Diaspora Voices, New Directions – Reflecting On The Caribbean In Toronto

A One-Day Student Symposium,
April 5, 2014, University Of Toronto
Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George St., Room 2098

This is a one-day, student-organised, interdisciplinary conference on the Caribbean and its diaspora. This conference offers a vital public venue to highlight, discuss and celebrate the work and ideas of students interested in the Caribbean. The primary organizers and most of the participants are students themselves (with faculty and staff support). This conference gives organizers and participants the opportunity to gain invaluable organizing experience and a chance to get a glimpse of what it might feel like to pursue a career in academia. Additionally, it creates a unique space for community interaction, self-empowerment and networking.

We will have some limited childcare available with experienced childcare providers, but spaces are limited. Those in need of childcare in order to facilitate their involvement in the conference are strongly encouraged to make arrangements with the Conference Organizing Committee ahead of time.



9:15 Registration

Light breakfast available until 11:00. Tea, coffee and light snacks available throughout the day.

9:30 Welcoming Remarks by Jacqueline Allain

9:40 Drumming Performance by Alejandro Céspedes

10:00 Race, Gender and Political Consciousness

Chair: Alissa Trotz (Professor of Women and Gender and Caribbean Studies)

Katrina Kocsis (Economics Undergraduate), “Art and the Caribbean: Exploring Gender and Sexuality through Comparative Analysis of Bellywoman Bangarang and Before Night Falls”

Chantal McFarlane, “Marginalization of Afro-Caribbean Bodies and the Fetishization of Their Culture”

T’kehya Prentice-Cupid (History Undergraduate), “Blackness and Racial Consciousness in Claude McKay’s A Long Way From Home”

Kristen Young (History and English Undergraduate), “‘Collective Bovarism’ in early Pan-Africanism”

11:20 Justice for Caribbean Migrant Workers

Chair: Melanie J. Newton (Professor of History, Director of Caribbean Studies

Kevin Edmonds (Political Science, PhD Candidate) “St. Lucian Migrant Workers in the Global Economy”

Benjamin Landsee (History PhD Candidate; New College Senior Doctoral Fellow), “Haitian Migrant Workers in Early 20th Century Cuba”

Chris Ramsaroop (Justice for Migrant Workers), “Caribbean Migrant Farm Workers in Canada”

Comment by Laura Correa-Ochoa

12:35 Lunch catered by Roti Palace

1:30 Beyond the Classroom: Study Abroad Experiences in Africa and the Caribbean

Chair: Jared Toney (History, PhD Candidate)

Caribbean Studies students reflect on the experience of studying through travel. Presenters: Rachel Woldegiorgis; Mark Chatarpal; Shaunasea Brown; Melissa Sobers.

3:00 Fair Trade, Sexuality and Caribbean Globalization

Chair: TBA

Jacqueline Allain (History Undergraduate), “Indigenous-Spanish Sexual Relations in the 16th Century Caribbean”

Leslie Ann Fullerton (Caribbean Studies Undergraduate) “Mobilization of Women in Jamaican Dance: Ensuring Financial and Social Equity in the Dancehall”

Riel Hishon (History and Caribbean Studies Undergraduate), “The Reality of Fair Trade in the Commonwealth Caribbean Banana Industry”

4:15 FILM SCREENING:Y U R U M E I N   (H O M E L A N D) The Story of the Caribs of St. Vincent

Followed by discussion with director Andrea Leland

YURUMEIN (your-o-main) is an important story of Carib/Garifuna resistance against slavery and colonization. The film recounts the painful past of the Caribs on St Vincent while building an intimate portrait of Garifuna culture-in-transition today. When members of the Diaspora are first reunited and make a collective pilgrimage to the sacred site of Balliceaux (where the genocide occurred) the film reveals the beginnings of a movement among Garifuna people to revitalize traditional language, music, dance, and ritual. As Garifuna from around the world come together to remember and celebrate the lives and resilience of their shared ancestors, they also begin to discover possibility and hope for the future of Garifuna culture and a greater worldwide community.

5:30 Closing Remarks

Sean Mills, Professor of History, University of Toronto

Date: April 5th, 2014
Start Time: 9:00am
Cost: Free
Location: Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George St., Room 2098
Contact: Diaspora Voices Organizing Committee