February 3, 2016
Table of Contents:

17th FIU Eric Williams Lecture Affirms Caribbean's Leadership in US-Cuba Accord

MIAMI, FL.- To a packed crowd of some 170 at the 17th FIU Eric Williams Lecture, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, ably made the case for Caribbean foresight, spanning some 43 years, vis a vis the recent controversial agreement between the United States and Cuba.

"The US-Cuba Accord: How the Caribbean Paved the Way" addressed the myriad ways in which Caribbean leadership fostered the current hemispheric climate, commencing with the historic 1972 initiation of diplomatic relations with Cuba by Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica and Guyana. It touched on the intense US pressure that was brought to bear on the 'Big Four' (who were the signatories to the establishment of CARICOM the very next year), because of this unprecedented step; and it amplified the anger that their leaders generally exhibited at the blatant attempt to interfere in the international positions taken by self-governing countries. As far back as 1962, Eric Williams defied the US by inviting Cuba to participate in the Independence celebrations of his country. The underpinnings for this stemmed, not only from Williams' view that diplomacy could encourage democracy, but from his geo-political bent which envisioned an "extended Caribbean Community embracing everybody - British, French, Dutch, American, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic and the three Guianas" (From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean,1492-1969).

With a folksy, but pointed delivery, Prime Minister Gonsalves rendered an elaborate timeline of Caribbean-Cuba relations, and discussed the sometimes leftist leanings of certain Caribbean states. He outlined the dilemma faced by Caribbean nations during the Angolan Civil War, when Cuba requested refueling stops for its planes en route to Angola; the Caribbean has long taken a position of non-interference in the politics of sovereign states. And the Q & A that followed Gonsalves' lecture was both measured and lively, focusing on reparations for indigenous peoples and those affected by the scourge of slavery.

Established in 1999, FIU's annual Eric Williams Lecture honors the distinguished Caribbean statesman, consummate academic, internationally renowned historian, and author of several other books. His 1944 groundbreaking study Capitalism and Slavery, popularly referred to as The Williams Thesis, arguably re-framed the historiography of the British trans-Atlantic slave trade (and its concomitant European incarnations) and established the contribution of Caribbean slavery to the development of both Britain and America. The book has been translated into eight languages, including Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish and soon-to-be, Korean. It continues to inform today's ongoing debate and remains "years ahead of its time...this profound critique is still the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development," according to the New York Times. Eric E. Williams was also the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and Head of Government for a quarter of a century until his death in 1981. He led the country to Independence from Britain in 1962 and onto Republicanism in 1976.

Among prior Eric Williams Memorial Lecture speakers have been: the late John Hope Franklin, one of America's premier historians of the African-American experience; Kenneth Kaunda, former President of the Republic of Zambia; Cynthia Pratt, Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas; Mia Mottley, Attorney General of Barbados; Beverly Anderson-Manley, former First Lady of Jamaica; Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica; the celebrated civil rights activist Angela Davis; prize-winning Haitian author Edwige Danticat and Hon. Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia.

The Lecture, which seeks to provide an intellectual forum for the examination of pertinent issues in Caribbean and African Diaspora history and politics, is co-sponsored by FIU's: Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs; Ruth K. and Shepard Broad Distinguished Lecture Series; Cuban Research Institute; Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center; AADS Graduate Students Association; Caribbean Students Association; Council of Student Organizations; Milton Adams/Karen M. Linger; Elliot & Sandra Bastien; Bilmor With Advertising Specialties, Inc.; Dr. Anique Bryan; Dr. Anthony Bryan; Cheryl and Fitz; Frank Collins; Leslye Danglade; Michael & Patricia Edwards; Jennifer Eligon; Hometrust Mortgage Co.; Michael John; Rev. Canon & Mrs. Winston Joseph; Joy's Roti Shop; Leroy & Anne Lashley; Louis Lezama; Miami Dade College; Beverly Mohamed; Zulma Niles; Jennifer & Dorrick Nurse; Ronnie and Sumin Quan-Vie; RLB Financial Services, Inc.; Lennox & Gemma Roach; Douglas & Anella Sebro; Mervyn Solomon; Yvonne St. Louis; Marilyn Taylor-Duncan; Trinidad and Tobago Community at Christ the King Catholic Church; Victoria Mutual Building Society; Welch, Morris & Associates.

The Lecture is also supported by The Eric Williams Memorial Collection Research Library, Archives and Museum at the University of the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago campus), which was inaugurated by former U.S. Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell in 1998. It was named to UNESCO's prestigious Memory of the World Register in 1999.

