Issues of great historical, social, political, artistic, cultural, environmental, health, and commercial import will be examined through the Year of the Atlantic World as we look for better ways to understand the relationships that connect people around this great body of water and look to identify ways that we can promote mutually beneficial development in peace and security.
“In Greek mythology, the titan Atlas supported the pillars that held heaven and earth apart. The pillars rested in the sea beyond the western horizon in the “Sea of Atlas” - now known as the Atlantic. Today we know that the Atlantic began to open about 180 million years ago, and is still widening by some 25mm per year.” A surface area of 106 million km including adjoining seas, the Atlantic Ocean covers approximately 19% of the earth’s surface. Its currents play a vital role in regulating the earth’s temperature, absorbing and redistributing heat. Some of the world's largest rivers run into the Atlantic, including the Amazon, Mississippi, St. Lawrence, Congo, Orange, Niger, Senegal, and Volta.
The Lusophone Trans-Atlantic Matrix- Interconnections Between Portugal, Brazil, and Portuguese-Speaking Africa
The objective of this lecture is to offer a critical framework that will provide historical, geopolitical, discursive, and cultural coordinates in order to understand the emergence and development of Lusophone African nations within the larger context of the Portuguese-speaking world and in relationship to Portugal and Brazil. These nations have been varyingly interconnected for several centuries through the experience of colonialism as well as the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but more recently, through globalization. This lecture explores the deep-seated cultural, material, ideological, and political linkages of Lusophone Africa with Portugal as well as with Brazil that are rooted in the colonial era, but that continue to evolve under the ambivalent sign of "postcolonialism."
Black Atlantic Identities and Reverse Migrations
Among the many issues taken up by studies of the African Diaspora is the question of identity. How have Africans in Diaspora identified or constructed their identities at various times? Using the example of two men, this talk explores themes of Diaspora, migration and identity in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and explores ways in which individuals of African descent, usually men, attempted to fit into Atlantic societies in the New World and in Africa.
From African-American to Americo-Liberian- Shedding and Creating Identities in the Atlantic World in the 1800s
Of all the momentous changes that took place in the Atlantic World in the wake of Columbus’s voyage of 1492, perhaps none was more frequent than the transformation of group identity. Settlers of the Atlantic rim were constantly discarding old names, behaviors, and personalities and assuming new ones. One cohort that shed its old identity and created a new one was the estimated 17,000 African-Americans that were repatriated to Liberia throughout the nineteenth century. On the African side of the Atlantic Ocean, these African-Americans became Americo-Liberians. This paper briefly examines some of the historical circumstances that led the African-American to become Americo-Liberian.
Problematizing the application of the term, 'African Diaspora' in Belize
This paper will investigate the Creole refusal to be treated as part of the African Diaspora because they regard themselves as “Natives of the Caribbean,” and that, they are “all mixed up” biologically. The paper will draw heavily on archival records as well as the work of scholars not only in history but across all disciplines to reinterpret the process by which Afri-Belizeans, and particularly their cultural and political elites, have chosen to represent themselves and their group in one rather than another category. Not only will this paper challenge the dominant view of Creole identity as derived exclusively from their Anglo-Saxon ‘fathers’, but perhaps more important, it will contribute to a re-examination of how we use the term ‘African Diaspora’ albeit, loosely without consulting those for whom we apply the term.
The Legacy of Spain in Georgia- Historical Records and Archaeological Traces
Dennis Blanton, Curator of Native American Archeology, Fernbank, discusses "The Legacy of Spain in Georgia- Historical Records and Archaeological Traces"
Women Writers and the Atlantic World
What role has women’s writing played in shaping the culture of the Atlantic World? How have women’s texts embodied and examined such recurring themes as cross-cultural exchange, cultural hybridity, and the telling of histories from a range of perspectives. Sarah Robbins’s presentation will focus on Maryse Condé’s I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem as a representative “Atlantic World” text addressing such key issues. She will also set Condé’s work in conversation with books by several other twentieth-century Caribbean American women writers.