“Conjuring the Caribbean: How Sweet It Is” is a weeklong symposium taking place at the University of Michigan December 7-11, 2015. The symposium includes panel presentations, installation, performances, and a keynote speech by Gaiutra Bahadur (author of Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture).
Description: This weeklong, interdisciplinary symposium will examine themes of sugar economies, conversions, consumerism, appropriation, hyper-sexuality voyeurism, exile and justice. The goal is to educate campus constituencies about issues of commercialism and ethnic tourism in the Caribbean and to open campus dialogues about United States interactions with the Caribbean through open-ended, mediated performance. The event will bring focus to an increasingly dynamic, and largely overlooked geographic region that continues to transform North American economies, politics and cultural imaginations.
How Sweet It Is: Conjuring The Caribbean focuses on sugar as a transformative metaphor for envisioning how histories of plantation servitude, sugar production, and human labor have realigned to support micro economies based upon tourism and single product exports. Caribbean industries capitalize on fantasies of sun soaked, hyper-sexualized bodies and rum-saturated diversion, yet imbedded in this imagined landscape are socio-political realities of poverty, misogyny, exile and protest. The symposiums calls for an interdisciplinary response to shifting imaginations about the power and potential of Caribbean studies viewed through the lens of a sugar-saturated past.
For full program, see https://globaltheatremichigan.wordpress.com/conjuring-the-caribbean-how-sweet-it-is/