Wednesday, July 6, 2016

UPM in Haiti

Vijay Shah in Haiti
Last month UPM acquisitions editor Vijay Shah attended the Caribbean Studies Association’s annual conference in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This was Shah’s fourth trip to the CSA annual conference, having previously traveled to Grenada, Mexico, and New Orleans. Shah’s travel to the conference each year is made possible through a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Vijay displayed books in our Caribbean Studies Series for over 700 Caribbean scholars. Like him, many had never gone to the island before. Series editors Anton Allahar and Natasha Barnes also attended the conference.

Resisting Paradise: Tourism, Diaspora, and Sexuality in Caribbean Culture by Angelique V. Nixon was honored with the Barbara T. Christian Literary Award. The book prize was established in 2001 to honor the memory of distinguished Caribbean-American black feminist theorist Barbara T. Christian and the award celebrates her intellectual legacy and is given to the best book published over the previous three-year period which explicitly examines the topics of race, gender, sexuality, class and intersectionality. 

Nixon’s book is a study of tourism in the Caribbean and the ways artists and activists resist its great allure. The study explores the relationship between culture and sex within the production of "paradise" and investigates the ways in which Caribbean writers, artists, and activists respond to and powerfully resist this production. Through a unique multidisciplinary approach to comparative literary analysis, interviews, and participant observation, Nixon analyzes the ways Caribbean cultural producers are taking control of representation.
Angelique Nixon (2nd from L) poses with the Christian Awarrd

The Miami Herald wrote an article about the conference, wherein CSA president Carol Boyce Davies explains its import:

“This is a historic meeting,” Boyce Davies said about the Caribbean Studies Association’s 41st annual conference that takes place Monday through Saturday in Port-au-Prince at the Marriott hotel. “First, CSA has been everywhere in the Caribbean for 40 years and it’s never done Haiti. Given that it’s the first black Republic, there has been a real gap in our ability to say that we’re covering the entire Caribbean.”
The article went on to describe the topics at the conference:
“In all, 701 individuals have registered and the scholars hail from universities across the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean and Australia. Discussion topics include titles such as “The Experiences of Jamaican female workers in the Cayman Islands,” “The Emerging Haitian Diaspora in Brazil,” “Migratory roots and routes of music of the Caribbean diaspora,” and “Beyond Hegemony: Haiti and the Ideology of Occupation from U.S. to UN.”  
Dupuy and fellow Haiti-born academic Robert Fatton of the University of Virginia will both discuss one of the conference’s more popular topics, the unequal economic relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which share the island of Hispaniola.” 

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