social change and development. He earned his PhD from UNAM. He has held research and teaching positions in the Congo, Brazil , and Mexico . He has also held various positions with the United Nations, including among others United Nations Social Affairs Officer, and a position with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, all the while continuing his academic studies on Haiti . More recently, he served as Haiti ‘s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American States for approximately 10 years. His publications include the books La Cultura Oprimida (1980), La Caraibe, une et divisible (English version The Caribbean: One and Divisible , 1992), Ayiti Toma, Haiti Chérie (2000), Pa Bliye 1804, Souviens-toi de 1804 (2004), and Libète, Egalite…sou wout fratènite, Liberté, Égalité…en route vers la Fraternité (2005), as well as countless book chapters and articles on Haitian culture, history and development.

Michaeline A. Crichlow teaches in African and African American Studies at Duke University. She is the author (with Patricia Northover) of Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination: Notes of Fleeing the Plantation (2009); Negotiating Caribbean Freedom: Peasants and the State in Development (2005); Co-Editor of a special issue of the journal Cultural Dynamics on Race, Space and Place: The Making and Unmaking of Freedoms in the Atlantic World, (November 2009), Editor of the forthcoming special issue, “Carnival Crossfire: Art, Culture, Politics” of the journal Social Identities: Journal of Race, Nation and Culture (July 2010); and Co-Editor of Informalization: Process and Structure (2000). She is currently writing on citizenship and development under globalization in Fiji, the D.R. and South Africa.

Julia Gaffield is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Duke University. Her dissertation studies the early independence period in Haiti and seeks to understand the diverse relationships that state leaders in Haiti held with the international community. Her interest in Caribbean history began at the University of Toronto, Canada where she completed a BA and then at York University, Canada where she completed a master’s in history. Julia published an article in the Journal of Social History in 2007 entitled “Complexities of Imagining Haiti: A Study of National Constitutions, 1801-1807.”

Valérie Gobert-Sega is a PhD candidate supervised by Professors Myriam Cottias (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) and Catherine Labrusse-Riou (University of Paris). Her research focuses on law of family and family relationships between the three groups of population in the French slave colonial space from the beginning of the colonization up to the abolition of slavery in 1848. Her research explores French archival sources to analyze the dissonant interpretations of ties between family, freedom and slavery in front of the courts of justice and to examine the consequences of these colonial case laws on the Antilles’ legal culture.

Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Duke University. He lectures on Caribbean texts and visual culture, the historical avant-gardes, and colonial Latin America. His research interests include visual, gender, and race theories of the Hispanic and Francophone Caribbean and the modern Atlantic. He has published articles on Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Canary Islands, and Atlantic studies. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled On Tropical Grounds. Insularity and the Avant-Garde in the Caribbean and the Canary Islands.

Deborah Jenson is Professor of French Studies at Duke. Her forthcoming book Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution (Liverpool UP) introduces the Haitian literary traditions that emerged from the Haitian Revolution itself. Jenson has published numerous articles on political texts produced by revolutionary leaders Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, popular Creole poetry representing the voices of Haiti’s libertine courtesans or sex workers, tropes of kidnapping and disaster in Haitian letters, Haitian “bovarysm,” and other subjects; she is also the editor of the “Haiti Issue” of Yale French Studies. In the field of nineteenth century French studies, Jenson has published the book Trauma and Its Representations: The Social Life of Mimesis in Post-Revolutionary France, editions of Desbordes-Valmore’s colonial novella Sarah, and articles on topics such as Marx against mimesis, and mirror revolutions. With Warwick Anderson and Richard Keller, she is publishing a volume on psychoanalysis and colonialism, Unconscious Dominions, forthcoming with Duke University Press. Jenson has developed and co-taught a series of Creole studies courses at Duke, and is co-director of the Duke Franklin Humanities Institute “Haiti Lab” with Laurent Dubois.

Tennyson S. D. Joseph is currently a Temporary Lecturer in Political Science, UWI, Cave Hill. He attained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2001. His teaching and research interests revolve around Caribbean Political Thought, Globalisation and Anti-colonialism, Sovereignty and Decolonization and the post-1945 Politics of Saint Lucia. His publications include At the Rainbow’s Edge: Collected Speeches of Kenny D. Anthony (co-edited with Didacus Jules) and General Elections and Voting in the English-Speaking Caribbean 1992-2005 (co-authored with Cynthia Barrow-Giles). His PhD Thesis Decolonisation in the Era of Globalisation: The Independence Experience of St. Lucia, has been accepted for publication by the University of Mississippi Press (UPM) and is expected to be published in 2010. It will be published under the title: Limited Sovereignty: Decolonisation and Politics Under Globalisation in St. Lucia (1945-2009). In addition to his academic work, Tennyson Joseph has been actively engaged in the Political Life of his country, St. Lucia and served briefly as an Opposition Senator in the Parliament of Saint Lucia in 2007.

