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The University of Southampton

Historian elected as the Chair of the UK Society for Caribbean Studies

Published: 2 August 2010Origin: History
Montego Bay 1831

Dr Christer Petley, a History Lecturer in Humanities, will serve a two year term as the Chair within the Society for Caribbean Studies (SCS), the leading Caribbean Studies organisation in the UK.

As a multi-disciplinary organisation which encourages education and research about the Caribbean, the SCS provides opportunities for contact and collaboration between those concerned with the region and its diasporas.

Although most of the Society's members are based in the UK, membership also extends to Europe, North America and to the Caribbean itself. The Society is a member of UKCASA (United Kingdom Council of Area Studies Associations) and every year since 1977 it has held a conference, attracting a wide range of participants from the UK and around the world.

The 34th annual conference, of 86 delegates, met at the University of Southampton between 7th and 9th July 2010. The conference began with a keynote address from Professor Jean Besson of Goldsmith's University, reflecting on her life and career as a Caribbean anthropologist living and working in the UK. The annual Bridget Jones memorial lecture was given this year by the Jamaican academic and novelist Erna Brodber, who discussed 'History in the Service of Community Development'. Themed panels of papers by scholars from across the humanities and social sciences addressed topics including Caribbean material culture, Cuban oral histories, literature and the Windrush generation, the work of Derek Walcott, Caribbean regional integration, music and dance, the Caribbean in Atlantic history, education, archives, and economic development.

The traditional rum punch reception at this successful conference was sponsored by the Faculty of Law, Arts and Society.

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