CCSS 2014: Caribbean Festival Arts, Nassau, The Bahamas, November 21-22, 2014, Deadline July 1st, 2014

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CCSS: The Critical Caribbean Symposium Series at The College of The Bahamas

CCSS: The Critical Caribbean Symposium Series
Call for Papers
Theme: Caribbean Festival Arts
The College of the Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas
Dates: November 21-22, 2014

The mission of the Critical Caribbean Symposium Series is to engage scholars from The Bahamas, the Caribbean, and beyond from a wide range of disciplines, in dialogues and conversations around the many social, political, cultural, economic, and environmental challenges facing the region today.

The 4th Critical Caribbean Symposium will take place at The College of The Bahamas, Nassau, The Bahamas on November 21-22, 2014 and has as its theme "Caribbean Festival Arts".

In his 1989 article published in African Arts, John W. Nunley provides an overarching metaphor of callaloo soup to articulate the ways in which Caribbean festival arts, like the festival arts of Africa, incorporate multiple and diverse ingredients to create a distinct art form. Noting that in a good callaloo, "each distinctive ingredient - 'each and every bit of difference' - is said to make the soup sweeter," Nunley argues that the metaphor of callaloo can be applied specifically to Caribbean festivals, which derive from traditions brought to the region from Africa, East India, China, the Middle East, and Europe between the 15th and 19th Centuries by colonizers, the enslaved, and indentured laborers. Since Nunley's exhibition and subsequent monograph, other studies have emerged that have focused on island-specific Caribbean festival arts. Universities and colleges in the region, as well as those beyond, have also established departments and units that are specifically dedicated to teaching, research and publication in Caribbean Cultural Studies in general and Festival Arts in particular.

The Critical Caribbean symposium series invites researchers, scholars, and cultural practitioners to submit abstracts for panel discussions on our 2014 theme: Caribbean Festival Arts.

Some of the critical concerns participants may wish to consider include but are not limited to:

i) What constitutes Caribbean festival arts and what does not?
ii) What are the dynamics of Caribbean festival arts?
iii) What historical factors determine the aesthetics of this art form?
iv) In what ways does the growth of tourism in the Caribbean impact the festival arts?
v) Specifically, how do Caribbean festival arts serve as a platform for tourism development in the Caribbean?
vi) In what ways do the relative proximity, the economic relationships, and the media influences of America impact Caribbean festival arts?
vii) Does Africa continue to signify in the same ways in Caribbean festival arts?
viii) Is Nunley's callaloo metaphor defensible or is it reductionist?
ix) Should Caribbean festival arts change to reflect the realities of the current cultural landscape, or is this art form strictly meant to preserve the legacies of the past?
x) Are there identifiable synergies between Caribbean festival arts (broadly or narrowly defined) and other Caribbean or non-Caribbean art forms (literary, visual, musical, media, etc.)? In what ways do festival arts inform those other cultural forms?
xi) Are Caribbean festival arts [a]political? Are they meant to be?
xii) In what ways do Caribbean festival arts subvert Caribbean gender, sexuality, race, class and other cultural norms?
xiii) In what ways do the various modes of Caribbean festival arts inform each other?
xiv) Are some forms of Caribbean festival arts growing extinct or irrelevant?
xv) What are the relationships between Caribbean festival arts and race/ethnicity?
xvi) In what ways does indigenous Caribbean culture inform Caribbean festival arts?
xvii) How have Caribbean festival arts expanded beyond the Caribbean region and with what cultural and/or aesthetic implications?

Paper and panel proposals are welcome from within specific disciplines, e.g. Economics, History, Humanities, Literature, Cultural Studies, Visual Arts, Dance, and Theatre, as well as from across disciplines, and collaborations are especially welcomed. Each intending participant is invited to submit abstracts of approximately 200 -250 words. Panel submissions should also include the title of the panel and abstracts of each presentation.

Please submit abstracts to by July 1st, 2014 and include the presenter's name, institutional affiliation, email, phone, and any audio-visual or technical requirements for the presentation. Conference participants will be encouraged to expand and revise their papers for possible submission to a special journal on or around the topic of Caribbean Festival Arts.