January 28, 2020

New Book: Working Juju by Andrea Shaw Nevins

Andrea Shaw Nevins

Working Juju examines how fantastical and unreal modes are deployed in portrayals of the Caribbean in popular and literary culture as well as in the visual arts. The Caribbean has historically been constructed as a region mantled by the fantastic. Andrea Shaw Nevins analyzes such imaginings of the Caribbean and interrogates the freighting of Caribbean-infused spaces with characteristics that register as fantastical. These fantastical traits may be described as magical, supernatural, uncanny, paranormal, mystical, and speculative. The book asks throughout, What are the discursive threads that run through texts featuring the Caribbean fantastic?

In Working Juju, Nevins teases out the multilayered and often obscured connections among texts such as the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, planter and historian Edward Long's History of Jamaica, and Grenadian sci-fi writer Tobias Buckell's Xenowealth series set in the future Caribbean. Fantastical representations of the region generally occupy one of two spaces. In the first, the Caribbean fantastic facilitates an imagining of the colonial experience and its aftermath as one in which the region and its representatives exercise agency and in which the humanity of the region's inhabitants is asserted. Alternately, the fantastic is sometimes situated as a signifier of the irrational and uncivilized. The thread that unites portrayals of the fantastic Caribbean in the latter kind of works is that they tend to locate Caribbean belief systems as powerful, even at times inadvertently in contradiction to the text's ideological posture. Nevins shows how the singular "Caribbean" identity that emerges in these text is at odds with the complex historical narratives of actual Caribbean countries and colonies.

About the Author
Andrea Shaw Nevins is assistant dean for academic affairs and a professor of English in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. She is the author of The Embodiment of Disobedience: Fat Black Women's Unruly Political Bodies.

January 16, 2020

A Fantastic Opportunity for Educators in Miami

David Scott

The Small Axe Project presents

The Little Haiti Cultural Center Gallery
212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, FL 33137
Saturday, January 25, 2020

PART 1: 10-1pm  |       PART II: LUNCH, 1-2    |       PART III: 2-4pm

The Small Axe Project believes that the visual arts constitute one of the most vital and expressive medias through which to explore social life in general and the life of social affliction in particular. Social Affliction refers to various forms of violence, crises, social, economic and environmental degradation ordinary people, particularly Caribbean people, face on a daily basis in order to survive. How might art generate conversations around economic blight and displacement but also cultural renewal? This workshop is designed to help educators explore ways to utilize arts to broach and discuss various types of social afflictions with their students in diverse disciplines.

The workshop will comprise of:
       A curatorial tour of the exhibition
       A careful engagement of the teaching pack and lessons plans containing hands on activities for students applicable to various disciplines and discussion questions for teachers to facilitate more meaningful conversations with their students on the theme. Educators will work through hands-on activities presented in the pack during the workshop.
       Lunch and refreshments will be provided
       Teachers will receive complete copies of the teaching pack and the exhibition catalogue free of charge.

Facilitators: The workshop will be led by Daniela Fifi and Hannah Heller.

Readings: In order to prepare for the session, the facilitators have asked participants to make an effort to read the articles listed below. PDFs will be emailed to registered participants.

1.     Fifi, D. A., & Heller, H. D. (2019). Exploring Manifestations of White Supremacy Culture in Art Museum Education and Interpretation. Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, 36(1), 100-121.
2.     Hendrick, K. and Crum, M. (2014). Multicultural Critical Reflective Practice and Contemporary Art. In J. Accuff-Boyd and L. Evans (Eds.) Multiculturalism in Art Museums Today. Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press, p. 271-298
3.     Laurel Schimdt, Inquiry-Based Teaching Article - from “Great Teachers Don’t Take No For An Answer”.

Parking: Free parking is available at the LHCC.

Limited seating: Pre-registration is required through the Miami Dade Public Schools or via Eventbrite using the following link:

Questions?: Contact Professor Erica Moiah James @ emj58@miami.edu

This workshop is completely free of charge thanks to the generous support of The Green Family Foundation.

January 13, 2020

Save the Date: 13th Annual Louise Bennett-Coverley Reading Festival.

The Committee of the Annual Louise Bennett-Coverley Reading Festival is delighted to present the 13th Annual Festival, titled "Miss Lou's Views," on Saturday, February 1, 2:00 pm, at its original venue - the South Regional Broward College Library, located at 7300 Pines Blvd, in Pembroke Pines, FL 33024.  

This free, community event celebrating its 13th year, is jointly coordinated by the Louise Bennett-Coverley Heritage Council, Broward College, the Friends of the South Regional Broward Library and the Jamaican Folk Revue, Inc. and will launch the Library's Black History Month activities. It will also continue to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Dr. the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley, OM, OJ, MBE, with local authors, Dr. Andrea Shaw Nevins, Geoffrey Philp, and Dr. Susan Davis (Moderator)  

The gifted and incomparable Dahlia Harris's presentation of "Miss Lou's Views" will headline an exciting program, which will re-visit the original Radio program, hosted by the mother of Jamaican culture - Louise Bennett-Coverley ("Miss Lou"), as she was affectionately known. The evening will also feature entertainment by local performers, including Sophia Nicholson, Maxine Osbourne, Malachi Smith, and the Jamaican Folk Revue. 

We will be honored to have you join us for this evening of culturally rich "edutainment" and look forward to welcoming you, to the 13th Annual Louise Bennett-Coverley Reading Festival, at 2:00 pm. - Saturday, February 1, 2020.