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This landmark conference will bring together major scholars

in literature, sociology, psychology, history and media arts

 

 

The Middle-Atlantic Writers Association, Inc.

MAWA Conference

The Caribbean Presence 

in Black Thought, Letters, & Arts

Deadline for Proposals: August 15, 2003 

The Middle-Atlantic Writers Association, Inc., invites scholars, educators, creative writers, publishers, book dealers, patrons of literature and community leaders to join in a major cultural and literary dialogue that addresses a subject seldom discussed fully and with complete openness--"The Caribbean Presence in Black Thought, Letters and the Arts."  This landmark conference will bring together major scholars in literature, sociology, psychology, history and media arts to examine closely these aspects of African and African American history and culture.  Papers are invited on (but are not limited to) the following topics:

Caribbean Folklore and Oral Literature

   a. Male/Female Representation in Caribbean Oral Literature

   b. The Picaresque Character in Caribbean Folklore and Oral Literature

   c. Caribbean Folktales and Folksongs

   d. Self versus the Community in Caribbean Folklore

The Caribbean Writer and Society

   a. Race and Gender in Caribbean Writing

   b. The Caribbean Writer as Political Activist

   c. Caribbean Women Writing About Their Societies

   d. Caribbean Autobiographical Writing

   e. The Literature of the Caribbean Slave Trade

Self and Society in French and Spanish Caribbean Writing

   a. From Negritude to Creolite

   b. Gender and Race in the Literature of French and Spanish Caribbean Writers

   c. African Influences on Literature, Politics and History

Caribbean Artistic Expression

   a. Regional Musical Expression and Its Relation to Society

   b. Caribbean Musical Expression in Reaction to Its Times

   c. Representations of the Caribbean in American Film and Television

The Association welcomes proposals that address all aspects of this theme from individuals who want to

   a. present scholarly papers of 15-20 minutes

   b. present one-hour panels of two, three, or four participants

   c. read from original creative works

   d. present audio-visual displays

   e. present book and arts and crafts displays and sales

   f. perform dramatic works

   g.. host sessions and luncheons by other literary and scholarly organizations

 SEND PROPOSALS TO:  Dr. Sandra G. Shannon /  Department of English /  Howard University /  Washington, DC 20059

               OR   Email proposals in the body of the message to sshannon@howard.edu

Deadline for Proposals: August 15, 2003 /  Conference Dates:  October 15-18, 2003

All participants must become a member of MAWA. and pay the current conference registration fee

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Season of Adventure

By George Lamming

First published in 1960, Season of Adventure details the story of Fola, a light-skinned middle-class girl who has been tipped out of her easy hammock of social privilege into the complex political and cultural world of her recently independent homeland, the Caribbean island of San Cristobal. After attending a ceremony of the souls to raise the dead, she is carried off by the unrelenting accompaniment of steel drums onto a mysterious journey in search of her past and of her identity. Gradually, she is caught in the crossfire of a struggle between people who have "pawned their future to possessions" and those "condemned by lack of learning to a deeper truth." The music of the drums sounds throughout the novel, "loud as gospel to a believer's ears," and at the end stands alone as witness to the tradition which is slowly being destroyed in the name of European values. Whether through literary production or public pronouncements, George Lamming has explored the phenomena of colonialism and imperialism and their impact on the psyche of Caribbean people.

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity. Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next.

And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.”

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Ratification

The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

By Pauline Maier

A notable historian of the early republic, Maier devoted a decade to studying the immense documentation of the ratification of the Constitution. Scholars might approach her book’s footnotes first, but history fans who delve into her narrative will meet delegates to the state conventions whom most history books, absorbed with the Founders, have relegated to obscurity. Yet, prominent in their local counties and towns, they influenced a convention’s decision to accept or reject the Constitution. Their biographies and democratic credentials emerge in Maier’s accounts of their elections to a convention, the political attitudes they carried to the conclave, and their declamations from the floor. The latter expressed opponents’ objections to provisions of the Constitution, some of which seem anachronistic (election regulation raised hackles) and some of which are thoroughly contemporary (the power to tax individuals directly). —Booklist

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.”

Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

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Sovereignty of the Imagination

Language and the Politics of Ethnicity - Conversations III

By George Lamming

 

Political philosophy, Literature, Caribbean history, Language studies. According to Prof. Anthony Bogues, The Sovereignty of the Imagination gives us that capacity for language and therefore the ability to name and establish categories. But this is not just a literary capacity; it allows us to define freedom. George Lamming recognizes the centrality of the quest for freedom for the social group that he calls 'this world of men and women from down below.'

George Lamming is an illustrious Caribbean novelist and cultural critic from Barbados. His novels and volumes of essays and literary criticism offer insightful analyses on history, western philosophy, racism, colonization, education, literature and Caribbean independence.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        

Enjoy!

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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Related files: MAWA 2003  West Indian Narrative-- Part One  Part Two   Part Three  Part Four  Experiment in Haiti   West Indian Narrative   Shake Keane

MAWA Review Volume 16, Numbers 1 and 2  George Lamming and New World Imagination  Eric Roach and Flowering Rock  Kam Williams Interviews Colin Roach