Author Archives: blackatlanticresource

Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean

Marlon Griffith, 2012, Kawa no ji, japanese washi, dimensions variable, installed at Mino, Gifu, Japan.

Marlon Griffith, 2012, Kawa no ji, japanese washi, dimensions variable, installed at Mino, Gifu, Japan.

‘Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean’ explores how the understanding and formation of sustainable community for the Caribbean and its global diaspora may be supported by art practice, curating and museums. It fosters networks of exchange and collaboration among academics, artists, curators and policymakers from the UK and the Netherlands, as well as various countries in the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean and their diasporas.

The second conference in this series will be held this week (3-4th December 2013) at InIVA, London – to see the full conference programme click here

Confirmed speakers include:
Alessio Antoniolli (UK), Marielle Barrow (Trinidad),
Charles Campbell (Jamaica/UK), Annalee Davis (Barbados),
Joy Gregory (UK), Therese Hadchity (Barbados),
Glenda Heyliger (Aruba), Rosemarijn Hoefte (Netherlands),
Yudhishthir Raj Isar (France/India), Tessa Jackson (UK),
Nancy Jouwe (Netherlands), Charl Landvreugd (Netherlands),
Wayne Modest (Netherlands),
Petrona Morrison (Jamaica), Jynell Osborne (Guyana),
Marcel Pinas (Suriname),
Dhiradj Ramsamoedj (Suriname), Leon Wainwright (UK), and Kitty Zijlmans (Netherlands)

Sustainable Art Communities is a two-year international research project led by Dr Leon Wainwright (The Open University, UK), with Co-Investigator Professor Dr Kitty Zijlmans (Leiden University), funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC, UK), in partnership with the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam and Iniva, the Institute of International Visual Arts, London.

The First Conference in this series was held earlier this year (5-6th  February 2013) at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam.

Speakers included:

Petrina Dacres (Jamaica), Marlon Griffith (Japan/Trinidad), Rosemarijn Höfte (Netherlands), Tessa Jackson (UK), Erica James (US/Bahamas), Roshini Kempadoo (UK), Tirzo Martha (Curaçao), Wayne Modest (Netherlands), Nicholas Morris (Germany/Jamaica), Alex van Stipriaan (Netherlands), Leon Wainwright (UK) and Kitty Zijlmans (Netherlands).

Marlon Griffith, Location and Actions, Panel 4 Paper 2, 5 February 2013, Tropenmuseum

Marlon Griffith, Location and Actions, Panel 4 Paper 2, 5 February 2013, Tropenmuseum

Video footage of the conference is now available online at the Open Arts Archive.

To find out more about the project, the theme underpinning it and the resources generated from it click here.

The Black Jacobins Revisited: Rewriting History Conference

Originally posted on Repeating Islands:

jacobins2

“The Black Jacobins Revisited: Rewriting History Conference” will take place on October 27–28, 2013, at the International Slavery Museum and Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool, England. [For full description, see previous post Call for Papers: The Black Jacobins Revisited—Rewriting History.]

The Conference Programme includes presentations by Selwyn Cudjoe (Wellesley); Robert A. Hill (UCLA and C.L.R. James’s Literary Executor); Bill Schwarz (QMUL); Christian Høgsbjerg (Leeds Met); Rachel Douglas (University of Glasgow); Fabienne Viala (University of Warwick); Peter Fraser (Institute of Commonwealth Studies); Nigel Carter (London Met); Raphael Dalleo (Florida Atlantic University); Rawle Gibbons (University of the West Indies, Director of three Caribbean Productions of The Black Jacobins Play); Yvonne Brewster (Director of London Production of The Black Jacobins Play; Founder of Talawa Theatre Company); and Nick Nesbitt (Princeton); among others.

There will also be a reading of extracts—Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History

View original 78 more words

Call for Papers – New Voices: Art and Decolonisation

We are happy to share this call for papers for New Voices annual one-day conference, organized by the AAH Student Members Committee, whose theme this year is: Art and Decolonisation.

Voldemārs Matvejs (Vladimir Markov) Bamana culture group, Mali, photographed in Musée du quai Branly, 1913. Courtesy Information Center, Art Academy of Latvia

Voldemārs Matvejs (Vladimir Markov) Bamana culture group, Mali, photographed in Musée du quai Branly, 1913. Courtesy Information Center, Art Academy of Latvia

Date of event: 16 November 2013

Location: Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

Deadline for abstracts: 1 October 2013

Art and its histories have ‘complex entanglements’ with empire and imperialism, to borrow a phrase from theorist Nikos Papastergiadis. In collaboration with the Henry Moore Institute, New Voices investigates the intersections of art and decolonisation to ask what the specific implications of decolonisation are for art and art history. This symposium turns attention to the geo-political struggles, revolutions and cultural recalibrations that artists and art historians have championed, challenged and negotiated as imperialism and colonialism weakened their grip and took on new forms.