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal
Deadline for abstracts: 1 April 2016
Full papers due: 1 August 2016

This special issue of Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal seeks papers and reflections on the work of Paule Marshall, situating the author and her writings within the canons of Caribbean, American, African-American, and/or Women's literature. In particular, we are interested in contributions that consider how, and why, Marshall's work remains vibrant today, near sixty years after her first publication.
Born in Brooklyn of Barbadian parentage, Marshall has made major contributions to each of these canons via seven works of fiction, a memoir, and several essays on writing and culture. From her first novel, Brown Girl, Brownstones (1959), through her recently published memoir, Triangular Road (2009), Marshall's writings have poetically evoked the Afro-Caribbean experience in the region and in the Caribbean diaspora. Given the broad spectrum of her oeuvre, her work regularly appears on syllabi across various disciplines in the humanities, attesting to the contemporary significance of her work. Despite this reach and relevance, or perhaps in some ways because of it, scholarship on Marshall remains limited to individual voices in monographs and scattered articles, obscuring the ongoing impact of her contribution to literature and the humanities more broadly. Therefore, this special issue aims to present a rich and diverse examination of how Marshall's writings continue to speak to today's personal, national, and global anxieties surrounding, amongst others, questions of race, nation, family, gender, and sexuality.
We are open to scholarly papers, reflections, and creative work covering any of these questions, as well as others not stated above. We are especially interested in submissions that consider Marshall's less studied texts and/or her work in building the next generation of African & African Diaspora literary community while on faculty at New York University.
Prospective contributors should email 300-500 word abstracts by 1 April 2016. Final versions of accepted papers will be due 1 August 2016. All completed manuscripts must be submitted for peer review via the Anthurium electronic submissions system. Please send abstracts and all inquiries to Kelly Baker Josephs ( kjosephs@york.cuny.edu).
About the special issue editor: Kelly Baker Josephs is Associate Professor of English at York College/CUNY. She specializes in World Anglophone Literature with an emphasis on Caribbean Literature. Her book,  Disturbers of the Peace: Representations of Insanity in Anglophone Caribbean Literature (University of Virginia Press, 2013), considers the ubiquity of madmen and madwomen in Caribbean literature between 1959 and 1980. She is the editor of  sx salon: a small axe literary platform and manages  The Caribbean Commons website.
About the Journal: Anthurium , a peer reviewed Caribbean Studies Journal founded in 2003, publishes original works and critical studies of Caribbean literature, theater, film, art, and culture by writers and scholars worldwide exclusively in electronic form.

Your Free Access to Journal of Africana Religions

ASWAD Members! One of the benefits of ASWAD membership is free access to the Journal of Africana Religions. When you joined you should have received your log-in information from us. If not, let us know:
Are you interested in submitting an article for review? Check out the requirements here:
The first issue of the year is now out. Here is the table of contents:
Angela R. Demovic, "Where are the Women When the Tourists Arrive?: Bodies, Space, and Islamic Femininity in Rural Zanzibar"
Christopher Driscoll and Monica R. Miller, "Ni**as in Paris?: Traveling between the 'Who' and 'What' of Diaspora in the Study of African American Religion" 
Musa W. Dube, "The Subaltern Can Speak: Reading the Mmutle (Hare) Way"
Jeremy Rich, "From Jean-Perce Makanzu to Makanzu Mavumilusa: An Evangelical Protestant Leader in Mobutu's Congo, 1960-1980"
Christian Vannier and Eric James Montgomery, "Sacred Slaves: Tchamba Vodu in Southern Togo"
Thanks for your support! 
Edward Curtis & Sylvester Johnson, editors

American and Muslim Worlds circa 1500-1900
Conference at the University of Pennsylvania, McNeil Center for Early American Studies

30 Mar - 1 Apr 2017

Keynote speakers:
Denise Spellberg, author of Thomas Jefferson's Quran: Islam and the Founders; Sylviane Diouf, author of Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas

Program Committee: Edward E. Curtis, Mehmet Darakcioglu, Mitch Fraas, Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, John Ghazvinian, Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet, Timothy Marr, Daniel Richter, Heather Sharkey, Karine Walther
Long before the age of twentieth century geopolitics, the American and Muslim worlds informed, interacted, perplexed, inspired, confounded and imagined each other in ways far more numerous than is frequently thought. Whether through Salem traders in the East Indies, Ottoman consuls in Washington, orientalist themes in the work of Emerson, Morisco converts in Latin America, or the burial practices of enslaved Africans, there was no shortage of opportunities for Islam, Muslims and the inhabitants of the Americas to meet, interact and shape one another.

