News Releases

Conference in the Fires of Hope

For Release Upon Receipt - September 6, 2012

St. Augustine

More than 30 speakers will gather in panel discussions to voice their thoughts on a number of topics related to Trinidad and Tobago’s independence when the Department of History at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, hosts a three-day international conference, titled ‘In the Fires of Hope: 50 Years of Independence in Trinidad and Tobago.’ This conference is scheduled to take place from Thursday 13th to Saturday 15th September, 2012, at the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), UWI St. Augustine Campus and is part of a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of Independence.

Topics of panel discussions include ‘Iconic Figures: Eric Williams’, ‘History of Trinidad and Tobago’, ‘Tracing the Routes to Independence: Trinidad’s Transnational Ties, 1900-1958’, ‘Trinidadian Diaspora’, and others on the development of the services, communities, education and culture, as well as the challenges faced in Trinidad and Tobago since the country gained independence.

This conference is designed to investigate all facets of the theme of Independence with emphasis on Trinidad and Tobago. It will generate new discussion on the changing realities of independent societies by gathering thinkers and academics involved in examining the economic, political, historical, literary and social aspects of independence from the nascent stages to present day. 

An Opening Ceremony will be held on Wednesday 12th September, from 6pm, at the LRC. The feature speaker on that night will be Professor Colin Palmer, Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University. Professor Palmer has authored a number of historical texts, such as ‘Eric Williams and the Making of the Modern Caribbean’, ‘Cheddi Jagan and the Politics of Power: British Guiana's Struggle for Independence’, ‘Slaves of the White God: Blacks in Mexico’ and 'Passageways: An Interpretive History of Black America.’ The conference will end with a closing ceremony on Saturday 15th September, at 6pm, also at the LRC.

Both ceremonies are free and open to the public.

This conference is open to the public. Interested persons are invited to register and find out more about the conference at its website at Registration costs TT$200 per day.

For further information, please contact the Independence Commemorative Committee at 662-2002 ext 82021/ 82022, or via e-mail at

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About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.


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