We invite proposals that explore themes including:

  • Art, national independence and self-determination
  • Cultural affirmation and hybridity
  • International Indigenous collectives and networks
  • Global exhibitions and the complexities of national representation
  • Contemporary approaches to ethnographic collections
  • Historiography, methodologies and their relationships to decolonisation
  • Case studies of how curators, artists and collectors have engaged with postcolonial art historiography to produce new narratives while learning from the past

Submit abstracts of 350 words, with a 150-word biography, to the organisers, Charlotte Stokes, Imogen Wiltshire, Sibyl Fisher and Anna Beketov, by 1 October 2013 via email: artanddecolonisation@gmail.com 

To read the call for papers in full click here

To find out more information about this one-day conference of the AAH website click here

CFC: SAVVY Journal 5th Edition

Savvy logo CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS 5th EDITION SAVVY JOURNAL 

At The Shrine

Reflections, Reciprocalities and Reverberations: Fine Art and Music

The fifth edition of the SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art will explore the influence of music on contemporary art practices and map interfaces between visual media, fine art, and music in the African and African diaspora context. The title of this collection, “At the Shrine” is a reference to Fela Kuti‘s Shrine Nightclub and concert venue; a cultural space and an epitome of a social sculpture. This music venue captures our vision of the links between visual expression, music, and critical inquiry.

The mutual relationship between music and fine art, which goes back to time immemorial, manifests itself on different levels. Both artistic languages inform each other in diverse enriching ways. Some of these points of intersection that have crystallized and proven to be ground-breaking in a variety of disciplines in recent decades include, but are not limited to: Performance/ Performativity - e.g. the enigmatic blend of music and performance art, as in the case of Les Têtes Brulées, or the socio-political vigour channelled through the audio and visual of Fela Kuti’s music, which has since been an important source of inspiration for many visual artists; Photography - e.g. the presence of James Brown’s music in Malick Sidibe’s photography, the synergy between Johannesburg’s jazz scene and a whole generation of Drum photographers, or the field of music portraiture championed by the likes of Samuel Nja Kwa; Video - ranging from video art, as in the case of Goddy Leye’s “We Are The World”, to music video clips featuring a variety of musical styles from Azonto, through Coupé Decalé or Kwaito to Rai that have completely transformed the production and consumption of popular culture in Africa; Illustration, Patterning, and Painting - which have been essential in the making of outstanding record covers and album posters; the interconnectedness between music and fashion design; the influence of the likes of Sun Ra on Afrofuturism; Experimental Composition and Sound Art as in the case of Emeka Ogboh; Theatre/ Theatricality - the links in popular theatre traditions between multimedia theatre groups that rely on popular music bands and sign-board painters, such as in Ghanaian and Nigerian Concert Party traditions; Electronica - artists, musicians are creatively reusing music software, online resources, and mobile phone technologies to refigure older styles of music, dance, communication and visual imaging. Some of these forms are explicitly understood as art while others are ephemeral forms of expression. Street Art – graffiti, spoken word, poetry, street dance are forms that link musical, political and counter-cultural expression.

This edition of SAVVY Journal is not intended as an anthology of music and fine art. Instead, we   ask contributors to investigate where disciplines meet, how genres are demarcated, and what emerges from their various encounters, as well as explore the nexus between performativity, fine art, music and technology. Indeed we are concerned with the ways in which ideas of genre and modality are themselves made and unmade in artistic practice. We are interested in articles on the role of sound appropriation in the conceptualisation of art works and of visual aspects in the creation, performance and consumption of sound and music.

Furthermore, this edition will explore and identify those artists who, using various textures and formats, work on this crossroad of sound and vision. Also, from a more general point of view, we are interested in reflections on how the encounter of image and sound in popular music has influenced culture and society. The impact of soundtracks on social and political movements on and beyond the continent would be another fascinating topic.

For this edition, the SAVVY Journal editorial will be enriched by the following guest-editors:

Dr. Hauke Dorsch (African Music Archives, Mainz), Ntone Edjabe (Chimurenga / Pan African Space Station, Cape Town) and Prof. Jesse Weaver Shipley (Haverford College, Philadelphia).

