JIS News

The 23rd Annual Elsa Goveia Memorial Lecture, entitled ‘Taking Leave: Fugitive Slaves and the Coming of the American Civil War’, will be held at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts on the University of the West Indies (UWI) campus on May 9, starting at 6:00 p.m.
Professors of History at the Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, USA, Richard Blackett and Andrew Jackson will deliver the popular lecture, hosted by the Department of History and Archaeology, UWI, Mona.
Head of the Department, Dr. Swithin Wilmot told JIS News that the selected topic for the lecture was in keeping with the observation of the bicentenary of the abolition of the British slave trade.
“The theme of lecture links to the broader theme of the bicentenary and the Professors will be looking at the dynamics of the abolition of slavery in the context of the USA,” he explained.
Dr. Wilmot also noted that the date of the lecture, which usually takes place in March, was rescheduled to coincide with the 39th annual conference of the Association of Caribbean Historians, which is currently taking place at the Jamaica Conference Centre and will end on May 17.
The annual lecture commemorates the pioneering work of the late Professor Elsa Goveia, who is considered the foundation of Caribbean History at the UWI.
“When the Committee wrote its report setting up the University, one of the specific recommendations was that there needed to be a lecturer in Caribbean history, because from the very start they realized the importance of that to the evolving national movement in the region and Elsa was the first such person appointed,” he said.
She became the first Professor of West Indian History at UWI and also the first woman to be appointed Professor at the institution.
“The work of the department over the years, which was initiated by Professor Goveia and carried forward by her students, focuses on the understanding of our history and this is crucial for our national development and the formation of any national identity,” Dr. Wilmot stressed.
Interested persons are invited to attend the lecture.

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