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Small Axe Symposium

SEPTEMBER 28-29, 2007

“Blackness Unbound: Constructions and Deconstructions of Transnational Blackness”,

Under the theme, “Blackness Unbound: Constructions and Deconstructions of Transnational Blackness”, the Small Axe Collective will host a two day symposium (September 28 th and 29 th 2007) at the University at Albany , SUNY. The symposium will examine the concepts of nation and diaspora in terms of the internationalization of blackness. This two-day symposium will provide, in some sense, a continuation of the theme of transnational blackness that was considered at the Small Axe/Brown University symposium of April 7 th and 8 th 2005.

On that occasion, examining the intersections of African-Caribbean and African-American discourses of blackness, personhood, and nation through the work of Africana and Caribbean Studies in the academy, the scholarship and activism of the Institute of the Black World, and the imaginative vision of Anglophone Caribbean literature, we pursued a very valuable, though primarily Anglophone, examination of blackness and diaspora. In furthering intellectual rumination on this topic, the S/X-UAlbany symposium will continue the analysis of the topic in terms of the English-speaking experience, but will also engage aspects of the Lusophone, Francophone, and Hispanophone transnational engagement with diasporic blackness. As such, this symposium will engender discussions with colleagues working in African-American Studies, Africana Studies, Latin American and U.S. Latino Studies, and Caribbean Studies.

Borrowing from Nadi Edward’s Small Axe essay (9.1 2005) entitled “Diaspora, Difference, and Black Internationalisms”, the symposium will consider, as has Brent Hayes Edwards in his work The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalisms, questions such as, How do we begin to understand differences within and among black communities nationally and internationally? How is blackness constructed and deconstructed nationally and internationally?

How does race, the signifier that Stuart Hall calls a ‘floating signifier’, signify differently in Haiti, Jamaica, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, or Brazil, compared with the structures of racialization and configurations of blackness when members of these Caribbean and Latin American territories relocate to the United States, or Canada, or Britain for example, and move back and forth between and among these territories? In light of such concerns, we have confirmed the following list of invited panelists for the two-day symposium at the University at Albany , State University of New York.

Caribbean Postcard


Rex Dixon





Exhibit location: University at Albany, Campus Center Lounge

Rex Soft Box

The show at Albany will be a selection of works on paper and canvas completed in 2006 to 2007 in my studio in Maracas Valley, Trinidad. They mostly contain expressionistic mark making with figurative elements and text, representing an attempt, by a layering process with the materials, to illustrate the various layers of occupations of the Caribbean islands. As an UK born and educated painter living and working in the Caribbean for twenty two years, the paintings reflect the dichotomy of an insider/outsider, a situation in which I find myself.




Please send all symposium questions or comments to Prof. Glyne Griffith, Symposium Organizer at: ggriffith@uamail.albany.edu

Webpage created and maintained by Librada Pimentel-Brown

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Anthony C. Winkler

___Anthony C. Winkler_____

Anthony C. Winkler (born 1942), has been heralded by the Jamaica Gleaner as "the Caribbean 's unrivalled master of adult comedy".   Educated at Excelsior College , Mt. Alvernia Academy and Cornwall College in Jamaica , he went on to earn Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in English, in the United States . He returned to Jamaica in 1975. He became a full-time freelance writer in 1976 after moving back to the United States .

His first novel, The Painted Canoe was published in 1984 by Kingston publishers (now LMH). The Lunatic followed in 1987, and Winkler also wrote the screenplay for a highly successful film of this novel.  Other works include The Great Yacht Race (1992), Going to Home to Teach (1995) and The Duppy (1997). In 1999 his original screenplay The Annihilation of Fish, was filmed in Los Angeles . Starring opposite James Earl Jones with Margot Kidder, Lynn Redgrave won Palm Beach Best Actress for her role as Poinsettia.

In 2004 Macmillan produced their first collection of Winkler's work in The Annihilation of Fish and Other Stories. His most recent title, Dog War, was released in 2006, and is printed in the United States by Akashic Books.  Mr. Winkler resides with his wife, Cathy, in Atlanta , Georgia , USA .



Webpage Art Credit - Rex Dixon

The Wild Beat I Never Saw in Namibia