Institute of African American Affairs


The Caribbean Imaginary Series Photos and Videos





The Caribbean Imaginary - 2015 / 2016 Lecture Series

The series aims to look at the large ideas—the contemporary critical issues surrounding Caribbean production, be they cultural, social, or political. Speakers will discuss how they imagine the Caribbean today.


Lyonel Trouillot

“The Caribbean, The Future: Despair or Hope,
 Strategies of Connection and Disconnection”

Date: Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
Time:  6:30 pm   
Location: NYU Law School  D’Agostino Hall
Room: Lipton Hall - 108 West Third Street
(between Sullivan and MacDougal Streets)
New York, NY 10012

Lyonel-Trouillo_thumbnail_videoPhotos and Videos


Lyonel-Troulott-180x180Lyonel Trouillot is a novelist and poet writing in French and Haitian Creole, a journalist, and a professor of French and Creole literature in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He was born in Port-au-Prince, where he still lives, but left Haiti for the United States to escape the repression under Jean-Claude Duvalier in the early 1980s. He studied law, but switched to literature early in his career. Fascinated by literature from an early age, he collaborated in various newspapers and magazines in Haiti and the diaspora, where he has published numerous poems and critical essays. He has also written lyrics for songs by Tambou Libète, Manno Charlemagne, Toto Bissainthe, Jean Coulanges, and Atis Endepandan. Trouillot also cofounded the journals Lakansyèl and Tèm et Langaj and is now a member of the Collective of the journal Cahiers du Vendredi and codirector of the collection of the same name. His numerous books and awards include a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2010; in 2011 the Prix Wepler for his novel Yanvalou pour Charlie; for La Belle Amour humane, shortlisted for the Goncourt, awarded the Grand Prix du Roman Métis (2011), the Geneva Book Fair Literary Prize (2012), and the Gitanjali Literary Prize (2012); in 2013 he was awarded the Prix Carbet de la Caraïbe et du Tout-Monde for Parabole du failli. In 2014 he wrote together with Raoul Peck and Pascal Bonitzer the script for Peck's feature film Murder in Pacot.

I come from the Haitian professional middle class. I grew up in a family where children went to school. My father was also a professor of literature among other things. And so, as a child, I was already familiar with literature. Writing is a tradition in my family. And, being the youngest in the family, I was introduced to literature at a very early age. I went to a very liberal Roman Catholic school in which we were taught to pay attention to all that was happening around us. And, in Haiti, one does not need to look for something to write about. I guess, at a very early age I was already fascinated by the world of words and pretty much aware of social problems and issues.” 

   ―Lyonel Trouillot  - (Source: Callaloo, Vol. 15, No. 2,  Haitian Literature and Culture, Part 1 (Spring, 1992),  pp. 403-406; interview with Mohamed B. Taleb-Khyar)


Caryl Phillips

 "Migration, Modernity and the Caribbean Imagination"
Caryl Phillips will be in conversation with J. Michael Dash

Date: Monday, February 29th, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life
New York University, Grand Hall, 5th floor
238 Thompson Street (between West 3rd Street
and Washington Square South)
New York, NY 10012


caryl-phillips-michael-dashvideo-1Photos and Videos

PHILLIPS-Caryl-photo-300x201Caryl Phillips was born in St.Kitts, West Indies, and brought up in England. He is the author of numerous books of non-fiction and fiction. Dancing in the Dark won the 2006 PEN Open Book Award, and A Distant Shore won the 2004 Commonwealth Writers Prize. His other awards include the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, a Lannan Literary Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Crossing the River, which was also short-listed for the Booker Prize. He has written extensively for the stage, television, and film, and is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and holds honorary doctorates from a number of universities. He has taught at universities in Singapore, Ghana, Sweden and Barbados and is currently Professor of English at Yale University. His latest novel, The Lost Child, was published in 2015.

Michael-Dash-150x150About J. Michael Dash

J. Michael Dash is Professor of French at New York University and has worked extensively on Haitian and French Caribbean writers, especially Edouard Glissant, whose works, The Ripening (1985), Caribbean Discourse (1989) and Monsieur Toussaint (2005) he has translated into English. His publications include Literature and Ideology in Haiti (1981), Haiti and the United States (1988), Edouard Glissant (1995), The Other America: Caribbean Literature in a New World Context (1998). His most recent books are, Libeté: A Haiti Anthology (1999) with Charles Arthur and Culture and Customs of Haiti (2001).


Lorna Goodison 

"On the Caribbean Imaginary" 
Lorna Goodison will be in conversation with Ifeona Fulani.

Date: Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life
New York University, Grand Hall, 5th floor
238 Thompson Street (between West 3rd Street
and Washington Square South)
New York, NY 10012

Photos and Videos



Lorna-GoodisonLorna Goodison was born in Jamaica, and has won numerous awards for her writing in both poetry and prose. Over the past thirty-five years her work has garnered wide international attention and awards and recently she became the first non-British writer to be made Poet Laureate of the Durham Book Festival in England. Two of her poems are on display on London’s Poems on the Underground; a translation of one of her short stories appeared on the front of the arts section of Le Monde; and her latest book of poems Supplying Salt and Light was a finalist for Canada’s prestigious Trillium prize.

Goodison’s many other awards include the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the Musgrave Gold Medal from Jamaica, the Henry Russel Award and the Shirley Verett Award for Exceptional Creative Work from the University of Michigan, and one of Canada’s largest literary prizes, the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her People (2007). Her work has been included in the major anthologies and collections of contemporary poetry, such as the Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, the HarperCollins World Reader, the Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry, the Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, and Longman Masters of British Literature.

Along with her award winning memoir, she has published three collections of short stories, including By Love Possessed (2011),  and nine collections of poetry.

Her work has been translated into many languages, and she has been a central figure at literary festivals throughout the world. Lorna Goodison is Professor Emerita at University of Michigan, where she was the Lemuel A. Johnson Professor of English and African and Afroamerican Studies.

Ifeona-Fulani_pc-150x150About Ifeona Fulani

Ifeona Fulani teaches in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. Her research interests include Caribbean, African and Black British literatures and cultures and her recent publications include a volume of essays, Archipelagos of Sound: Transnational Caribbeanities, Women and Music (University of West Indies Press, 2012). Her scholarly articles have been published in journals such as Small Axe, Anthurium and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies. She is also a creative writer and author of a collection of short stories titled Ten Days in Jamaica, published in 2012, and a novel, Seasons of Dust (1997), as well as stories published in the Beacon’s Best anthology series, in Small Axe, and in Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Comparative Literature, both from New York University.