Rupert Lewis is Professor of Political Thought in the Department of Government, Associate Director of the Centre for Caribbean Thought and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences, the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. He is the author and editor of some six books mainly on the Garvey movement, Walter Rodney and numerous articles. He recently co-edited the volume George Padmore: Pan-African Revolutionary. He is a member of the Council of the Institute of Jamaica and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the African-Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank. He is also Chairman of the “Friends of Liberty Hall – The Legacy of Marcus Garvey”, comprising a multimedia museum, library, an outreach project in downtown Kingston and a journal 76 King St. He is a member of the Jamaica Reparations Commission appointed by the Government of Jamaica which began work in May 2009.

Warrick Lattibeaudiere is a PhD candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. His field of study is Spanish/French Comparative Literatures and Caribbean Identity politics. His research focuses on the works of Patrick Chamoiseau (Texaco) Raphael Confiant Mamzelle Libellule) and Mayra Montero (Del Rojo de su sombra, Como un mensajero tuyo).

Susan P. Mains is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Her research focuses on the themes of mobility, identity, transnationalism, and postoclonialism in relation to Jamaican migration and tourism, Caribbean and Colombian communities, and media representations of place. She is currently working on a documentary film titled Ackee, Burgers, and Chips: An ABC of Jamaican Migration, as well as an accompanying book. Her articles have appeared in Social and Cultural Geography, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, Hagar: International Review of Social Science, and other journals and book chapters. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Qualitative Research Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers and can be contacted by email at:

J. Lorand Matory is Chair and Lawrence Richardson Professor of African and African American Studies, Duke University. Prof. Matory is the author of Sex and the Empire That Is NoMore: Gender and the Politics of Metaphor in Oyo Yoruba Religion (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press 1994; Second, Revised Edition, New York and London: Berghahn Books, 2005); and Black Atlantic Religion: Tradition, Transnationalism and Matriarchy in the Afro- Brazilian Candomblé (Princeton; Princeton University Press, 2005).

Jermaine McCalpin is a lecturer in Transitional Justice and Political Institutions and Associate Director for the Centre for Caribbean Thought, Department of Government, UWI Mona.

Brian Meeks (SALISES, UWI Mona) Email:

Sean Metzger is an Assistant Professor of English and Theater Studies at Duke University, where he is also affiliated with Arts of the Moving Image, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and Women’s Studies. He has co-edited two volumes: /Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen/ /Cultures /(Intellect, 2009) with Olivia Khoo and /Embodying Asian/American Sexualities/ (Lexington, 2009) with Gina Masequesmay. He has also a co-edited a special issue of the journal Cultural Dynamics (Nov 2009) with Michaeline Crichlow.

Walter D. Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies and Literature at Duke University and Director of the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities ( Most relevant publications: The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, territoriality and colonization (1995) was award the Catherine Singers Kovacs Prize, the MLA Convention of 1996. Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges and Border Thinking was published by Princeton U.P. (2000) and translated into Spanish and Portuguese. The Idea of Latin America (2005), received the Frantz Fanon Award from the Philosophical Caribbean Association in 2006. His forthcoming book, The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options (forthcoming, Duke University Press). He co-edits WKO,, a web dossier. Last but not least, slowly works in his own blog (

Jahlani Niaah currently is employed as a lecturer in the Institute of Caribbean Studies, ICS, at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus where he also coordinates the Rastafari Studies Initiative. He holds a BA in History and Politics from the UWI, the MA International Studies from the University of Leeds, and the Ph.D. Cultural Studies from UWI. Niaah has published a number of articles (and book chapters) on Rastafari in scholarly journals, he has also visited Europe, Africa and the Americas researching, lecturing and presenting papers on Rastafari. Recently Niaah has turned attention to examining Rastafari in Africa. Niaah is also an active member of the Rastafari community in Jamaica.

Patricia Northover specializes in Development studies and is a Fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES, UWI, Mona). She received her doctorate in economics and philosophy at the University of Cambridge. She has been a Fellow of Girton College at the University of Cambridge and a Visiting Fellow at Duke University with the “Race, Space and Place” project. She is the author and co-author of several articles in the philosophy of economics and Caribbean development, published in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, Cultural Dynamics, Caribbean Dialogue and Social and Economic Studies. She has recently published with Michaeline Crichlow, Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination: Notes on Fleeing the Plantation. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009. Her forthcoming book is, Growth Theory: Critical Philosophical Perspectives (Routledge).

