June 16-June 18, 2010
University of West Indies, Mona/Duke University
–About the Symposium
–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.
SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES
DAY 1, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 2010
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
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
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)
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
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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (http://www.jhfc.duke.edu/globalstudies/index.html). 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, http://www.jhfc.duke.edu/wko/index.php, a web dossier. Last but not least, slowly works in his own blog (http://waltermignolo.com/).
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. email@example.com
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.
FREE TO BE A SLAVE: SLAVERY AS METAPHOR IN THE AFRO-ATLANTIC RELIGIONS
Lorand Matory, Chair: African and African American Studies, Duke University
African-diaspora scholars and lay people tend to represent “resistance” and the desire for “freedom” as the founding principles and enduring essence of black New World identities. Yet many of the religions that we allegedly “retain” by dint of “cultural resistance,” as well as many that we “freely” choose, configure human relations to the divine in images of un-freedom, representing gods as monarchs, feudal lords, masters and shepherds, while characterizing worshipers as subjects, slaves, and sheep. This presentation surveys the well-d but taken-for-granted images of enslavement at the heart of Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Haitian and Black North American religions that employ slavery as a sacred metaphor of proper personhood, personal efficacy and moral rectitude.
ENGAGING THE CRISIS OF CONTEMPORARY CARIBBEAN POLITICS
Rupert Lewis, Professor: Dept. of Government, UWI Mona
This paper argues that the focus in the Caribbean region and its Diaspora ought to be on the construction of a politics of popular participation and engagement on which basis meaningful discussion of civil society and governance can take place. Corrective interventions in the region’s politics have invariably derived from the development of social movements which give rise to new ways of thinking and practicing politics. The role of the political imagination cannot be underestimated in the struggle to transform political institutions that have atrophied since the period of independence and no longer fulfill their original mission. In this regard the work of the political imagination of ordinary people is critical to the vitalization of political life in the region.
G.K. LEWIS AND REFLECTIONS ON SOVEREIGNTY IN THE CARIBBEAN CONTEXT: FROM COLONIAL NATIONALISM TO THE PRESENT DAY
Jessica Byron, Department of Government, UWI-Mona
G.K. Lewis, in most of his work, including The Growth of the Modern West Indies, Freedom and Power in Puerto Rico, Main Currents in Caribbean Thought, and Grenada: The Jewel Despoiled, reflected extensively on the concept of sovereignty and its import for territories in the Caribbean Basin. He dwells on the social and political stagnation of many Caribbean societies in the 19th and early 20th centuries, stuck in the “ennui of colonial existence”. He regards the social and psychological legacies of colonialism as the most damaging aspects and views political independence as essential for beginning the process of constructing new, healed, more organized societies.
This paper aims to explore and reflect on Lewis’ thoughts on sovereignty in the Caribbean, using this as a platform to examine more broadly Caribbean understandings and actual experiences of sovereignty, particularly since the mid-1900s. These are set against the backdrop of decolonization in the global context, the consolidation of a globalized economy and the evolution of the meanings of sovereignty on the international plane as well as in the national context. Lewis’ analysis of historical events will be juxtaposed against more contemporary developments as the paper endeavours to place his insights in the context of our ever more complex present-day political settings.
INDEPENDENT THOUGHT AND DECOLONIAL FREEDOM: THE LEGACY OF SIR LLOYD BEST
Walter Mignolo, Professor: Romance Studies and Literature, Duke University
Sir Lloyd Best argued that freedom requires independent thoughts. The formula for his argument was ¨Independent Thought and Caribbean Freedom.” About a decade after his formulation, another Caribbean intellectual José Luis González, from Puerto Rico, concluded his passionate and classical short essays “El pais de cuatro pisos” affirming that Puerto Rican freedom is unthinkable without decolonization. By “decolonization” José Luis González meant something that today we would describe as decolonization of knowledge and of being, rather than “decolonization” as it was understood during the Cold War. Around the same years that Lloyd Best delivered his manifesto, Ali Shariati, the Iranian intellectual who met Frantz Fanon in France and translated Fanon into Persian language, also argued that Islamic freedom required independent thought. There is a common thread connecting these three formulations in spite of their singular local histories and their peculiar temporal and spatial unavoidable entanglement with the West (meaning imperial Western countries since the European Renaissance). The goal of this presentation is to argue that the common thread among them is the claim for and toward decolonial freedom and that decolonial freedom requires a pluri-versal vision of the future and the agency of the global political society.