We invite essays from writers of all backgrounds – artists, curators, art historians, and theoreticians, scholars – not exceeding 3500 words in length, discussing the above mentioned or related issues.

Additionally, we are interested in more general articles such as artist-features, exhibition reviews and previews of circa 1500 words.

For more information please visit www.savvy-journal.com

Submissions to: editorial@savvy-journal.com

Deadline: 15th August 2013

Modalities:

  • Manuscripts with max. 3500 words in length, as text document WITHOUT formatting
  • Author’s names and short biography of ca. 100 words at the end of the article
  • Texts must be accompanied by five keywords
  • Manuscripts must be submitted in English or German. All German texts should also be accompanied by an English translation
  • All bibliographic references must be included in the document’s last page
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT  use the footnote or endnote facility in your word-processing program; just add the notes, numbered, at the end of the main text
  • VERY IMPORTANT: please include the following info: – artist’s (or author’s) name in CAPTIONS, title of work must be in italic, date of work, media, dimensions, collection (or place of exhibition), photo credits. e.g._: Jane Alexander, The Butcher Boys, 1985/86 (plaster sculpture), National Gallery of Arts, Cape Town, South Africa.
SAVVY | art.contemporary.african
SAVVY | kunst.zeitgenössisch.afrikanisch
http://www.savvy-journal.com
editorial@savvy-journal.com
Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Chief-Editor)
Andrea Heister (Dep. Chief-Editor)
SAVVY Journal c/o SAVVY Contemporary e.V.
Richard Str. 43/44
12005 Berlin
Germany

Book Review: Wounds of Returning

We are pleased to announce that a new book review by postgraduate student James West of the University of Manchester has been added to the research section of the Black Atlantic Resource, which takes a look at the 2007 publication Wounds of Returning.

Jessica Adams, Wounds of Returning: Race, Memory and Property on the Postslavery Plantation, 2007 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press)

Wounds of Returning book coverThe author’s description of this study as an ‘eclectic, unconventional plantation tour’ (15-­‐16) probably best surmises Wounds of Returning, a highly original but often frustrating work on the spatial, cultural and ideological legacy of southern plantations since emancipation. Adams builds from a Lockean foundation concerning the connection between property and the individual to argue that race forms an integral part of the relationship between possession, property and personhood in the American south. Using a wide array of cultural and literary artefacts Adams assesses the ways in which plantation culture has been negotiated through film, music, literature and tourism …read more

If you are interested in contribution a book review to the Black Atlantic Resource please contact us.

Frederick Douglass Heritage Plaque

Many thanks to Hannah Rose Murray for passing on this information:

Abolitionist-Frederick-DouglassFrederick Douglass, famed abolitionist and former African American slave, is well known in the United States for his work as a social activist. His travels in Britain however, are often neglected on both sides of the Atlantic, but the Nubian Jak Community Organisation hopes to change this. Created by Jak Beula, this non-profit organisation has installed numerous heritage plaques to African Americans and Black Britons, including Malcolm X and John Archer (among others). On the 20th February, a plaque to Frederick Douglass will be unveiled in Kensington, at the former home of British abolitionist George Thompson. (Whilst lecturing in London, Douglass stayed at Thompson’s house.)

Born a slave in 1818, Frederick Douglass grew up on a plantation in Maryland. He escaped slavery in 1838, and attracted the attention of William Lloyd Garrison, who recognised Douglass’s talent for oratory. Douglass travelled here in 1845 for nineteen months, creating a sensation across the country.

The heritage plaque is supported by the U.S. Embassy, who will be there on the 20th, as will NBC news. Local school children have also become involved in the project, and some of their work will be displayed in the Embassy.

To find out more information about how you can support the Nubian Jak organization and the Frederick Douglass heritage plaque project please visit: http://www.sponsume.com/project/nubian-jak-heritage-plaque-scheme-fd

You can follow “Nubian Jak Projects” on Facebook or on Twitter: @nubianjak

Symposium: Race, Representation, Resistance: Cultural Criticism in the Digital Age

Depaul University Symposium Header

Location: Courtelyou Commons, 2324 N. Fremont St., DePaul University, Chicago 
Date/Time: March 7th, 4-9pm.


This free public event will address the provocative, explorative and suggestive work of cultural critics in the digital age. It is particularly interested in how cultural critics address an age that is repeatedly depicted as post-soul, post-race and post-black. 


