News Releases

UWI Professor takes societal violence and trauma to task

For Release Upon Receipt - November 14, 2017

St. Augustine

Is there a connection between historical traumas and present day acts of violence? On Thursday November 16, UWI West Indian Literature and Culture expert Professor Paula Morgan will deliver a lecture that explores this theory. In what will be her Professorial Inaugural Lecture, she will look at fiction, media and popular discourses to examine the impact of historical brutality on the violence and violations that have become a way of life today. The lecture takes place at 6pm at the Noor Hassanali Auditorium, Faculty of Law.

In her lecture, Healing the Hurts of my People Slightly: Discourses of Societal Violence and Trauma, Professor Morgan will draw examples from representations of the Laventille community in support of her argument that “…a place can become a symbolic collector for communal trauma which in turn can encourage us to distance ourselves from submerged societal disease.” She further proposes that “avoidance and scapegoating shuts us off from dealing with root of social suffering and seeking broad based therapeutic interventions.”

With over three decades of teaching, research and publication work primarily focused on gender issues in Caribbean Literature and Culture Professor Morgan has published numerous scholarly articles on domestic violence, the interface of ethnic and gender relations, the construction of Caribbean masculinities, and pedagogical approaches to literary and popular discourses. She is well equipped to explore the topic of societal violence and trauma. Professor Morgan has written, edited and/or collaborated on seven book-length publications including The Terror and the Time: Banal Violence and Trauma in Caribbean Discourse (UWI Press 2014); Writing Rage: Unmasking Violence in Caribbean Discourse - with Valerie Youssef (UWI Press Award 2008);  edited collections The Arc Memory in the Aftermath of Trauma (Interdisciplinary Press UK); Reassembling the Fragments: Voice and Identity in Caribbean Discourse (UWI Press, co-edited with Valerie Youssef);  The Culture of Violence: A Trinidad and Tobago Case Study, co-edited with Valerie Youssef (The Caribbean Review of Gender); In a Fine Castle: Childhood in Caribbean Imagi/Nations (2010) an online collection with a focus on the impact of violence on children, published in Tout Moun Cultural Studies Journal.

Professor Morgan has served in numerous administrative positions at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine including Head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS); Head of Department of Liberal Arts; Deputy Dean of Distance and Outreach, Humanities and Education; and Coordinator of the Literatures in English Graduate and Undergraduate Programmes and the Cultural Studies Graduate Programme. She is the holder of a Guardian Life Premium Teaching Award and was appointed her Professorship in May 2016.

The much anticipated Professorial Inaugural lecture is free and open to the public. Interested persons are asked to RSVP at or call 662-2002 ext. 83635.


About Professorial Inaugural Lectures

Professorial Inaugural Lectures are given by newly-appointed professors. It is an ideal opportunity for new professors to introduce themselves and to present an overview of their own contribution to their field to academic peers, students and research collaborators. It is also an excellent way to present and highlight the latest developments in a discipline to an audience consisting of both members of the University and the wider general public.

About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)