STATES OF GHETTO, GHETTO OF STATES: JEAN-JACQUES DESSALINES AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF WORDS
Deborah Jenson, Professor: French Studies and Romance Studies, Duke University
From the time Jean-Jacques Dessalines first announced “The independence of Saint-Domingue is proclaimed” in November of 1803 to his acceptance of his imperial nomination in the summer of 1805, this first black leader of a New World nation sought to avoid Haiti’s inception in a state of ghetto and as the ghetto of states. This unalphabetized leader strategized the crafting of Haitian sovereignty not least as a literary project, using several Haitian secretaries to flood the newspapers of the Western world with his characteristically fierce philosophy of freedom. As Susan Buck-Morss has demonstrated, the German philosopher Hegel may have had Haiti in mind when he theorized “’Even if I am born a slave, […] still I am free in the moment I will it,’” but Buck-Morss did not specifically note that Hegel had read a mini-anthology of Dessalines’ proclamations, including the full text of the Haitian Declaration of Independence. “We dared to be free when we were not free, by ourselves and for ourselves,” spoke Dessalines. Dessalines claimed that the French had brought the qualifying epithet of “slave” on their own heads by repeatedly subjugating others: “Slaves! …Let us leave that qualifying epithet to the French themselves: they have conquered to the point of ceasing to be free.” He proudly asserted that his own name, Dessalines, had become a motif of horror for “all people who desire slavery.” Dessalines as a political thinker and a philosopher of black sovereignty grappled again and again with the problem of how to remain open to a larger international sphere—one that happened to practice slave ownership, even when outsourced to the tropics—while jealously guarding an all too vulnerable freedom. Whom could he allow into Haitian territory for trade? How could he avoid the ghettoization of Haiti in the face of the French assertion that the law of Nations meant there was no room for neutral commerce with Haiti? Yet the association of Haiti with ghettodom continues to flourish today, more than 200 years after Haiti’s independence.
This ghettoized identity was provocatively explored in the December 2009 “Ghetto Biennale” on the Grand Rue in Port-au-Prince. In that calm December before the earthquake, many who heard proud proclamations about the art biennale being held in the ghetto were taken aback: the Grand Rue at the Western end of Jean-Jacques Dessalines Boulevard (–where Dessalines’ tomb stands in a small gated pocket of splendor), is certainly industrial, urban, “popular,” but it is not typically considered a ghetto. In effect, one could argue that the Ghetto Biennale constructed a ghetto at the same time that it deconstructed its stigma and embraced the ghetto as a new critical and aesthetic love object. The Ghetto Biennale did not venture into the internationally known ghetto of Cité Soleil (Site Soley in Kreyòl). Cité, with more than 300,000 residents, is often treated as a war zone within a country that is not at war, or like a criminal version of a civil zone—an uncivil zone–, where such events as the United Nations Minustah campaign popularly named “Without Pity for the City” are not followed by the prying eyes of the general population. As the work of Mike Davis (Planet of Slums) and other scholars of postcolonial ghettos have shown, slums—more and more connected via cell phones, pirated electricity, and “return to sender” Bush-era prisoner repatriation projects–also have increasingly transnational illicit commercial and ideological networks that have sprung up in the margins of “the daily violence of economic exclusion.”
This presentation segues performatively between Dessalines’ illiterate yet literary attempts to ward off the ghettoization of Haiti among colonizing or slave-holding nations, and visual and anthropological representations of the millennial crossroads represented by Cité Soleil in light of the freedoms, unfreedoms, and quasi- or anti-states built on the margins of constitutional zones.
WANTED: HAITIAN GOVERNMENTS IN SEARCH OF A NATIONAL STATE
Jean Casimir, Professor: History and Romance Studies, Duke University
From the arrival of the Europeans on the island and most particularly from the end of the Seven Year War to the present days, the series of governments administering the western part of the island of Haiti have been investing most of their coercive resources to implement their laws and rules. In as much as the monopoly of public violence defines a state, one is inclined to think that the tasks of the Conquistador have not been completed up to now and still requires constant reform and boosting of the military. While one may argue that external forces were not favorable to a strong political structure during the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, the same cannot be said from 1915, when the United States Occupation of Haiti achieved total and absolute control of the state apparatus and kept there after a watchful eye on its developments. Unfortunately state power does not breed rights. One then wonders, living aside the Spanish occupation and its genocide, what keeps this rather diminutive population away from the grasp of the state for such a long period of time, under such diverse political administrations and in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.
