Caribbean Crossroads

Caribbean Crossroads

Tuesday-Wednesday, February 21-22
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This conference explores the interactions and points of contact between the different cultural and linguistic zones that make up the Caribbean region, in support of a less insular, more archipelagic sense of Caribbean culture. Contemporary Caribbean cultures are, as we know, the result of a complex mix of influences from around the world. Centuries before the term globalization was coined, the region occupied a strategic point in a global network of trade, communication, and, of course, labor. More recently, theories of intercultural hybridization and creolization have been central to debates over the cultural identity of the region. But what about the flows of culture within the region? Despite repeated calls for “charting the Caribbean as a literary region” (A. James Arnold), literary scholars have been much less adept than (for example) musicologists at tracing intra-Caribbean cultural exchange. This is due, in part, to the linguistic borders between the islands‑‑themselves a direct legacy of the region’s colonial history‑‑a fact that suggests the importance of comparatist and multilingual techniques for developing a better understanding of the region’s place within world literature.

Sponsored by The UCSB Series in Contemporary Literature, The Consulate General of France in Los Angeles, The UCLA Department of French and Francophone Studies, The UCLA Working Group in Caribbean Studies, The UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, The UCSB Department of French and Italian, The UCSB Department of Spanish and Portuguese, The UCSB Dept of Black Studies, The UCSB Center for Black Studies, The UCSB Hemispheric South/s research initiative, The UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies, The UCSB Department of Comparative Literature, The UCSB Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music, The UCSB Para/Sites Research Focus Group, The UCSB American Cultures and Global Contexts Center

Conference Schedule

Tuesday (February  21), 2:30-7:00pm

2:45-3:00pm  Welcome and Opening Remarks

I.    3:00-4:00pm   Opening Address

Léon-François Hoffmann (Princeton) — Creolization and Creole Identity: the Case of Haïti

4:00-4:15pm  Coffee Break

II.  4:15-5:45pm  Haitian Exceptionalism, at Home and Abroad

1.Nadège Clitandre (UCSB) — Haitian Exceptionalism in the Caribbean and the Project of Rebuilding Haiti
2.Michelle Kendall (UCSB) — Simone Schwarz-Bart’s Ton beau capitaine: Understanding Haitian Migrant Workers in the Caribbean
3.Mark Pfeiffer (University of Georgia) — Mère Solitude: Representations of Haitian Identity in Northern Exile

5:45-6pm  Coffee Break

III. 6:00-7pm Keynote address
Percy Hintzen (UC Berkeley) — The Caribbean in the Modern World: Ideology, Reality, and Utopian Vision
Wednesday (February 22), 8:30am-8pm
I. 9:00-10:30am Environmental Politics in the Caribbean

1.Richard Watts (U. of Washington) — The “Ecological Slave” in Comparative Perspective
2. Robin Derby (UCLA) — Mountains, Mole Hills and Mud Cakes: On Revolutionary Dirt in Haiti
3. Lizabeth Paravisini (Vassar) — Environmental Exiles: Loss and Displacement in Haiti and Beyond

10:30-10:45am span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Coffee Break

II.10:45am -12:30pm  Racial and Gender Politics

1.Carrie Noland (UC Irvine) — Performing (Caribbean) Blackness
2.Felice Blake (UCSB) — The Right to Obscurity:  Racial Subjectivity and the Politics of Opacity in Black Diasporic Literature
3.Stephanie Batiste (UCSB) — Black Performances of Hemispheric Nationhood
4.Roberto Strongman (UCSB) — Transcorporeality in Haitian and Afro-Cuban Diasporic Religion

12:30-2pm Lunch Break

III.  2:00-3:30pm  Close Readings

1. Yogita Goyal (UCLA)  — C.L.R. James and the Question of Form
2.Michael Grafals (UCSB) — Hostos and the Sublime Idea of Caribbean Unity in La peregrinación de Bayoán
3. Juan Pablo Lupi (UCSB) — Phantasmatic Modernities in Enrique Bernardo Núñez’s Cubagua

3:30-3:45pm Coffee Break

IV. 3:45-5:30pm  Performance genres and popular culture

1. Edwin Hill (USC) — Rap Scars and Painful Pens: Violence and the Body in Contemporary Women Rappers and Writers from the Antilles
2. Jeannine Murray-Roman (Reed) — Un juego de enlaces: Temporality and the Queer Caribbean Blogger
3. Kristie Soares (UCSB) — Is Looseness the Caribbean Way? Analyzing the 1970s Caribbean Diaspora in Que Pasa U.S.A
4. Ivette Romero (Marist) — “Repeating Islands” and the Crossroads: Online Media and Remaking Community

5:30-5:45pm  Coffee Break  

V. 5:45-7:30pm Keynote 2
Manthia Diawara (NYU), presentation and screening of his film, Edouard Glissant: One World In Relation (2009), followed by q&a with the director (moderated by Peter Bloom)
VI. 8:00pm Dinner and post-conference party, hosted by Dominique Jullien