Executive Council

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Keithley Woolward

President:  Keithley Woolward

Keithley Woolward is an Advanced Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of The Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas. Woolward also served as Director of Graduate programmes (Interim) during the College’s transition to University status.

Originally from Nevis (St. Kitts-Nevis) Woolward has travelled, lived and studied in the United States and France eventually earning a Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies from New York University (2008) specializing in the Literary and Cultural Traditions of the Maghreb, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean as well as Comparative Postcolonial Studies. He has published articles and presented research on French Caribbean, Haitian and African American writers (living in France), Frantz Fanon, and Caribbean Theatre.  His most recent article “Queering the line: Challenging Gender in Myriam Chancy’s Spirit of Haiti” appeared in a special issue of Caribbean Quarterly: “Masculinities in Caribbean Literature and Culture” (2014). He is co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of Caribbean Quarterly on Caribbean Theater (2017). He is also completing a book tentatively titled Frantz Fanon Dramaturge. This is the first book length study to engage with and attempt to deliver the argument clamoring to be made in and through Fanon’s commitment to drama and the dramatic poetics of decolonization offering fresh insight into the ways in which drama and dramaturgy influenced Fanon’s theories from Black Skin, White Masks to the Wretched of the Earth.

Woolward first joined the CSA as an undergraduate presenter (chaired by longtime CSA member Joseph Dorsey) at the annual conference in Panama City, Panama in 1998. Most recently he served as Program Co-Chair with Karen Flynn for CSA’s 40th annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana and Vice-President 2015-2016.

Active in the art, theater and culture community of The Bahamas, Woolward has curated and staged the performance installation piece “Haitianize” for the Seventh National Exhibition: Antillean‐An Ecology at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (2014) as well as “Haitianize(d)ictionary”: A visual documentation Project was exhibited during Transforming Spaces at the D’Aguilar Art Foundation (2015).

Email: president@caribbeanstudiesassociation.org

Yolanda Wood

Vice President: Yolanda Wood

Yolanda Wood lives in Cuba and currently teaches art at the University of Havana, where she founded the History of Caribbean Art programme, and has also taught in several other Caribbean countries (Mexico, Jamaica, Haiti, Martinique, etc.). Yolanda has also held the positions of Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Literature at the University of Havana, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Cuban University of Arts and Cultural Attaché at the Cuban Embassy in Paris. Highly active in cultural circles, she attends a great many national and international symposia and other events on the theme of Caribbean identity. Yolanda Wood specializes in the analysis of contemporary Caribbean literature and art. Moreover, she has penned diverse publications, particularly on the theme of art, in addition to contributing to several newspapers such as Lettres de Cuba. She has also written a wide range of texts for exhibition catalogues on Caribbean artists. Yolanda was the Director of the Center of Caribbean Studies in Casa de las Americas ( 2006-2016). She has also contributed to some collective publications, including Art public, une collection d’art contemporain en Guadeloupe and, in 2012, Caribbean: Art at the Crossroads of the World.

E-mail: vice.president@caribbeanstudiesassociation.org

Carole Boyce-Davies

Immediate Past CSA President: Carole Boyce-Davies

Carole Boyce-Davies is Professor of Africana Studies and English at Cornell University. Her most recently published book is Caribbean Spaces. Escape Routes from Twilight Zones, dealing with the issue of internationalizing Caribbean culture. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she is a the author of the prize-wining Left of Karl Marx. The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones(Duke University Press, 2008) and Black Women, Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject (Routledge, 1994). Dr. Boyce Davies has also published the following critical editions: Ngambika. Studies of Women in African Literature (Africa World Press, 1986); Out of the Kumbla. Caribbean Women and Literature (Africa World Press, 1990); a two-volume collection of critical and creative writing entitled Moving Beyond Boundaries (New York University Press, 1995): International Dimensions of Black Women’s Writing (volume 1), and Black Women’s Diasporas (volume 2) and Claudia Jones Beyond Containment: Autobiographical Reflections, Poetry, Essays (Banbury: Ayebia, 2011). Her work specifically on the African diaspora include: co-editorship of The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities (with Ali Mazrui and Isidore Okpewho, Indiana University Press, 1999); Decolonizing the Academy. African Diaspora Studies (Africa World Press, 2003) and serving as the general editor of the 3-volumeThe Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora (Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 2008). She is working on a new book project on Black Women and Political Leadership in the African Diaspora.