“SO MANY SCHEMES IN AGITATION”: BRITISH NEGOTIATIONS WITH HAITIAN LEADERS, 1804-1805”
Julia Gaffield, Department of History, Duke University
On January 1, 1804, General Jean-Jacques Dessalines issued the world’s second formal Declaration of Independence, announcing the founding of Haiti. Scholars often focus on the international “quarantine” of Haiti because Atlantic World states and empires were slow to officially recognize Haiti’s independence as legitimate. The overt challenges that Haiti presented to international systems of colonialism and slavery-based labor could not be ignored. However, my research shows that other colonial empires did not automatically stigmatize the new republic and that a diversity of opinion and action followed Haitian independence. On a recent research trip to Kingston, Jamaica, funded by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Duke University, I discovered a set of documents that emphasizes the complexity of international relationships in the early nineteenth century. In the early months of 1804 Governor George Nugent of Jamaica sent a representative, Edward Corbet, to negotiate a trade agreement with Dessalines. These negotiations did not lead to a formal treaty, but the correspondence between Nugent, Corbet, Dessalines, and other British officials highlight the complexity of international political-economic strategy in the early nineteenth century. Governor Nugent’s papers include correspondence as well as reports of state and military affairs in Haiti. Using this set of documents, this paper will analyze the diplomatic negotiations between a British colony and a black republic in the context of colonialism and race-based slavery. After the end of French Empire, Haitian leaders sought out relationships that would sustain their independence; the sources related to these negotiations highlight the flexibility of socio-racial ideologies in the context of international competition and political-economic strategy. Furthermore, these documents highlight that Haitian leaders did not perceived their situation as desperate and that they negotiated with confidence.
POWER AND ITS SUBJECTS: ‘GOOD’ GOVERNANCE DILEMMAS UNDER CONTEMPORARY GLOBALIZATION PROCESSES
Michaeline A. Crichlow, Professor: African and African American Studies, Duke University
Mine is a relational and intertextual study, whereby I trans/position one place, over, through and against each other in an analysis of struggles over place, and territory playing out within three countries, namely, Fiji, The Dominican Republic and South Africa. I wish to explore the quest for citizenship and the expression of citizenness that takes places between state institutions and citizen/subjects and among them in non state spaces. These three territories exemplify a violent reworking of border lines that are being reconfigured under contemporary globalization processes. These border lines are spatially related geographically, but as well, to the normative locations of particular bodies deemed difficult and profane by narratives of nation and nationality-those bodies constituted as excess by fractured state institutions of rule. In Fiji and South Africa, two reverse processes are occurring. In the former, a militarized state struggles with traditional chiefs embodied institutionally in the Great Council of chiefs and the military junta which in its reconfiguration of citizenship seeks to diminish their authority. In the case of South Africa, the Traditional Authorities seem to be once again poised for exercising rule in the countryside in a version of Mamdani’s bifurcated state, after their end seemed predestined in the post-apartheid period. And in the D.R. after violating its own constitution to prove Haitian-Dominicans, or simply (unwanted) Haitians and therefore dispensable denizens, its newly revised constitution, now legalizes a practice, that could facilitate a mass deportation of Dominican born and undocumented individuals from La Republica. How can we read these exercises of power ultimately as the actions of defensive states channeling a virulent biopolitics in the name of creolized versions of ‘good governance’ the latest mantra regulating state practices for the advancement of programs of deregulation.
SOVEREIGNTY FOR SALE: THE CHINA-TAIWAN DIPLOMATIC TUSSLE AND THE POLITICS OF MATERIALISM IN SAINT LUCIA (CONSEQUENCES FOR CARIBBEAN DEMOCRACY)
Tennyson S.D. Joseph, UWI- Cave Hill
In 1997, the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) broke diplomatic relations with Taiwan in exchange for relations with mainland China, reversing the foreign policy stance which had been adopted by the United Workers’ Party (UWP) since independence in 1979. In response, following the 2001 General election, the victorious UWP effectively expelled the Chinese by re-establishing diplomatic relations with Taiwan. This development followed closely upon widespread allegations of Taiwanese involvement in the 2001 election and witnessed a heightening in the visibility of Taiwan in the political life of the country. Whilst the consequences of the shift from China to Taiwan has been most directly witnessed in Saint Lucia, the diplomatic tussle between China and Taiwan has been witnessed in Grenada and Dominica, and remains a contested issue in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Kitts and Nevis. This paper examines the implications of the diplomatic wrangle between Taiwan and China for St. Lucian democracy. It addresses the question of the meaning of sovereignty, with particular emphasis on the democratic aspects of that concept. The paper locates the problem of “sovereignty for sale” in the materialist politics of Saint Lucia and identifies the emergence of the specific aspects of the China Taiwan conflict as part of the Caribbean’s response to a new global economy which challenges the old post-colonial model and to which the region is seeking to adjust itself.