The symposium will feature three exceptionally talented, perceptive, and incisive writers who have consistently produced intellectual work that deepens our interest in arts and culture; reveals new meanings and perspectives; expands our sense of culture; confronts our assumptions about value and taste; and sharpens our ability to respond to cultural texts. 


Lewis Gordon teaches in the Department of Philosophy and the Institute for African American Studies, with affiliation in Judaic Studies, at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. He previously taught at Temple University (where he was a Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy and founded and directed the Center for AfroJewish Studies and the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought), Brown University and Purdue University. He will deliver a talk relating to his recent work on the market colonization of the virtual public sphere.

Armond White is the editor of City Arts, for which he also writes articles and reviews. He was previously the lead film critic for the alternative weekly New York Press (1997–2011) and the arts editor and critic for The City Sun (1984–1996). His presentation is entitled, ‘Monster: How Celebrity Effects Black Identity,’ and will use key texts (literary, cinematic, musical) from the early 1900s to the present that detail the evolution of Black Power as both an aesthetic and political construct. 

Francesca Royster is a Professor of English at DePaul University who has written widely about Shakespeare, Race and Gender, Black Feminisms, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture, and Literature and Film. Her talk will trace a rebellious spirit in post-civil rights black music by addressing a range of offbeat, eccentric, queer, or slippery performances by leading musicians influenced by the cultural changes brought about by the civil rights, black nationalist, feminist, and LGBTQ movements.

Refreshments will be served at the event. 

Please contact Daniel McNeil (dmcneil2@depaul.edu) to RSVP

Frederick Douglass in Britain: Online Teaching Resource

Frederick Douglass, c1847-52

Many thanks to postgraduate researcher Hannah-Rose Murray (MA Public History at Royal Holloway) for passing on this information about her research focused on Frederick Douglass’ time in Britain and the associated teaching resource that she has produced:

How many people in Britain have heard of Frederick Douglass? He is probably one of the most famous African Americans in the United States, but his sojourn in Britain has been largely forgotten on both sides of the Atlantic.

Born a slave in Maryland, he escaped and travelled to Britain between 1845-7, urging the British people to campaign against American slavery. Douglass created a sensation, and his experiences in this country deserve to be recognised. He was able to sharpen his powerful skills as an orator, and he established long-term friendships with British abolitionists, who supported him throughout his career as a social activist.

I first became aware of Douglass at University (2008). I read a speech by him, titled “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” This was a merciless attack on America’s concept of ‘liberty’, and I’ve been hooked ever since! For a Masters project, I created several teaching resources focusing on Douglass’s trip to Britain, and created a website – https://sites.google.com/site/frederickdouglassinbritain/

While I was researching Douglass, it became clear there was something missing – an analysis of the impact Douglass had on Britain. We can test this by reading contemporary newspapers, as they offer opinions on American slavery in general and on Douglass himself. Through this, we can understand how and why Douglass was so successful in Britain, particularly on a grassroots level. There are some great debates within the newspapers about slavery, and how far Britain should interfere, so it’s a great study of relations between the UK and the United States too.

This period of history is fascinating, and some of the controversies Douglass became involved in show that the issue of slavery was not confined to the American shore. For all of these reasons, I’m keen to spread the word about Frederick Douglass and his important trip here, to a British and an American audience!

A blue plaque to Frederick Douglass is currently being organised, with the tribute ceremony on 20February at Whitehead’s Grove, South Kensington. Currently, more donations are needed, so if you would like to make a contribution or find out more about the plaque, follow this link – http://www.nubianjak.com/default.aspx

Derek Attridge on William Kentridge at the Bluecoat

Kentridge in Context: an evening with Derek Attridge.

Professor Attridge discusses Kentridge’s work in relation to

contemporary South African literature

on

Thursday 24 January 6pm

image001

(Image: William Kentridge, Eight Figures, 2010. Courtesy Artists Proof Studio, (c) the artist 2012.)

A Universal Archive – William Kentridge as Printmaker

Exhibition continues until Sunday 3 February, 2013.  Open 10am-6pm daily. Free.

One of South Africa’s greatest contemporary artists, William Kentridge is acclaimed worldwide for his films, drawings, theatre and opera productions.  He is also an innovative and prolific printmaker who studied etching at the Johannesburg Art Foundation.

