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CGL Reminds Public of Conference on ‘Inter-Island Connections in the Lesser Antilles’


The Caribbean Genealogy Library on St. Thomas (Source file photo)

(CGL) reminds the public about the opportunity to participate in the upcoming conference: “Inter-Island Connections in the Lesser Antilles: Family, Friends and Institutions across the Sea.”

The library has received a few questions regarding the location of the conference and virtual participation. The conference will take place on St. Thomas; the dates are Feb. 23 – 25, 2023.

CGL does anticipate having a virtual component, so whether someone can participate in person or via Zoom, please submit abstracts and indicate the preferred method of participation.

Papers, panels, posters/infographics or short videos are all options. CGL encourages genealogists, family historians and community historians to participate, as well as academics and scholars.

The due date for the abstract is Nov. 25, 2022. The abstract is a short description of the topic the person intends to present on (around 150-250 words).

Call for Papers and Presentations

The conference is being organized by the Caribbean Genealogy Library in collaboration with “In the Same Sea,” University of Copenhagen.

What is the meaning of family and friendship in the Lesser Antilles? In this conference, the Caribbean Genealogy Library gathers Caribbean genealogists and historians of the Lesser Antilles to ask how the archipelagic setting of the Lesser Antilles shaped island existence in the past and how it influences families, friends and institutions today.

For centuries, islanders living on small islands, in close proximity and with a limited resource base have turned towards their neighbors across the sea. They have crossed formal and informal borders to carve out places for themselves and their loved ones.

It is this dynamic of inter-island movement that we wish to explore at the conference. CGL asks what conventional historical and archeological evidence tells us about inter-island movements and how family histories and genealogical research can enrich, complicate and qualify the historical record.

The Lesser Antilles (Submitted map)

For these reasons, the library invites calls on historians, archaeologists, genealogists, public historians and university students, each with their knowledge, training and personal histories, to speak about inter-island experiences in the Lesser Antilles. The historical time periods for papers can include colonial and modern times.

Some of the relevant themes we hope to explore include, but are not limited to, the following:

Reasons for traveling to nearby islands

Family on other islands

Enslaved escape and maritime marronage

Seeking work across the sea

Religious communities and inter-island faith

Family conflicts and island movement

Shoreline memories: fishing together, relaxing together

Crisis and inter-island movement

Identity and island belonging

Female friendships

Sports development, travel for sports

Educational networks

Conducting research across the Lesser Antilles: methods and resources

Future of Research in Lesser Antilles/What’s New in the Field/Challenges

While papers and panels on these themes are preferred, applicants are welcome to submit proposals on other related subjects for consideration.

We especially encourage genealogical researchers to submit in the hope that their research can enrich, complicate and qualify the historical record.

Presentations can have a number of formats, including:

20 minutes papers

5-10 minutes presentations

Short videos of oral history interviews

Poster presentations

Presentations will be followed by Q&A.

Abstract submissions should be sent to Hannah Hjorth (hhjorth@hum.ku.dk) by Nov. 25, 2022.

The submission should include:

A short description of the topic of the presentation (c. 150-250 words), including the anticipated sources.

Indicate the format of the presentation (papers, panel, short film, etc.)

A brief bio of the person presenting (c. 100 words). Please include the languages you know and your proficiency.

Abstracts and presentations must be in English.

Format: Microsoft Word document

Any questions can be sent to Hannah Hjorth (hhjorth@hum.ku.dk).

The conference will be an in-person event, with the possibility of a hybrid format. Changes to the virtual format will be announced as needed. Unfortunately, CGL will be unable to accept all submissions. Individuals who are accepted will be notified by e-mail.

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