POSTCOLONIAL CARIBBEAN SOVEREIGNTIES: RE-THINKING DIASPORA, MOBILITY AND CITIZENSHIP
Susan P. Mains, Department of Geography and Geology, UWI-Mona
The concept of sovereignty is frequently depicted as the authority and autonomy exerted by a nation-state over the political and economic realm of a delineated social body, in a way that (ideally) matches public sentiment and a sense of “belonging” with a state apparatus able to effectively enact systems of representation and policing (e.g., through legal frameworks, modes of education, electoral processes and national arts institutions). Inherent in this notion of “legitimate” power is an overt expression of spatial and place-based identities, particularly in relation to the idea that sovereign authorities have an innate right to oversee a specific territorial realm and those who are directly linked to it (e.g., citizens). This concept of sovereignty—and related notions of citizenship—are complicated, however, by diasporic and postcolonial experiences of place and mobility.
In the context of Jamaica, growing political attention has been paid to members of diaspora communities in the US, Canada and the UK—particularly in relation to (potential) electoral participation, remittances, community outreach, economic and civic leadership. This paper explores the opportunities and challenges raised by discourses of citizenship, sovereignty and freedom in relation to the ways in which diaspora identities are “placed” and strategically mobilized. In many ways, dominant concepts of sovereignty and citizenship rely on the notion of (socially and physically) “bounded” spaces and identities. Caribbean diaspora communities challenge this latter idea by being a part of—and beyond—traditional boundaries of the nation-state. Indeed, due to their transnational, trans-scalar, and dynamic nature, diasporas can be viewed as an integrally creolized nexus of social and spatial relationships. These are relationships that offer the potential to develop postcolonial sovereignties which recognize and move beyond the limitations of nationalist infrastructures and ideologies, in a context through which sovereignty may emerge as an ongoing negotiation of powers rather than a representation of absolute control.
THE POETICS OF FREEDOM AND THE FREEDOM OF POETICS
Elizabeth Walcott- Hackshaw, Senior Lecturer: French and Francophone Literature, UWI- St Augustine
In his most recent work Universal Emancipation: the Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment (2008) Nick Nesbitt, explores “the many ways in which the Haitian Revolution, an ocean away from Europe, both was inspired by Radical Enlightenment ideas and, in turn, fundamentally transformed this transnational , world- systematic historical process.” Nesbitt argues that although individuals had on occasion imagined (emphasis mine) universal rights as a pure abstraction, no society had ever been constructed in accord with the axiom of universal emancipation; in other words Haiti was the first to imagine a society without slavery where there was universal and unqualified human rights to freedom( Nesbitt , 2). This paper, inspired by Nesbitt’s notion of imagination and translation of the abstract, will interrogate the manner in which writers of Haitian origin have explored the trope of freedom in their literary works. The argument will necessarily be informed by both the politics and poetics of freedom. Fundamental problematics of freedom will be debated framed by the following questions: How does the external (politics) impact upon the internal (poetics)? How is freedom imagined on the page? How effective is a metaphorical construction of freedom?
IMAGINED LIBERTIES: VERNACULAR CONSTITUTIONS, AESTHETIC NATIONS, AND THE PRACTICE OF FREEDOM IN ANGLOPHONE CARIBBEAN LITERATURE
Norval Edwards, Head: Department of Literatures and English, UWI-Mona
From the 1930s to the present, Caribbean literature has consistently explored fundamental issues of freedom, community, and identity within the varied contexts of colonial trauma, postcolonial nationhood, and the vicissitudes of diaspora and globalization. In this light, I examine selected literary works in order to chart the literary imagining of practices of freedom that are often legitimized by cultural scripts – which I term “vernacular constitutions” – that articulate notions of political community, citizenship, sovereignty, governance, and (un)belonging. I deploy an eclectic range of literary and political theories to demonstrate how Caribbean literature often conceptualizes the nation in terms of an aesthetics of performance or cultural tropes that enable us to rethink concepts of freedom and the notion of the political.