Email: ceb278@cornell.edu

Okama Ekpe BrookCSA Program Co-Chair, 42nd Conference, 2017: Okama Ekpe Brook

Okama Ekpe Brook is a Senior Policy Adviser with the government of St. Maarten, Kingdom of the Netherlands. She is an Advisor on Sustainable Development and Policy matters affecting Small Island Developing States. She leads the team designated and dedicated to designing frameworks for long term national development planning with a focus on balancing social, cultural, economic, and environmental priorities in a participatory governance approach. The National Development Planning team also identifies mechanisms to accelerate sustainable development in the Caribbean through a public, private partnership lens. Ekpe Brook has played a critical role in strengthening the partnership between the Dutch and French twin island, particularly in the evolving work programs of both governments related to resources mobilization in general and specifically in identifying financing
for development.

Okama Ekpe Brook has several passions including as a scholar, author, artist, dancer, choreographer, trainer, life coach, speaker and activist. She is a Rotarian and serves on several committees. She is the founder and president of the Africa Caribbean Heritage Alliance Foundation and president of the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise. She is the Technical Coordinator of RISC Takers Football Club, plays and coaches soccer, and a member of the Caribbean Studies Association. She is a wife, mother of 3 kids, and, in her downtime, enjoys a good book.

E-mail: program.chair@caribbeanstudiesassociation.org

Guido Rojer, Jr.CSA Program Co-Chair, 42nd Conference, 2017: Guido Rojer, Jr.

Guido Rojer, Jr. (1987) is a lecturer of entrepreneurship & innovation at the University of Curaçao School of Business. He lectures on operations, strategy, entrepreneurship and Innovation. In his research he focuses on entrepreneurial training and its effects on entrepreneurial intentions of college students. He attended college in Curaçao and graduate school at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He recently co edited the first English compilation of Articles on Curaçao titled: Contemporary Curaçao. Guido also serves as board member of ACU, the largest credit union of the Dutch Caribbean and treasurer of Curaçao Cares Foundation.

E-mail: program.chair@caribbeanstudiesassociation.org

Mala JokhanSecretary: Mala Jokhan

University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus

Mala Jokhan holds a Ph.D in Social Policy from the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Her research interests include children of Caribbean migrants,Caribbean family (childhood experiences and caregiving), immigrant youth (identity and adaptation), parental migration and the care drain, transnational migration and the role of social media, reunification, human trafficking, counter-trafficking policy development and interventions, social policy development and reform in the Caribbean. Dr. Jokhan completed her B.S. in Sociology and Management Studies at UWI, St. Augustine, before working as a research assistant for a Wellcome Trust (UK) project on issues relating to the Caribbean family and migration across three Caribbean islands -Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados. Later on, she earned her Master’s degree in Social Policy while serving as a teaching assistant for Sociology courses (Industrial Sociology and Third World in Global Development) at the undergraduate level. After becoming an assistant to the Secretariat in 2012, Dr. Jokhan currently serves part-time in the position of CSA Secretariat (based at SALISES, UWI, St. Augustine).

Email: secretariat@caribbeanstudiesassociation.org

Dwaine PlazaTreasurer: Dwaine Plaza

Dwaine Plaza is a Professor of Sociology in the School of Public Policy at Oregon State University. He has been at Oregon State University for eighteen years and teaches a wide slate of classes both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His teaching includes: Race and Ethnic Relations, Globalization, Social Justice, Applied Research Methods, International study abroad, Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods. He has written extensively on the topic of Caribbean migration within the international diaspora.

Email: treasurer@caribbeanstudiesassociation.org


Michael BarnettMichael Barnett

Dr. Michael Barnett, presently a senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work is a longstanding member of CSA. He first presented at the Antigua conference in 1998, and has attended consistently ever since with only two absences (corresponding to the year 2000 and 2004).

He has presented primarily on Rastafari which is his main focus of research in the area of Caribbean Studies. His other areas of focus in the arena of Caribbean Studies are Race and Ethnicity in the Caribbean as well as Notions of Beauty amongst Black Communities in the Caribbean.

Of note is that Dr. Barnett proposed, chaired and organized panels on Rastafari for CSA from 2010 till 2013 inclusive. For this calendar year (2015) he was the co-organizer for the Rastafari Panels that have been proposed, along with Professor Ennis Edmonds.

Email: barnett37@hotmail.com

Samuel Furé DavisSamuel Furé Davis

Dr. Furé Davis teaches courses in English language, Anglophone Caribbean and diasporic literatures, English-Spanish translation, Caribbean Popular Culture and Cultural Theory in the School of Foreign Languages at the University of Havana.  Prior to his present post, Professor Furé Davis taught Spanish language and translation at the University of Ghana, and the Ghana Institute of Languages in Accra, Ghana.  A very active member of the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) for the past 17 years, Professor Furé Davis was the winner of the “Pinos Nuevos” Prize in 2000 for his essay Cantos de Resistencia. He has written and published numerous articles and papers about Rastafari, reggae, Cuban racial issues, Caribbean-Canadian poetry among other themes; his publications have appeared in Cuban, Caribbean, U.S., and European journals. His most recent book, La Cultura Rastafari en Cuba, (Editorial Oriente, 2011) was awarded the Catauro Cubano prize by the “Fernando Ortiz” Foundation.  Moreover, his recent research interests have led him to conduct research on the intellectual tradition of the region, including Marcus Garvey, on Cuba’s popular consciousness and migration-determined family narratives, among other aspects.
Email: psfure@flex.uh.cu

