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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, March 27, 2023


March 23, 2004 — The University of the Virgin Islands will celebrate literature, music, oral traditions and all of the disciplines that encompass the humanities at the Humanities Festival 2004 from March 28 through April 3. The week of events will focus on the theme "Word Power Sound: Caribbean Cultural Connections." The festival will feature presentations by renowned Caribbean writers, musicians, filmmakers and a presentation by a popular comedian and social commentator. The events will take place at the Cafetorium on UVI’s St. Croix campus unless otherwise noted. All events are free and open to the public.
"We are using events like these to promote, encourage and support the uniquely Caribbean humanities," said Humanities Festival Chairman Dr. David Gould. "The people that we are bringing are high-caliber, top-notch speakers. We hope that the community can come out and hear them," Dr. Gould said.
The festivities begin on March 28 with an International Night celebrating the diverse cultural communities of the Caribbean. The celebration continues on March 29 with a presentation by storyteller extraordinaire Paul Keens-Douglas, who is also known for his thought-provoking social commentary. Keens-Douglas, who has a degree in sociology, has been a moving force in keeping alive oral traditions of the Caribbean.
"Sargasso," "Concert in the Rainforest," and "Family in the Caribbean" — acclaimed films by Guyanese author, critic and filmmaker Michael Gilkes — will be screened at a film festival on March 31. "Sargasso," an adaptation of Jane Rhys’ novel "Wide Sargasso Sea," was filmed in Dominica with a Caribbean cast and crew. "Concert in the Rainforest" chronicles an eccentric British explorer’s gift of a grand piano to the Waiwai Amerindians in the south Rupununi rainforest of Guyana. "Family in the Caribbean" examines a conflation of two Caribbean Carifestas in Cuba and Barbados, as an argument for and demonstration of Caribbean unity.
Poet and author Olive Senior will read excerpts of her works of fiction on April 1. Senior, who has worked in the media in Jamaica and Canada, has published two books of poetry, three collections of short stories and four works of nonfiction. Senior will be the keynote speaker at the Student Literary Conference on April 2.
Award-winning poet Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming will present her poetry at a reading on April 2. A Trinidadian, Manoo-Rahming is the author of a collection of poetry entitled "Curry Flavour" and has been published in UVI’s annual anthology "The Caribbean Writer."
Along with presentations by members from the wider Caribbean, the Humanities Festival will feature local musicians like Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Nights and dance groups like the St. Croix Heritage Dancers. There will be a panel discussion and oratorical contest. There will also be poetry and short story readings and open mic sessions.
On the St. Thomas campus, humanities professors Drs. Vincent Cooper and Patricia Harkins-Pierre will share excerpts from their collection, "Tigers in Paradise." They will be joined by Professor Gene Emanuel for a storytelling session. During the week, Dr. Harkins-Pierre and Natasha Himmelman, an English teacher at Antilles School, will share excerpts from their published or soon-to-be-published works.
The festival ends on April 3 with a trip to Buck Island called "Creative Expressions on the Sea," where festival participants will write poems inspired by the festival and the boat ride. Afterwards, the poems will be published in a booklet.
For more information call Humanities Festival Chairman Dr. David Gould at 692-4143.
UVI Humanities Festival 2004 is made possible in part by a grant from the Virgin Islands Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
See entire schedule below:
Humanities Festival Schedule
(All Events will be held at the St. Croix campus Cafetorium unless otherwise noted)
Sunday, March 28
– 7 p.m. International Night, Caribbean Style, featuring the St. Lucia Creole Dancers, St. Croix Heritage Dancers, Music in Motion, El Ballet Folclorico, La Tuna de Santa Cruz, the John Woodson Masque Group and others.
Monday, March 29
– 7:30 p.m. Comedian and social commentator Paul Keen Douglas will demonstrate the use of Caribbean vernacular in oral literature with a live performance.
Tuesday, March 30
– 6:30 p.m. Performance by Arthur Richards Steel Orchestra
– 7:30 p.m. Panel discussion about traditional calypso, featuring performances by local calypsonians Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights
Wednesday, March 31
– 9-11 a.m. Oratorical Contest, featuring a student debate about gay marriage
– 7:30 p.m. Film festival featuring films by Michael Gilkes. Films include "Sargasso," "Concert in the Rainforest," and "Family in the Caribbean"
Thursday, April 1
– Noon Poetry reading featuring Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming, Drs. Vincent Cooper and Patricia Harkins-Pierre. An open mic will follow. (St. Thomascampus room T-101 and videoconferenced to room EC 713)
– 7:30 p.m. Short story readings and short story contest awards, Olive Senior Fiction Reading.
– 8 p.m. Story telling featuring Professors Gene Emanuel, Dr. Vincent Cooper and Dr. Patricia Harkins-Pierre. (St. Thomas campus Sports and Fitness Center room 210)
Friday, April 2
– 9 a.m. Student Literary Conference, with keynote speaker Olive Senior
– 7:30 p.m. – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming Poetry Reading and Poetry Contest Awards. An open mic will follow.
Saturday, April 3
– Trip to Buck Island "Creative Expressions on the Sea."

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