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
Warrick Lattibeaudierre, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures-UWI-Mona
The ever changing socio economic and political scene has called for more cunning means of survival for women as they negotiate a highly patriarchal context. The conditions in which women’s function require them to disguise themselves in one context while overtly revealing their actions in another. Of greater interest is the ability of women to simultaneously execute these seemingly contradictory roles ultimately subverting the system in which they find themselves. Our chameleon trope is used to reflect the multiple and subtle camouflages employed by women to negotiate a survival while our trope of the matador examines women as authoritative forces. We also seek to examine the dynamics responsible for the shift from our trope of chameleon to matador and back as presented by the above authors in their respective novels.
CARIBBEAN-AFRICAN RELATIONALITY, OR, REMAINDERS OF FORMAL AUTONOMY
Taiwo Adetunji Osinubi, Assistant Professor: Département d’études anglaises- Université de Montréal
This paper is culled from a larger project in which I examine transnational poetics of a practice of life writing in which writers, activists, and scholars from the African diaspora formulate a post-national drive for alternative modes of solidarity beyond the framework of nation-state. In these narratives, writers use memories of slavery reflexively to assess how the concrete constraints of real politics have shaped the outcomes of post-emancipation and post-independence futures. By juxtaposing the imaginaries of national entities, within which they are engaged in search for autonomy, to outer-national imaginaries, such writers excavate historical relations between diasporic populations in order to rethink the possible horizons within which to articulate freedom under the pluralizing forces of a global neoliberal order and site-specific political impediments. I am especially concerned with African writers, such as Wole Soyinka, Ayi Kwei-Armah, Chinua Achebe and Peter Abrahams, who reroute their interrogations of the meanings of post-independence political, economic and cultural freedom through an encounter with the search for autonomy in Caribbean societies…
REVISING THE DELINKING STRATEGY: IS THERE A CARIBBEAN MODEL, OR, CAN LESSONS BE LEARNED FROM CLR JAMES AND WALTER RODNEY?
Kenneth Surin, Professor and Chair: Literature Programme, Duke University
In a recent book I took up and revised the strategy of delinking advocated in the 1960s and 70s by the theorists of uneven development (Samir Amin most notably). The primary consideration for me was to ‘update’ the strategy to take into consideration the emergence of financialization on a global scale. While this book made some recommendations for the form of the state able to implement this delinking strategy, it did not proceed beyond the level of a conceptual explication. My aim in this presentation for the Kingston conference is to construct a more practical and specific model for a delinking strategy that may work for the countries of the Caribbean, reliant as they are on tourism, the extractive industries, specialized agriculture, and in the Anglophone islands the provision of services such as call centers for the US market.
To construct this model, a form of the state that approximates to a city-state will be needed, whilst being able at the same time to belong to a regional bloc. The questions of the scale and functions of this hybrid entity will be addressed.
GOVERNING TOURISM: REPRESENTATION, DOMINATION AND FREEDOM IN PUERTO RICO: 1949
Richard Rosa, Associate Professor: Department of Romance Studies, Duke University
The paper will explore tourism as a biopolitical strategy in the U. S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico. I focus my paper on the year 1949, the year in which Puerto Ricans chose its first democratically elected colonial governor, and the year in which Conrad Hilton opened the doors to his first, non-mainland hotel, the Caribe Hilton. By analyzing political discourses, advertisements and other contemporary mediatic representation of these two events, I argue that tourism was indeed a new model of colonialism that used the Island as a ground for shaping a project for industrial, colonial (un)freedom in a post-industrial, post-colonial world. It provided a counter-model to the decolonizing model that was going on elsewhere in the undeveloped world. The intersection of democracy and tourism brings forth issues related to representation and governance in the Caribbean.
FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM: LOCAL GOVERNMENT’S ROLE IN DELIVERING STATES FROM A STATE OF UN-FREEDOM AMIDST GLOBAL TRENDS.
Nyan Whittingham, Department of Government, UWI-Mona
The pace at which globalization has been progressing has increasingly lowered if not eliminated the barriers to state sovereignty. This process is more profound for those states that are classified as under-developed and are in need of a sense of direction toward affording their citizens a greater sense of security. Within this borderless world, the catch word has evolved from governing to that of governance. This is based on the fact that societies have become amalgamated to represent not just citizens of particular states, but also citizens of the global space. Contemporary developing states thus have to manage a diverse and plural society and achieve development amidst more demands, both in volume and diversity.
