Monthly Archives: February 2018

_Brown Girl in the Ring_ comes to the screen

Nalo Hopkinson’s first novel, Brown Girl in the Ring (first published in 1998) is the basis for a new film called Brown Girl Begins, which is directed by Sharon Lewis and premiered in September 2017 at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York. The film will soon be available on DVD. In a recent interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Hopkinson says of the novel, “It is technically my weakest, but it’s the one people grab onto. It’s the one they remember.”

See Hopkinson on Brown Girl and Afro-futurism here.

See Sharon Lewis discuss Brown Girl Begins here (with a trailer for the film linked at the end of the interview).


“The Past Is Not Our Future” – forthcoming film on Walter Rodney

The Past Is Not Our Future: Walter Rodney’s Student Years a new film directed by Matthew Smith, out in February 2018. Described here:

Rare photos, re-enactments, personal writing and archive film are complied in this documentary exploring the early life of Walter Rodney, a renowned Guyanese revolutionary, from his university years to his emergence as a political radical in the 1960s. It’s as much a tribute to the Caribbean during the sweeping transformations of the 60s as it is to Rodney’s enduring voice.

View the trailer here.

CFP: Bridging the Gap conference – Dakar, July 2018

Bridging the Gap:
Black Studies Across Social, Geographical, Epistemic, and Linguistic Lines
July 6-7, 2018 – Dakar, Senegal

from the CFP:

The Fourth International Symposium of the Dakar Institute, in collaboration with Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), the West African Research Center (WARC), and the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work at the University of the West Indies, Mona, aims to bridge the gap across social, geographical, epistemic, and linguistic lines that plagues the discipline of Black Studies today. The Organizing Committee plans to create a platform that offers the possibility to revisit the transdisciplinary and transnational ambitions of the discipline beyond the aforementioned limits. We welcome papers, panels, and performances (visual, musical, dramatic, etc.) that:

  • consider the limits of the US-centered Black Studies model and the constraints of its social, geographical, linguistic, epistemic, and disciplinary boundaries
  • explore topics and fields of discussion beyond the US-centered tradition and/or the humanities and social sciences
  • decolonize Black Studies from an interdisciplinary perspective
  • rethink representation, inclusion, and equality in university institutions, teaching, and research
  • confront legacies of exclusion and oppression to strengthen the rigor and accountability of our teaching, research, and institutional spaces
  • compare discourses from different geographical areas
  • provide new readings of the classics of Black Studies that establish a dialogue between early and contemporary generations of black scholars
  • address possible radical transformation in African knowledge-making and pedagogies through theoretical and/or practical inquiries from any angle in the humanities, social sciences, arts, health sciences, math, biology, law, medicine, economics, architecture, etc.
  • tackle issues in Black Studies from a multi-, inter-, or transdisciplinary perspective, or from the disciplines of education, literature, sociology, history, philosophy, dance, music, linguistics, law, religion, anthropology, economics, political science, and psychology, etc.
  • present research related to the theme that has demonstrated its utility and relevance to communities and peoples in Africa and the diaspora.

Proposals for papers and panels should be no more than 250 words, with up to 5 keywords.

Proposals for artistic performances should be a maximum of 250 words and state clearly the requirements for staging the work.

Abstract deadline: March 1st, 2018

Please send your title, abstract, and a short author bio with the subject “Conference2018” to:

