University of Iowa

Spring 2010 Events


"Changó, Exile of the Mantu and the Journey Home (On the novel Changó, el gran Putas by Manuel Zapata Olivella)"

Date: Monday, January 25, 2010

Time: 4:00 pm
Location: 1117 UCC
Presenter: William Luis, Chancellor's Professor of Spanish, Vanderbilt University


La tertulia de los martes: "The Afro-Cuban Context of Cabrera Infante's Tres Tristes Tigres"

Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: 315 Phillips Hall
Presenter: William Luis, Chancellor's Professor of Spanish, Vanderbilt University


"The invention of a people: Aimé Césaire between politics and poetry"

Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: 315 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Françoise Naudillon, Department of French Studies; Concordia University, Montréal
Co-sponsored: Caribbean, Diaspora and Atlantic Studies Program, the UI French and Italian Department, the European Studies Group and the African Studies Program

Françoise Naudillon is a specialist in Francophone literatures and their reception. She works especially on crime fiction and popular literature. Her recent publications include Tristes  Tropismes (1998), Les masques de Yasmina (2002), De l'art du langage à l'art des mots (2004) and L'Afrique fait son cinéma (2006).


Fall 2010 Events

“Postcolonial Audacity: The Political Iconography of the 2009 Strike in Guadeloupe”

When: Monday, Oct. 11, time 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: Room 1117 of the University Capitol Centre
Who: Yarimar Bonilla of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Virginia

On January 20, 2009, as the first black president of the United States was sworn into office, the island of Guadeloupe witnessed the launching of the biggest general strike in the island’s history. Over 50 cultural and civic organizations came together with the island’s leading labor unions in order to form a coalition “kont pwofitasyon” ¬ that is, against profiteering, exploitation, and the expensive life (la vie chère) that characterizes the French Caribbean. Armed with a list of 120 claims that spanned the terrain of disability rights, environmental policies, cultural nationalism, syndical freedom and economic gains (and sporting their recently acquired Obamat-shirts) Guadeloupean militants took to the streets, declaring their own version of the “Yes we Can” motto. With their chants of Guadeloupe is ours, not theirs, they effectively asserted that they had the right to shape the course of their social, economic, and political futures -- despite their colonial relationship with France. This presentation will examine the political icons of the 2009 mass strike and how the Obama political esthetic was deployed within a particularly Guadeloupean form of postcolonial audacity.

Yarimar Bonilla is an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Virginia. She teaches and writes about Caribbean historical memory, colonial and postcolonial politics, and contemporary social movements. She is currently completing her first book manuscript which examines contemporary labor activism in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe as a site of emerging postcolonial politics.

Sponsorship for the event is provided by the Caribbean, Diaspora and Atlantic Studies Program (CDA); European Studies Group (ESG); International Programs; and the UI Department of French and Italian, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.