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St. Croix Campus Site of Prestigious Literary Gathering

Oct. 27, 2004 – The St. Croix campus of the University of the Virgin Islands is hosting the Sixth International Conference on Caribbean Literature. The conference has attracted several well-known Caribbean literary scholars like Kamau Brathwaite, Brenda Flanagan, Elizabeth Nunez and Michael Gilkes. The three-day event will begin next Tuesday and end on Friday, Nov. 6. "Being and /in Narrative: The Historical Tradition of Caribbean Literature" is the theme of this year's conference.
Chancellor Jennifer Jackson said it is a special honor hosting the conference at the St. Croix Campus. The Bahamas hosted the event last year. Jackson said the entire community should take advantage of the presence of these Caribbean authors. "They are contributing to the development of Caribbean literature," Jackson said. "They are writing, teaching and studying Caribbean literature."
Institutions of higher learning participating in the conference include Clark Atlanta University; Emory University; California State University; Spelman College; Pace University; Loyola University; Howard University, Yokkaichi University; Rutgers University; University of Miami and Cornell University.
The conference will kick off with a cultural extravaganza beginning at 7 p.m. in the university cafetorium. "We will be displaying our culture through music, poetry and dance and storytelling," Jackson said. The public is invited.
Caribbean poet, playwright, critic and historian Kamau Brathwaite will deliver the keynote address. Among Brathwaite's several awards are the Cholmondely Award in 1970, Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships in 1983 and the Neustadt Prize in 1994.
The conference is sponsored by Moorehouse College and Purdue University. It provides a forum to highlight a wide range of issues pervasive in Caribbean literature. This year's topics include "Prospero, Caliban and Crusoe: The Haunting of the Caribbean Imagination," "Caribbean Texts and the Nature of Cultural Transmission," "Derek Walcott as Painter, Playwright and Poet," and "Engaging the Poetics and Polemics of [Kamau] Brathwaite and [Edwidge] Danticat.
Beginning Wednesday through Friday panels will run concurrently 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the 400 wing of the Evans Center. Special conference highlights will occur during the daily luncheons when major literary critics/writers conduct discussions.
UVI faculty and staff will host some of the panels. "An Evening of Writers" will be presented on Thursday evening beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event includes a book fair, book signings and an open mike for writers to read portions of their text.
Registration for the three-day conference is $250 for the entire program or $75 for a one-day attendance. For information contact Marvin Williams at 692-4122 or Nerida Washington at 692-4183.
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