Over the past 25 years Kentridge has produced more than 300 etchings, engravings, aquatints, silkscreens, linocuts and lithographs, experimenting with formats and combining techniques.  Often the social and political themes explored in his prints end up in a piece of theatre or animated film.  This exhibition includes over 100 prints in all media from 1988 to the present, with a focus on experimental and serial works, ranging in scale from intimate etchings to linocuts measuring 2.5 metres high.

Saturday 19 January 2pm

Exhibition tour

Alan Jones, an artist based at the Bluecoat, and our Aritistic Director, Bryan Biggs,discuss Kentridge’s work in the gallery.  Free.

Thursday 24 January 6pm

Kentridge in Context: an evening with Derek Attridge

Derek Attridge discusses Kentridge’s work in relation to contemporary South African literature.  Free, ticket required.

Sunday 27 January 2pm

Gallery Talk with Kate McCrickard

Leading Kentridge expert Kate McCrickard offers insights into his work. Free.

Saturday 2 February 2-5pm

Open printmaking studios

William Kentridge uses a wide range of printmaking techniques.  Visit our two print studios for demonstrations of these processes.  Free.


1804 & Its Afterlives: International Conference

We are pleased to present below the programme for the upcoming conference 1804 & Its Afterlives to be held at Nottingham Contemporary on the 7-8 December 2012. This event takes place in conjunction with Nottingham Contemporary’s current exhibition Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou and will include as speakers, specialists across many disciplines in the field of Haitian and Caribbean Studies.

The event is free, to book a place via the Nottingham Contemporary site click here.

Image

Hector Hyppolite, Henry Christophe, Collection Musée Nader, Port-au-Prince

1804 & Its Afterlives

The Space, Nottingham Contemporary

Friday 7th December

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10.30   Arrivals & Registration (Refreshments served in The Space Foyer )

Session One 11h-13h

11.00   Introduction

11.30   Keynote Lecture, Colin Dayan: ‘The gods in the trunk (or writing in a belittered world)’:

I offer a context for refiguring our understanding of the supernatural, a recognition of attentiveness that asks:  What could we feel if we could feel what we experience sufficiently? What I once called Marie Vieux Chauvet’s ‘literary fieldwork’ becomes a way to think anew about the making of fiction and the meaning of ritual. With vodou practice-and the threats now against its very existence-as my prompt, I go beyond the borders of academic decorum to substantially political encounters. In asking what remains alive, vivid, and unsettling outside our conventions and characterizations, I question the meaning of ‘justice’ and the reach of ‘cruelty,’ as well as the uses of ‘reason.’  By reshuffling our conceptual schemes, my objective is to give the claims of spirit the color and shape of matter.  Finally, I want to breach the gap between body and mind, dead and living, human and non-human. How else can we work and think through this time of extinctions? 

12.30   Conversation & Q&A with Colin Dayan
Chaired by Leah Gordon & Alex Farquharson (Curators, Kafou, Haiti Art & Vodou)

 

Session Two 14h-16.30h

14.00   Charles Forsdick, Introduction 

14.30   Nick Nesbitt:  Legacies of 1804: Anti-slavery, Decolonization and the Critique of Violence

15.00   Dick Geary: The Contradictory Legacy of Haiti for Slave Revolt in Brazil

15.30   Conversation with Dick Geary & Nick Nesbitt, Chaired by Charles Forsdick

16.00   Q&A

16.30   Exhibition visit Kafou, Haiti Art & Vodou  – with Alex Farquharson & Leah Gordon

17.30   Drinks for speakers and delegates served in The Space – launch of Kafou catalogue.

 

Saturday 8th December

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10.30   Arrivals & Registration (Refreshments served in The Space Foyer )

Session Three 10.45h-13.30h

10.45   Introduction by Philip Kaisary

11.00   Michael Largey:
1804 and Musical Memory: Occide Jeanty and Recombinant Mythology in Haiti

11.30   Martin Munro:
The Revolution’s Ghosts: Dessalines, the Chimères, and Apocalyptic Creolization

12.00   Barbara Browning:
Catching the Rhythm: Infectious Politicization in the Figuring of Haitian Dance Since the Revolution

12.30   Conversation with Barbara Browning, Martin Munro & Michael Largey & Q&A
Chaired by Philip Kaisary

 

Session Four 14.30-17h

14.30   Introduction

14.45   Millery Polyne:
The Commercial and Ideological Uses of Haiti-from Post U.S. Occupation to Post-Earthquake

15.15   Matthew J Smith:
Haitian Revolutions: Politics, Conflicts, and the Shadow of 1804

15.45   Conversation with Millery Polyne and Matthew J Smith, Chaired by Nick Nesbitt

16.15   Q&A

17.00   Close

 