Taiwo Adetunji Osinubi joined the Université de Montréal as Assistant Professor in July 2006. Apart from teaching genre courses in literatures of the African Diaspora, his interests include science fiction, travel writing, and the cultures of circulation in the African Diaspora. He is currently working on a book entitled Circulation and Emancipation’s Atlantic Locations. 25.

Veerle Poupeye is a Belgium-born, Jamaica-based art historian and curator specialized in Caribbean art. She is currently Executive Director of the National Gallery of Jamaica and sits on the Boards of Directors of the National Gallery of Jamaica and the Edna Manley Foundation. She holds a Master’s degree in Art History from the Universiteit Gent in Belgium and is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts of Emory University where she is writing a dissertation on art and society in 20th century Jamaica. Her publications include Caribbean Art (1998), which was published in Thames and Hudson’s World of Art series, and Modern Jamaican Art (1998), which she co-authored with David Boxer, and many journal articles and exhibition catalogue essays on Jamaican and Caribbean art and culture. She has previously worked as a Curator at the National Gallery of Jamaica, as Coordinator of the Visual Arts programme of the MultiCare Foundation and, most recently, at the Edna Manley College, where she served as Research Fellow and the Curator of the College’s CAG[e] gallery. She has also taught Art History, Visual Studies and Curatorial Studies at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Emory University in Atlanta and New York University.

Richard Rosa is Associate Professor at the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University. He completed his Ph. D. at Harvard University, and has taught at the University of California-Berkeley and Stanford University. He is the author of the book Los fantasmas de la razón: una lectura material de Hostos (San Juan-Santo Domingo, 2003) and Finance and Literature in Latin America (under contract, University of Pittsburgh Press). He is currently working on a project on tourism, art, and literature in Puerto Rico and he has also published several articles on topics related to the intersection between economic and literary discourses.

Eris D. Schoburgh, is a lecturer in the Department of Government where she teaches courses in public policy and public sector management at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She currently heads the Public Sector Management Unit. She was the 2007 Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Her research interests spans the areas of public policy and public sector management with special concentration on Caribbean local governance, public administration and constitutionalism. Current research interests concern comparative local governance; social and political capital in institutional change; social relations and the political economy (which includes inquiry into rights-based policy and citizenship). Her publications include a book: Local Government Reform: The Prospects for Community Empowerment in Jamaica, (Kingston, Jamaica: SALISES Press) 2006; and journal articles that have appeared in leading international and regional journals.

Beverly Shirley works with the University of the West Indies in the capacity of Programme Coordinator in the Open Campus, and also teaches the undergraduate course: Gender and Development in the Caribbean in the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work, Mona Campus. She holds a PhD in Governance and Public Policy.

Kenneth Surin was born in Malaysia and finished his schooling in Wales. He studied at Reading and Birmingham, and is currently chair of the Literature Program at Duke University. In addition to books and articles in theology and the philosophy of religion, he has published articles on political economy, political philosophy, French and German philosophy, the philosophy of art, the philosophy of education, sports and philosophy, the philosophy of literature, and cultural anthropology. His latest book is Freedom Not Yet: Liberation and the Next World Order (Duke University Press, 2009).

Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw is a Senior Lecturer of Francophone Caribbean Literature and Nineteenth-century French poetry at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Her academic research has focused on the Caribbean cultural landscape as presented in the works of Gisèle Pineau, Yanick Lahens, and Edwidge Danticat. Her most recent scholarly publication has been a co-edited collection of essays entitled, Echoes of the Haitian Revolution: 1804-2004 published in 2008. Reinterpreting the Haitian Revolution and Its Cultural aftershocks, the first in the series, was published in 2006. As a short story writer her work has appeared in several journals including Callaloo and Small Axe. Four Taxis Facing North, her first collection of short stories, was published in 2007.

Nyan Whittingham is a MSc. Student in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies, pursuing a Masters in Public Sector Management. He also operates as a Teaching Assistant within the department. Nyan has gained valuable experience lecturing at other institutions such as the Management Institute for National Development and the Jamaica Constabulary Staff College in the areas of Public Administration and Political Science. Nyan was a recipient of the Commonwealth Youth Award(2003) for community development through the Society for Promoting and Improving Moral Education in Schools. He has been an ongoing motivational speaker for the Peace Management Initiative since 2005 working closely with Professor Barry Chevannes. He was recently involved with the organization of the first Local Governance Conference hosted by the University of the West Indies in 2009 through the efforts of Dr. Eris Schobugh and Dr Phillip Osei.

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