We are happy to announce that audio recordings for the symposium recently held at Newcastle University – Representations of Slavery in Neoliberal Times – are now freely available online.
The recordings of papers and subsequent roundtable discussion are available to listen to on the School of Arts and Cultures webpages, these include:
Alternative Empathies: Representing Slavery’s Affective Afterlives
, Carolyn Pedwell, Newcastle University
Negative Positives: The Guardian, The Slave, The Wit and The Money,
Lubaina Himid, Centre for Contemporary Art, University of Central Lancashire
Debt, Freedom and Slavery in Neoliberal Times,
Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Nottingham
To listen to these recordings click here. Thanks to sympoisum organiser Daniel McNeil for letting us know about this great resource.
This week’s video feature is a series of three clips called Ole Time Carnival, 1959.
The colour footage is accompanied by the somewhat suspect ‘Ole time’ ‘authoritative’ voice of the ethnographer-journalist akin to that heard over the posthumously completed documentary footage of Maya Deren’s Divine Horsemen: the Living Gods of Haiti which similarly ends with a look at Haitian carnival from 1947-1951.
Part one opens with a trio of devilish looking masks grinning out at us who give way to footage of preparations for carnival in 1950s Trinidad – we are told that participants delve into the archives to research their annual creations inspired by cultures, histories and more recent characters as disparate as the Ancient Egyptians, Ivan the Terrible of Russia and Charlie Chaplin. Contemporary political comment too is visible not least through a large group of participants dressed as a “complete naval taskforce U.S. style” pointing guns at the crowd or hobbling around in drunken groups – the commentator prefers to see this as part of a “theatre of much-happiness” rather than a biting satire on U.S. Imperialism.
Throughout the wealth of costumes and performances shown also present the endless interweaving of histories that Trinidad and the Caribbean region as a whole embodies. Characters and dress inspired by African, European, Asian and (Native) American cultures remind us of historical migrations – forced and otherwise – the cultural clashes, and commodity flows of the transatlantic slave trade and indentured eras of the Atlantic World. The at times problematic commentary reminds us of the discursive legacies of these systems, while the fluidity of their inter-mingling in the crowd anticipate the continuation of movements across the globe into our contemporary era and the proliferating scholarship of hybridity, diasporas, creolisation and relation.
The comments for each of these videos on Youtube also make for some interesting reading as many commenters respond strongly to the costume and performance presented, harking back to carnival of the 50s to 80s which resembled “street theatre” before the event “deteriorated into a ‘masquerade mockery’ of Brazil”. Whatever your opinion of contemporary Trinidadian carnival though, the beauty and creativity of costume and performance in these videos of “the greatest show on earth” is worth a watch.
The international workshop “Beyond the Line – Cultural Constructions of the Sea” examines the relationship between land and sea. It investigates how the currently changing constellations in South-South relationships can be understood historically and culturally. If the active participation of the regions south of the Sahara since early modern times is denied, what is the situation today? And beyond that: is it justified in any way to attribute a historical insignificance to regions neighboring Africa on the Atlantic and Indian Oceans? These questions will be analyzed in the framework of a current trend in the social and cultural sciences that is called the “oceanic turn.” The symposium aims to pursue these questions and make its own contribution to them. Participants present the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as a cultural space. Individual panel discussions examine case studies of literature, migration, piracy, and trade cultures. In this way, research results on the sub-Saharan part of Africa will be investigated in their relationship to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and new approaches will be formulated. Conceived by Michael Mann and Ineke Phaf-Rheinberger.
June 22 – 23, 2012
Institute of Asian and African Studies (IAAW)
Invalidenstraße 118, Room 217
To view the full programme including paper abstracts click here
A beautiful work created by Edouard Duval-Carrié collaboratively with researchers involved in Haitilab. Click here to find out more about this artwork: http://fhi.duke.edu/haitiamber/
This week’s video post features two interviews each with one of the co-directors of Haitilab: professors Laurent Dubois (History and Romance Studies) and Deborah Jenson (French and Romance Studies). Haitilab is the first humanities laboratory at John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute of Duke University and is an exciting model for the development and integration of humanities research at universities across all levels from undergraduate upwards. “The lab merges research, education, and practical applications of innovative thinking for Haiti’s disaster recovery and for the expansion of Haitian studies in the U.S. and Haiti … and is also a resource for media outlets seeking to gain knowledge of Haiti.”
Laurent Dubois on “Left of Black”
“Mark Anthony Neal (African and African-American Studies, Duke) recently hosted Laurent Dubois on his popular web series Left of Black. The occasion is the recent publication of Dubois’s latest book, Haiti: The Aftershocks of History. Among other things, Dubois talked about the rich – and ambivalent – history of African American-Haitian cultural and political connections, from Frederick Douglass’s ambassadorship onward. The Haiti Lab was also on the agenda!”
Office Hours with Deborah Jenson on ‘Recovering Haiti’
In the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti Deborah Jenson was interviewed as part of one of Duke University’s regular online features: Office Hours.
Click here to view a rich variety of other great resources produced through Haitilab – including, essays, additional videos and related media coverage.
Both co-directors have recently published new books to find out more click the links below:
Laurent Dubois, Haiti: The Aftershocks of History
Deborah Jenson, Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution