News Releases

Inside the Melting Pot The UWI Conference examines Caribbean Identity

For Release Upon Receipt - October 12, 2016

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. October 11, 2016 – Twenty-seven years ago, Martiniquean-born, Patrick Chamoiseau, one of the authors of the ground-breaking book Éloge de la Créolité (In Praise of Creoleness) highlighted the blended nature of the Caribbean region stating, “Our History is a braid of histories.”  This ideology will be examined as the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (DMLL), together with Bordeaux Montaigne University and Limoges University, France, host the International Caribbean Conference – The Caribbean, Melting Pot of the Americas: From Upheaval and “Origins” to the Historical Future and its Representations where Chamoiseau will be a guest speaker. Alongside him will be renowned, local writer Earl Lovelace and Professor J. Michael Dash, Professor of French, Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Professor Dash is also former Professor of Francophone Literature and Chair of Modern Languages at The UWI Mona Campus. The conference takes place from October 13 to 15 at the Centre for Language Learning (CLL) Auditorium, The UWI St. Augustine campus.  

The conference seeks to understand the Caribbean beyond linguistic constraints or cultural exclusiveness. Previous attempts by the scientific community to “speak” and “think” Caribbean will also be assessed through the lens of new hypotheses in three main areas: (1) analysis of the processes through which inequitable and extremely violent relationships between peoples and classes, have “informed” Caribbean societies particularly throughout slavery; (2) questioning the use of a “borrowed” language for communication and/or creation; and (3) reassessing categories and notions through which criticism tends to comment and “territorialize” Caribbean literary productions or writers from economic and social Caribbean formations. 

At The Melting Pot of the Americas, local, regional and international conference participants will present their reexaminations of the relationship between the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe with regards to history, the imaginary, the cultures, in the fantasy world of the subjects, and in the collective “unconscious” through a series of panel and round-table discussions.  

For full details of the conference programme, please visit the conference website: For any additional queries about participation in the conference, please contact Dr. Savrina P. Chinien at



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, 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 and Social Sciences. 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.)