Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Exploring the Global Caribbean Conference

Texas A&M University-Kingsville - 07/05/12 - 07/06/12

Contact: Adriana Garza
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4979

For two consecutive summers, faculty from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and educators from across South Texas have studied the literature, culture  and history of the Caribbean in an effort to hone strategies for teaching at the college and high school levels.

This summer, the Exploring the Global Caribbean Conference will mark the culmination of three years of study and discussion about the large assembly of peoples and cultures that comprise the Caribbean. Conference keynote speaker will be Dr. Gustavo Pérez  Firmat, who currently serves as the David Feinson Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. An acclaimed scholar, poet and author, many of Firmat’s works relate to his native Cuba and biculturalism. 

The conference will take place July 5-6 on the A&M-Kingsville campus. The conference registration fee is $75 and includes lunch, keynote dinner and admission to theatre production Thursday. The program is funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“The conference will showcase papers that demonstrate the interconnections between the Caribbean and Europe and the United States, and that place the Caribbean in the confluence of historic and contemporary movements of globalism and transnationalism,” said Dr. Susan Roberson, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The flows of peoples, languages and ideas that study of the Caribbean highlights are pertinent for us today because peoples and ideas continue to migrate.”

Faculty from A&M-Kingsville, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, Alabama State University, Dickinson College and Freie Universitat-Berlin will present on a variety of topics related to Caribbean culture Thursday and Friday. Topics include the American slave trade and its impact on Haitian religion; Cuban revolutionary icon Che Guevara; Ernest Hemingway’s Cuba; and several discussions of Caribbean literary criticism.

Thursday, July 5, the conference day will conclude with a performance of Aimé Césaire’s A Tempest—a post-colonial response to Shakespeare’s The Tempest—at 7:30 p.m. in the Little Theatre. The conference will conclude Friday, July 6, with dinner at Butch’s Steakhouse in Kingsville, during which time keynote speaker Dr. Perez Firmat will discuss how the Caribbean culture has made inroads into the American South. For more information on the conference, contact Dr. Susan Roberson at 361-593-2012.

About Gustavo Pérez Firmat
Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, Dr. Gustavo Pérez Firmat attended Miami-Dade Community College and the University of Miami. He earned his doctoral degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan and taught at Duke University from 1978 to 1999. He is currently the David Feinson Professor of Humanities at Columbia University.
Pérez Firmat is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is the author of several books of literary and cultural criticism, four collections of poetry, a novel and a memoir. His study of Cuban American culture, Life on the Hyphen, was awarded the Eugene M. Kayden University Press National Book Award for 1994.
In 1995, Pérez Firmat was named Duke University Scholar/Teacher of the Year—the university’s highest teaching honor. In 1997, Newsweek included him among “100 Americans to Watch for the Next Century,” and Hispanic Business Magazine selected him as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics.” In 2004 he was named one of New York 's thirty “Outstanding Latinos” by El Diario La Prensa.

This page was last updated on: June 27, 2012