Humanities Kansas Grant will support upcoming Caribbean studies symposium

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LAWRENCE – Humanities Kansas recently awarded $2,500 to the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas in support of the Unexpected Caribbean Symposium. This event is designed to expand the understanding of the Caribbean as a complex cultural, geographical and geopolitical space by fostering broad, provocative conversations about Caribbean arts, literature and films. Cécile Accilien, associate professor of Haitian studies, and Giselle Anatol, professor of English, serve as project co-directors. The Unexpected Caribbean Symposium is a two-day interdisciplinary event and an educator workshop for regional teachers focusing on art, culture and history of the archipelago, to take place Oct. 18-20 at KU.

Ulrick Jean-Pierre, a visual artist born in Haiti whose work explores the connections between the histories and cultures of Haiti and Louisiana, will be one of the keynote speakers. Jean-Pierre’s paintings will be on display at KU’s Spencer Museum of Art from Sept. 8 to Jan. 6 and will highlight the Mary Lou Vansant Hughes Haitian art collection, including pieces by Rigaud Benoît, Wilson Bigaud, Charles Ermistral (Thialy), Max Gerbier and Edith Stephane.

Apricot Irving, author of the memoir “Gospel of Trees” (2018), and Krista Thompson, Northwestern University professor of art history, will join Jean-Pierre as keynote speakers.

Scheduled events will provide opportunities for participants to engage in important dialogues beyond the university’s walls for community-based conversations about the intricacies of Caribbean cultures and the effects of the Caribbean on other cultures and histories. The symposium will offer Kansans the opportunity to explore the diversity of the Caribbean through a variety of lenses, including through the eyes of Lawrence’s acclaimed native son, Langston Hughes. 

“Humanities Kansas supports projects that promote understanding,” said Julie Mulvihill, Humanities Kansas executive director. “This symposium will foster a deeper comprehension of communities on the local, national and global levels.”

Anatol said that that “a dialogue between visiting scholars, artists, KU …

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