This presentation is thus inspired by an ongoing study that views local government as the institution that is best positioned and most poised to achieve any meaningful sense of development that can cater to such plurality and diversity. Local government is thus recognized here as having the ability to be the engine that powers states to greater degrees of freedom . The values embedded in discussion about local government are reflective of the values that have for decades, been associated with notions of development, conceptualized here as freedom.
ABJECT BLACKNESS, HAUNTOLOGIES OF DEVELOPMENT AND THE DEMAND FOR AUTHENTICITY-A CRITIQUE OF SEN’S ‘DEVELOPMENT AS FREEDOM’.
Patricia Northover, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, UWI-Mona
This paper sets out to examine the limits of Sen’s paradigm of ‘Development as Freedom” by an interrogation of its critical silences on the structure of violence animating the progress of modern power. I argue that despite Sen’s radical shift to an ontology of capabilities for explaining and assigning states of (human) well being or development, and his move away from a methodological individualism as well as a utilitarian ethics for social choice, his approach is fundamentally compromised by its complicity with an idea of ‘absolute freedom’, rooted in Kantian and Smithian moral philosophy, and measured by the standing of the transcendent figure of a sovereign agency.
Specifically, I contend that Sen’s valorization of freedom depends on an uncanny silence on the founding violence conjoined with cutting the figure of freedom into being. This is moreover reinforced by his myopic presentism on the morphing violence emanating from a dialectic of becoming through this same figure of freedom. Sen’s ambitious project for global social justice and the advance of human development thus founders not so much on the normative fuzziness of values for sustaining choice, nor on the implicit privileging of an ethics of freedom over an ethics of care, but more fundamentally, the fault lines of his projects rests with an obscure yet pernicious dependence on a freedom sustained through hauntologies of ‘abject blackness’ in a politics of ‘mapping the present’ in a modern world. Moreover, the continued presence of such an hauntology in the present, tracked through the figure of transparency or freedom in the processes and projects for development, reflects the global shadows of a fetish of place, that is, a contingently racialized modern philosophy of place, which radically disables Sen’s efforts to sustain an authentic relation to the present.
‘INFORMAL CITIZENSHIP’ – CONCEPTUALIZING EXPRESSIONS OF FREEDOM IN CONTEMPORARY DEVELOPING SOCIETIES
Eris D. Schoburgh, Department of Government, UWI-Mona
This paper examines the concept of informal citizenship as an outcome of socio-political relations within the post-modern era which are trending towards greater degrees of normalization and individualization in response to the high levels of ambiguity and uncertainty that characterize the human experience. These socio-political tendencies are made more complex with the onset of globalization with consequences in a “new politics of identity” in which there is a rejection of institutionalized rules and norms. Through social theorizing the paper offers the construct of informal citizenship as a manifestation of individual self-determination in contemporary developing societies. Using the socio-economic experience of the Jamaican body politic, the paper explores some of the values that are held dear and the extent to which these values are validated through one’s social membership of the socio-political collective. From this exploratory analysis it makes generalizations about interpretations of freedom.
SPACES OF FREEDOM AND FREEDOM OF SPACES
April Bernard, PhD: Department of Government, Sociology, and Social Work, UWI–Cave Hill
This paper seeks to answer the question: Who defines the space in which notions of self and other are constructed and reconstructed for women and men of African descent in the African Diaspora? If there exists validity to Audrey Lorde’s statement that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” (Lorde 1984, 110), in the quest to challenge oppression and notions of freedom, then African Diasporic women and men must begin by assessing not only the tools but also the space in which they were created.
The concept of space is not limited to two or three dimensional understandings of physical context, location, and environment. The aim of this paper is to explore and discuss types of space that encompass multidimensional aspects of existence. These “free spaces” (a term adopted from Aldon Morris’ work on plantation societies) includes intentionally created inner space, rituals and communities that are not bound by physical proximity but none the less exist and function to shape and transform constructions of self and other.
The paper argues that the shared and blended history of patriarchy, capitalism, and racism has functioned to define the space in which notions of self for African Diasporic women and men have been derived. The concept of “free spaces” and their potential for mobilizing individual and collective action for change will be explored and applied to opportunities for Caribbean women and men to re-define and address inherited ideologies that perpetuate social, economic and spiritual oppression. This analysis concludes with a discussion of the limitations of the liberal and inherited approaches to social change and justice and proposes the use of the concept of “free spaces” as an African Diasporic centered tool for the reconstruction of ideologies, relations, norms, policies, communities and states.
