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CAHSS Invites You to Intellectual Conversations, Feb.15

Andrea Shaw Nevins, Ph.D.

Andrea Shaw Nevins, Ph.D.

NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) will again host the CAHSS Intellectual Conversations on Thursday, February 15, 2018. The series topic this academic year is “Resistance.”  This next Intellectual Conversation will feature Andrea Shaw Nevins, Ph.D., faculty and chair in the Department of History and Political Science in CAHSS. Her conversation is entitled, “Fantastical Imagery and Elements of Resilience in the Caribbean.”

The Caribbean has historically been constructed as a region mantled by the fantastic. Tales of Maroon leader Nanny’s mystical capacity to catch bullets with her buttocks, stories featuring mythological characters such as of the cloven-hoofed temptress La Diablesse, and reports of sightings of the disruptive spirit known as a rolling calf are standard fare across the region and in many ways mark the Caribbean’s resistance to the oppressive forces of colonial and neo-colonial powers. Coupled with these discourses that proliferate within are those spun from beyond Caribbean geographic and cultural boundaries. Legends of the devouring Bermuda Triangle, Pat Robertson’s tirade about the cause of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and TV advertisements featuring the memorable Miss Cleo of Psychic Readers’ Network all imply that the Caribbean is an anomalous and enchanted space. Caribbean visual artists have a deeply evident investment in a fantastical imaginary of the region, and many of the artists who emerged in the first half of the twentieth century were intimately associated with Afro-Caribbean spiritual practices, which profoundly inflected their work. These include Cuba’s Wifredo Lam, Trinidad’s LeRoy Clarke, Haiti’s Hector Hyppolite, and Jamaica’s Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds.  The work of several contemporary Caribbean artists sustains this engagement with the metaphysical in varied and compelling ways. My presentation will focus on fantastical imagery and elements of resilience in a small sampling of work from Miami-based Caribbean artists.

The event will take place from 12:00-1:00pm on Thursday, February 15, 2018 in DeSantis, Room #5026. It is free and open to the public.