We invite proposals for a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary conference examining the interplay between American and Muslim worlds, circa 1500-1900, to be held at the University of Pennsylvania's McNeil Center for Early American Studies in the spring of 2017. Most papers will be pre-circulated via a password-protected website, accessible only to conference registrants, who will be expected to read them in advance.

We are intentionally leaving the term "American and Muslim worlds" open to the widest possible interpretations. Possible topics could include (but are not limited to):
  • Islam and slavery in the Americas
  • Islam and the founders
  • Muslim immigration to the Americas
  • American missionary activity as well as eschatological and other religious responses to the Muslim world
  • Military conflicts (e.g., the Barbary wars)
  • American orientalism
  • Material culture (carpets, textiles, horses, irrigation, etc)
  • Aesthetic forms
  • Diplomatic and political history
  • Trading networks
  • Travel narratives
We envisage this conference as an intellectual platform bringing together scholars from the US and abroad, to consider the interweaving of American and Muslim worlds. We are particularly open to papers that consider Muslim responses to events that scholars in the Anglophone world have traditionally considered from "American" points of view (e.g., the US and the Barbary wars, missionary activity). We are also favorably disposed to papers that disrupt the idea of American and Muslim worlds as two separate and non-overlapping entities. Finally, we are keen to attract papers that conceive of the Muslim world as something more than just the Middle East (for example, papers that deal with the Ottoman Balkans; Central, South and Southeast Asia; West Africa).

Confirmed participants include Jacob Berman, Karoline Cook, Michael C. Hawkins, Paul Lovejoy, Bethel Saler, and Malini Johar Schueller. The conference will feature an opening plenary with presentations from senior scholars, and discussion-intensive panels of research in progress, with plenary speakers serving as discussants. The forum will also feature a public exhibit at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at Penn's Van Pelt Library.

Some support for travel and lodging expenses will be available to conference presenters.

Papers of approximately 7,500 words will be due for precirculation no later than 3 February 2017. To be considered, please send an abstract of 250-300 words, along with a one-page CV, to mceas@ccat.sas.upenn.edu no later than 16 May 2016. Decisions will be made during summer 2016.


April 12 - 16, 2016

In April 2016, the Fernando Ortiz African Cultural Center in Santiago will convene the always-anticipated 15th International Conference on the African and Afro American Culture.  Scholars and others interested in African and Afro American culture have been invited to attend and to present papers at the conference.  
To support the conference and encourage attendance and participation by U.S. scholars and others, Global Arts/Media is offering an affordable six-nights/seven days travel package, including air travel between the U.S. and Cuba, hotel accommodations, entry visa for Cuba, among other amenities, for $2,500 - $2,900.

From the Conference literature:
The Conference intends to gather specialists, scholars and other interested in the African and Afro American subjects to open a reflection space on the most pressing issues on the topic from a multi- disciplinary view point.  Investigators on the social sciences, plastic artists, doctors, filmmakers, musicians, choreographers, dancers, priests and practicing of popular religions of African roots and other interested in general, to set a debate on the following items:
  • Pre- colonial Africa: social, political and economic structures
  • Colonial Africa. Fundamental European establishments. Countries formation and nationalities in Africa. Liberation wars. Relations of Africa and the world
  • The Atlantic slave trade, its treatment in the current historiography. The slave and his manumission ways. Hiding place and fugitiveness. The slave position before the slave trade.
  • The African contribution as part of the national identity of the peoples of America and the Caribbean for a recognition of our own historic individual
  • Diachronic and Synchrony in the linguistic, philosophic, historic and literary studies on Africa, Afro America and Afro Caribbean
  • Gender, race and identity
  • The Africans and afro descendants in the New World
  • Multiculturalism, Transculturation and re africanization as current tendencies to treat the african component in the New World
  • The politic and cultural relations among Africa and the American and Caribbean peoples
  • The religions of African root in their historic and contemporary development
  • Africa in the XIXth century. The current cultural issues of the continent
Workshops will be dedicated to the plastic arts, film and filmmaking, dance and theater, and there will be a Symposium dedicated to the topic of Medicine and Culture.

For more information about the conference or the travel package, contact Global Arts/Media:  globalartsmediausa@gmail.com  or telephone (516) 686-6574.  

Thank you!
Travel to Cuba with the Global Arts/Media is under general license from OFAC, the U.S. Treasury Department, 31 C.F.R. ยง515.565(b)(2).  It is a requirement of the license that each traveler have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba.  See www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions.

Join Our Mailing List