Speakers Biographies

Colin Dayan is Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University, and expert in literary, legal and religious studies of the Americas, and author of A Rainbow for the Christian West: Rene Depestre‘s Poetry; Fables of Mind: An Inquiry into Poe’s Fiction(1987); Haiti, History, and the Gods and, most recently, The Law is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons. In Haiti, History, and the Gods Dayan investigated how Haiti is created and recreated in fiction and fact, text and ritual, discourse and practice. Uncovering a silenced, submerged past, she argued provocatively for the consideration of both Vodou rituals and narrative fiction as repositories of history.

Leah Gordon (Chair) is an artist and curator. She has produced a body of work on the representational boundaries between art, religion, anthropology, post-colonialism and folk history and her film and photographic work has been exhibited internationally. She has previously served as adjunct curator for the Haitian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, was on the curatorial team for the recent ‘In Extremis’ exhibition at the Fowler Museum, UCLA, and is curator of ‘Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou’at Nottingham Contemporary.

Nick Nesbitt is Professor of French & Italian, Princeton University;his publications include Voicing Memory: History and Subjectivity in French Caribbean Literature and Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment – which explores the Haitian Revolution as a fundamental event of the Age of Revolution and Enlightenment, in relation to key thinkers in contemporary political philosophy. He is editor of Toussaint Louverture: The Haitian Revolution and co-editor with Brian Hulse of Sounding the Virtual: Gilles Deleuze and the Philosophy of Music.

Dick Geary is the former Director of Institute for the Study of Slavery at University of Nottingham; he published extensively on European labour history before researching slave labour and unpaid work in Brazil and Western Europe, emphasising the role of ideology, religion, and ritual. Geary´s main field of research is the European labour movement and the intellectual history of Marxism. More recently he has been developing a research on the history of slavery. His methods include both social history and comparative studies.

Charles Forsdick (Chair) is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool. His research focuses principally on exoticism, travel literature, postcolonial literature in French, the francophone dimensions of postcolonial theory, the contemporary French novel and representations of the Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture.

Michael Largey is Professor of Ethnomusicology and Area Chair of Musicology at Michigan State University College of Music. He is a specialist in Caribbean music, specifically Haitian classical and religious music. He is author of Vodou Nation: Haitian Art Music and Cultural Nationalism in which he examined how elements of Vodou music were used by elite composers to express understandings of nasyon (nation) from the 1890s through to the US military occupation of 1915-1934.

Martin Munro is Director Winthrop-King Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Florida State University. He previously worked in Scotland, Ireland, and Trinidad. His recent publications include: American Creoles: The Francophone Caribbean and the American South; Different Drummers: Rhythm and Race in the Americas; Edwidge Danticat: A Reader’s Guide; and Haiti Rising: Haitian History, Culture, and the Earthquake of 2010. He is currently working on the theme of the apocalypse in the Caribbean.

Barbara Browning is Associate Professor in the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Her major interests lie in Brazil and the African diaspora; dance ethnography; race, gender and postcoloniality; fiction and performance. In Infectious Rhythm Browning analysed how the African cultural diaspora has continued to be represented in terms of metaphors of disease and contagion. She continues to merge practical engagement of body practices with her scholarly work, which broadly addresses performance and politics in the African diaspora.

Philip Kaisary (Chair) is Assistant Professor of Law at University of Warwick, where he received his Ph.D in English and Comparative Literary Studies.  His research interests are interdisciplinary and range across the fields of legal and literary studies, human rights, postcolonial studies, and black Atlantic studies with particular focus on disaster law and the cultural impact of disasters; the Haitian Revolution; and the legal and cultural history of slavery and anti-slavery. He is currently revising his dissertation for publication. 

Matthew J. Smith is Lecturer in History at University of the West Indies; his main area of research is in Haitian politics and society after the U.S. occupation (1915-1934) and Haitian regional migration in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. He is author of Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957, which argues that the period from 1934 to the rise of Dictator Francois Duvalier, was modern Haiti’s greatest moment of political promise.

Millery Polyné is Assistant Professor of American Studies, Gallatin School at New York University. His research interests highlight the history of African American and Afro-Caribbean cultural, political, and economic initiatives in the 19th and 20th centuries; dance, jazz, sports and urban memory. He is the author of From Douglass to Duvalier: U.S. African Americans, Haiti and Pan Americanism 1870-1964.