POLITE VIOLENCE’ AND RASTAFARI’S PEDAGOGY OF FREEDOM”
Jahlani Niaah, Institute of Caribbean Studies, UWI-Mona
The Rastafari movement has been described as one of the clearest voices to have broken the silence on the unresolved issues related to African freedom. To this extent Rastafari has emerged in this time as a principal activist and teacher of freedom and empowerment for the oppressed. Through an engagement of the dialogical framework developed through the Trench Town Rastafari, this paper engages Planno’s idea of “Polite Violence” as a reciprocal method and modality of negotiating African-Jamaican freedom.
THE ICONOGRAPHY OF FREEDOM AND BONDAGE IN MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY JAMAICAN ART
Veerle Poupeye, Executive Director: National Gallery of Jamaica
This illustrated paper discusses how bondage and freedom have been represented in modern and contemporary Jamaican art. It explores how Slavery and Freedom have been represented in mainstream Jamaican art, with special reference to official monuments such as the Laura Facey’s Redemption Song, Edna Manley’s Bogle and Kay Anderson’s Sam Sharpe Monument. The relationship between these artists’ interpretations will be compared to the historical and other official representations of these subjects and to the popular conventions that surround them, with which they often exist in tension and which has contributed significantly to the controversies that surround such public monuments in Jamaica. The paper also explores how Slavery and Freedom have been represented in the work of contemporary artists, such as David Boxer, Petrona Morrison, Roberta Stoddart, Omari Ra and Khalfani Ra, in ways that are more deliberately provocative and motivated by a range of political perspectives, some of which deliberately challenge the nationalist premises of the official representations. Finally, the paper also discusses the more recent thematic focus on broader and more individual notions of bondage in the work of younger contemporary artists such as Marvin Bartley, Khary Darby, Philip Thomas, Marlon James and Stefan Clarke, which exists in a provocative and at times disturbing tension with the mainstream representations of Slavery and Freedom.
INCORPORATING: ON CHINESE/TRINIDADIAN CULTURAL PRODUCTION, SPECULATION, AND THE STATE
Sean Metzger, Assistant Professor: English and Theatre Studies, Duke University
This essay constitutes part of a larger work-in-progress tentatively titled The Archipelogics of Belonging. In this project, I examine iterations of freedom in expressive cultural forms from post-plantation island cultures that surround the US. My goal is to complicate assumed ideas about nation and flows of transnational capital that undergird Atlantic and Pacific Rim discourses. Building on my expertise in Asian American and Chinese diasporic studies but extending my focus into the Caribbean and Pacific, I interrogate the easy collapse of Americanization into globalization and think through the ways in which specific locales generate different matrices of racialization (understood as both a political and economic as well as social process) that construct quite different conditions for and articulations of ideas of freedom. I ask how belonging as a form of freedom/ freedom as a form of belonging is performed in relation to the place of “America,” but from an ex-centric perspective. I examine island spaces that are or have been constitutive of the US national space but now have different forms of postcolonial status (e.g., Cuba, Trinidad, Hawaii, etc.). Guiding my study are the following questions: What histories have been occluded in the claiming and dissemination of US-inflected versions of democracy as a generalized notion of freedom? How do belonging and freedom function for populations of US or (formerly) US-occupied soil that do not have access to the supposed guarantees of citizenship in the republic? What sorts of political possibilities have been or can be imagined in cultural productions that center on island spaces? How do transnational circulations of capital shape these cultural productions and how might the productions themselves constitute certain capital? The Archipelogics of Belonging investigates these questions by articulating several logics through which we might differently understand belonging and freedom in relation to (but not necessarily in) the US.
Emerging from this more general framework, I elaborate the logic of “Incorporating” by focusing on the oeuvre of Chinese Trinidadian artist, writer, and dramatist Willi Chen, during the years following the US occupation of Trinidad. Chen is perhaps the best known writer of Chinese descent in the Anglophone Caribbean. Although his collections of short stories have garnered some critical attention, his work with the Trinidad Theatre Workshop remains largely undocumented as does his work in visual media. The few scholars of Chen’s work argue that he offers a unique perspective on Trinidad’s racial dynamics, often through the figure of the Chinese entrepreneur that occupies a privileged position in much of Chen’s creative work. Of course, trade—particularly the traffic in people and the establishment of the plantation system that provided materials for European and, later, US metropoles—is precisely what shaped the Atlantic into the engine of modernity. Within this system, Asian migrant labor complicated, destabilized and sometimes contradicted a black-white social structure. Rather than showing the Chinese as assimilating or sojourning, I hypothesize that Chen’s work demonstrates a different logic of “incorporating.”