CFP: “The Unexpected Caribbean” Symposium

Symposium takes place: University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), October 18-20, 2018 Abstract deadline: March 31, 2018 In 1779, the first permanent resident of what was to become Chicago, IL was arrested by the British army, who suspected him of being an American sympathizer in the U.S. Revolutionary War. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable later moved to St. Charles, MO, where he died in 1818. While his home at the mouth of the Chicago River is now established as a National Historic Landmark, few people realize that this key figure in Midwestern history was of African descent, and likely of Haitian origin, arriving to the Upper Midwest through French Louisiana. He represents one of the most prominent examples of the “Unexpected Caribbean” in the Midwest, and in the greater United States. Far from being exotic and isolated islands suitable only as tourist destinations or the site of natural disasters, epidemiological crises, and charity work, Caribbean societies have long been integral to U.S. history, economies, and cultural production (as well as the histories, economies, and cultures of England, France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and their territories and former colonies). The interplay between Caribbean cultures and people and the rest of the world reveals dynamic relationships and many instances of the Unexpected Caribbean—both within the Caribbean and outside its geographical borders. The Association of Caribbean Women Writers & Scholars (ACWWS), partnering with KU’s Institute of Haitian Studies and Center of Latin American & Caribbean Studies, is planning a two-day interdisciplinary symposium and an educator workshop for regional teachers focusing on THE UNEXPECTED CARIBBEAN, to be held on the University of Kansas campus in October 2018. One of the keynote speakers will be Ulrick Jean-Pierre, a visual artist born in Haiti whose work explores the connections between the histories and cultures of Haiti and Louisiana. Jean-Pierre’s paintings will be on display at KU’s Spencer Museum of Art during Fall 2018, and will highlight the Mary Lou Vansant Hughes Haitian art collection, including pieces by Rigaud Benoît, Wilson Bigaud, Charles Ermistral (Thialy), Max Gerbier, Edith Stephane. Conference organizers seek papers that reveal some of the unexpected moments and instances of surprise in Caribbean literature, film, history, culture, law, and landscape. We especially invite work that addresses the following: *   Caribbean art and artistry (painting, sculpture, film, music, carnival, fashion, architecture, etc.) *   Caribbean Louisiana / Caribbean presences in the Gulf of Mexico *   representations of Caribbean im/migrants in the Midwest *   creating Caribbean communities in the Midwest: the joys and challenges *   Caribbean migrations worldwide *   The Latinx Caribbean (from/in Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic) *   negotiating linguistic identity/ies *   the Caribbean subject in policy and law *   Caribbean gender performances *   Exotifications of the Caribbean, incl. depictions of Caribbean religions in popular culture *   Caribbean ecologies *   Natural disasters in the Caribbean *   NGOs in the Caribbean *   The Caribbean and the Digital: media, technology, and the Digital Humanities *   Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable and/or other Caribbean “firsts” Papers will be presented in English. Reading time should not exceed 15 minutes. Please send a 300-word electronic abstract to Giselle Anatol and Cécile Accilien at, by March 31, 2018. Questions can be directed to Giselle Anatol,, or Cécile Accilien, (text taken from cfp email)

Kamau Brathwaite honored by PEN America

In a ceremony at New York University on February 20, 2018, Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite will receive the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry from PEN America. The award is described as follows:

The PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry is given in even-numbered years to a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature. The poet honored by the award is one whom expanded the scope of American poetry, and who continues to mature with each successive volume of poetry. They receive a stipend of $5,000 after being chosen by a panel of three to five poets or writers whose tastes and knowledge of contemporary American poetry are wide-ranging and thorough.

The award panel comprised Ed Roberson, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, and Ocean Vuong. The citation reads: “For his omnivorously synthetic, insistently local, sinuously syncopated, and consistently exciting work, including Elegguas, Born to Slow Horses, and Ancestors.”

More details here.


Kingston Book Festival – March 4-11, 2018

From the organizers:

The Kingston Book Festival (KBF) is the flagship event of the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ) that promotes reading and literacy as tools for national development and community transformation. The Festival takes place over eight days, March 4-11, 2018, at venues across the city of Kingston and culminates with the Kingston Book Fair on Sunday March 11 at Hope Gardens.

This year, KBF has been recognised as an official event under the year-long #Kingston145 celebration recognising city status for the Caribbean’s premier creative capital. The festival schedule includes free events such as readings, school tours, workshops, book launches, book parties and industry exhibits.

Follow the KBF on Facebook: