History Department
History Department

Conf.: From Natural Events to Social Disasters in the Circum-Caribbean—THREE DAYS

Wed, February 23, 2011 | SRH 1.313; TCC 1.110; Texas Union 3.502

2:00 PM

Hurricane Katrina from http://skattertech.com/2005/08/hurricane-katrina-satellite-images/
Hurricane Katrina from http://skattertech.com/2005/08/hurricane-katrina-satellite-images/

What are the multiple consequences of so-called natural disasters for the peoples of the Caribbean, the coastal regions of the southern United States, and Central America?

As a region linked together by U.S. imperial power, the circum-Caribbean has been an area where environmental disasters often have been catalysts for social and political transformation. From hurricanes to earthquakes to landslides, natural disasters have profoundly shaped the relationship between humans and the environment in the region.

Not unlike the earthquakes that struck Nicaragua and Guatemala in the 1970s, the destruction brought to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 revealed historical and ongoing forms of social inequality, environmental hazards, and political crisis that plague the circum-Caribbean region.

This conference brings together scholars from multiple disciplines, artists, and activists who have been immersed in disaster relief and solidarity efforts. Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti offer the most salient examples, and these two sites will serve as focal points for the conference.


Dr. Jossianna Arroyo, University of Texas (UT) Depts. of Spanish and Portuguese and African and African
Diaspora Studies
Dr. Frank Guridy, UT Depts. of History, and African and African Diaspora Studies

Organized by the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and cosponsored by the Departments of African and African Diaspora Studies, English, History, and Spanish and Portuguese; and the Program in Comparative Literature.

Download the conference program (PDF, 96K)

This a three-day conference, Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 23-25, 2011, with several locations across the UT campus. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Paloma Diaz at 512-232-2415.

Keynote Speakers:

Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Miss. Her first poetry collection, Domestic Work (Graywolf Press, 2000), won the inaugural 1999 Cave Canem poetry prize (selected by Rita Dove), a 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize, and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry. Her second collection, Bellocq's Ophelia (Graywolf Press, 2002), received the 2003 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize, was a finalist for both the Academy of American Poets' James Laughlin and Lenore Marshall prizes, and was named a 2003 Notable Book by the American Library Association.

Her work has appeared in several volumes of Best American Poetry, and in journals such as Agni, American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and The Southern Review, among others. She has a BA in English from the University of Georgia, an MA in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University, and an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts.

Her most recent collection is Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin 2006), for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Her book of creative nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf, was published in September 2010 by the University of Georgia Press, and her new collection of poetry, Thrall, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Fall 2012.
Evelyne Trouillot was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and lives and works in her country as a university professor of French and pedagogy. She divides most of her time between writing and teaching.

Since her first book of short stories, La chambre interdite (1996), Trouillot has published two other books of short stories, tales and stories for children, two books of poems (in French and Creole), and an essay on human rights and childhood in Haiti.

Her first novel, Rosalie l'infâme (2003), received the Prix Soroptimist de la Romancière Francophone for 2004 and second place for the Prix Carbet des Lycéens also in 2004. In 2005, her play Le bleu de l'ile received first prize for the Prix Beaumarchais de la Caraibe and was read at the Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris in April 2005. Her latest novel, La mémoire aux abois, was published in France by Editions Hoëbeke in May 2010.

Sponsored by: LLILAS; Departments of African and African Diaspora Studies, English, History, and Spanish and Portuguese; Program in Comparative Literature; College of Liberal Arts; UT

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