SU hosts first colloquium on Haitian literature in CNY
SU hosts first colloquium on Haitian literature in CNYSeptember 20, 2005Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
This Friday, Sept. 23, Syracuse University will welcome major U.S.- and Canadian-based scholars to discuss the place of Haitian works in the realm of world literature. “Haitian Letters and Visions of the Future: A Day-Long Colloquium” will take place in Room 1916 of E.S. Bird Library in two sessions, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and from 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Silvio Torres-Saillant, director of the Latino-Latin American Studies program, will deliver opening remarks. Participants will then give 25-minute presentations on topics related to Haitian literature. Featured speakers include: Jean Jonassaint of SU (“Haiti in the World’s Literary Imagination”), Carrol Coates of Binghamton University (“Sex and Politics in Haitian Texts: Translating Alexis with Edwidge Danticat”), Rachelle Charlier Doucet of Wilfrid Laurier University (“Writing in the Face of Violence and Devastation”) and Maximillien Laroche of Universite Lavral (“Imagining a Future for Haitian Culture and Society”). Discussions will follow the presentations. Haitian writers Myriam J. A. Chancy and Dany Laferriere will read from their works.
Georgette Schmidt, of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) in Central New York, will moderate the sessions. “On behalf of AATF, I’m delighted to be participating in the colloquium,” says Schmidt. “This event offers the community an excellent opportunity to learn more about the culture and literature of Haiti. Central New York French teachers are looking forward to hearing Haitian writers Myriam J. A. Chancy and Dany Laferriere read from their works. The Haitian Letters day at SU will help us, as French teachers, to go back to our classrooms and enlarge our curriculum of the Francophone world.”
Chancy is a Canadian writer born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in QuebecCity and Winnipeg. She is an award-winning novelist and author of two books of literary criticism. Chancy is the former editor-in-chief of the Ford-funded academic/arts journal, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, and a former associate professor of English and women’s studies at Arizona State University and Smith College. She is currently working on a third novel and providing consulting services as a writing coach and diversity trainer.
Laferriere was born in Port-au-Prince in 1953, and grew up in the town of Petit Goave. A journalist with Petit Samedi Soir and Radio Haiti, he went into exile after the death of his friend Gasner Raymond in 1976. His writing career began in Quebec with the novel “Comment faire l’amour avec un negre sans se fatiguer” which was followed by four other books, three of which won prestigious literary awards. His last book, “Le cri des oiseaux fous” is dedicated to Raymond and won the literary prize of Marguerite Yourcenar in 2001. It tells the story of his last day in Port-au-Prince.
A closing reception will be held in Room 340 of Huntington Beard Crouse Hall at 5 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in visitor lots and garages.
This program is organized by the Latino-Latin American Studies program, the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, the Department of African American Studies and the American Association of Teachers of French. For more information, contact Laura W. Derr at (315) 443-3133 firstname.lastname@example.org; or Torres-Saillant at (315) 443-9475 email@example.com.