The flesh that lingers in the root of the word incorporating is the site through which economic and social adaptation becomes manifest, but the financial dimensions suggested by this term point towards particular relations between the state and individuals that exceed the boundaries of singular bodies-be they nations or people. The complexities engendered in this negotiation of person and collective enable new forms of belonging that shift our understanding of the nation-state and the subject ostensibly appropriate to that formation. My essay demonstrates how Chinese/Trinidadian cultural production facilitates this sort of speculation and outlines the stakes of a critical engagement with more conventional ideas of freedom and belonging.
EXORBITANCE: TOWARD A POLITICAL AESTHETICS OF INTER-ATLANTIC INSULARITY
Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián, Assistant Professor: Spanish and Latin American Studies, Duke University
Exorbitance is used today as an economic and philosophical notion. But in its seventeenth-century and later usages, it was often a legal and moral concept specifically tied to territorial sovereignty and wealth. Seen from the viewpoint of creolization, the historically situated notion of exorbitance expresses some of the negative dimensions of modern ideas of freedom and justice. In this paper, imaginaries of excess in the Atlantic world affect discourses of circulation, dependence, and excessive deviance or chaos in the Caribbean. Focusing on Cuban artist Tomás Sánchez, I consider exorbitance as a visual trope, and define it as an enabling critical strategy in the works of contemporary artists who reflect on insular environments in global terms. I argue that creolization processes, with regard to notions of modern sovereignty, insurgency, and emancipation, can be examined not as instances of exorbitance, but as its constitutive scenario.
ICONS AFLOAT: CREOLIZING SEMIOTICS IN CARIBBEAN ART
Marcela C. Guerrero, Department of Art History-University of Wisconsin-Madison
In their famous manifesto—Éloge de la Créolité—Jean Bernabé, Patrick Chamoiseau, and Raphael Confiant argued for a créole language that would better serve the voices and identity of Francophone Caribbeans. “Creoleness,” according to the authors, “is not monolingual. Nor is its multilingualism divided into isolated compartments. Its field is language. Its appetite: all the languages of the world. The interaction of many languages (the points where they meet and relate) is a polysonic vertigo. There, a single word is worth many.”1 In this paper I want to argue that the linguistic cross-fertilization process seen in créole language—also called creolization—can also be evidenced in contemporary examples of Caribbean visual arts by applying a semiotic analysis that neatly reflects the shift from structuralist to post-structuralist semiotics. I have identified several recurrent icons in contemporary Caribbean art that abound across the islands; among them the flag, the island, the suitcase, the airplane, the sea, the boat, and even flip-flops. These icons appear in artworks by artists from the different linguistic clusters of islands from the Caribbean basin and are, thus, the basis for a common Caribbean iconography. I want to propose that a semiotic analysis of the visual construction of these multi-media works and assemblages is particularly relevant for the study of post-structuralist semiotics because of the opened and uncontained relationship between signifier and signified in Caribbean art. Visually and linguistically, the link between signifier and signified sets the meaning of these artworks in motion.
CARIBBEAN FASHION WEEK: CREOLISING BEAUTY IN “OUT OF MANY ONE” JAMAICA
Carolyn Cooper, Professor: Dept of Literatures and English- UWI-Mona
The elitist Jamaican motto, “Out of Many, One People,” privileges racial hybridity as the quintessential marker of national identity. Conversely, populist constructions of Jamaican identity acknowledge the primacy of the African majority. The ‘mixed-race’ ideal inscribed in the national motto becomes the aesthetic standard for judging ‘beauty’ and ‘ugliness’. Beauty contests, for example, become sites of contestation in which competing representations of the face of the nation jostle for recognition. Identifying with marginalized African-Jamaican aspirants who often fail to win these competitions, discontented patrons routinely claim the right to assert alternative models of beauty that challenge the authority of the ‘out of many one’ aesthetic. The emergence of a modeling industry in Jamaica that valorises idiosyncratic style has opened up a space in which black images of beauty take centre stage. Caribbean Fashion Week is the major platform for displaying internationally acclaimed Jamaican models. Showcasing a high percentage of decidedly black male and female models wearing spectacular designer clothes, Caribbean Fashion Week enables multiple readings of the body as cultural text. The permissive modeling aesthetic engenders capricious images of beauty that contest the very conception of the “model” as a mould into which a singular figure of beauty is impressed.