Karen FlynnKaren Flynn

Karen Flynn is an Associate professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the Department of African-American Studies Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from York University, Toronto, Ontario, in 2003. Her research interests include migration and travel, Black Canada, health, popular culture, feminist, Diasporic and post-colonial studies. Dr. Flynn’s recent book: Moving Beyond Borders: Black Canadian and Caribbean women in the African Canadian Diaspora is by the University of Toronto Press. Moving Beyond Borders recently won the the Lavina L. Dock Award for Exemplary Historical Research and Writing for 2013.

In addition to her academic work, Dr. Flynn has published numerous editorials in Share, Canada’s largest ethnic newspaper, which serves the Black & Caribbean communities in the Greater Metropolitan Toronto area. During this time, she wrote for Now Magazine, Rabble.ca and the Toronto Star. She was also a free-lance writer for Canada Extra, and most recently for Swaymag.ca where she wrote passionately about contemporary issues considering issues of race, gender, class, sexuality, age, and nation.

Dr. Flynn was recently nominated As a Dean’s fellow for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a program geared towards strengthening and expanding the cadre of leaders in the College.

Email: karenfcsa2015@gmail.com

Mamyrah ProsperMamyrah Prosper

Dr. Prosper recently received her Ph.D. in Global & Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in Cultural Anthropology as well as graduate certificates in African & African Diaspora Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies from Florida International University. She also holds an M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University as well as a B.A. in Political Science and Africana Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on social movements in Latin America and the Caribbean. More specifically, her doctoral work centered on a coalition of social movement organizations calling for an end to the ongoing “Occupation” of Haiti. Prosper has served as an organizer with land and housing rights organizations Take Back the Land and Haitian Women in Miami (FANM) in the U.S. She has also served as a sub-editor on the CSA Newsletter Editing Team as well as the Coordinator of the Journal of the Bureau of Ethnology of Haiti. Presently, she is developing a book project that explores the body politics that shape citizenship and national belonging in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean through an examination of their constitutions and special laws for the exclusion or inclusion of Afrodescendant people.

Heather RussellHeather Russell

Dr. Heather D. Russell, received her Ph.D. in Literature from Rutgers University with a focus in African Diaspora Literatures. She is currently Associate Professor of English, and (former) Graduate Director of African & African Diaspora Studies at Florida International University, where she has taught since 2003. Her research and teaching interests have focused on the intersections of race, gender, class, politics and postcoloniality. Her book, Legba’s Crossing: Narratology in the African Atlantic (2009), was published by the University of Georgia Press. She is co-editor of a second book, Rihanna: Barbados World Gurl in Global Popular Culture (2015) and has published in numerous journals on a wide array of subjects related to Afro-Caribbean and African diaspora scholarly concerns, with recent essays on Vybz Kartel and Prince Harry’s visit to Jamaica, the People’s National Party at 75, and Quentin Tarantino’s Django. She has served as the lead scholar for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Landmarks in American History seminar: Jump at the Sun: Zora Neale Hurston and her Eatonville Roots for the past six years. She is currently at work on West Indies TV, a monograph examining the role of national broadcasting companies in nascent independent Caribbean states. She has been an active member of CSA since 2003, and is currently engaged in re-launching the Barbara Christian Prize for the best book in the Humanities.

Email: russellh@fiu.edu

Meagan SylvesterEditor, Newsletter: Meagan Sylvester

Meagan Sylvester is Senior Lecturer, Research which teaching responsibilities for Quantitative and Qualitative Research and Sociology at the Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies in Trinidad and Tobago. She also holds the portfolio of Adjunct Lecturer at The College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago where she lecturers Sociology, Gender Studies and the Sociology of Music.

To date she has twelve publications which are inclusive of journal articles and book chapters.  Her research topics of interest are Music and National Identity in Calypso and Soca, Music of Diasporic Carnivals, Narratives of Resistance in Calypso and Ragga Soca music, Steelpan and kaisoJazz musical identities and Music and Human Rights in the Americas.

Ms. Sylvester is the recipient of a Bachelors of Science (B.Sc.) in Sociology and Government and a Post-Graduate Diploma in International Relations. She also possesses a Masters of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Sociology of Development with a special emphasis in Research, Development and Political Economy of the Caribbean from The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and Mona campuses, respectively. She is in the penultimate phase of her dissertation in fulfillment of her pursuit of a Ph.D. in Sociology with special emphasis on Music and Identity in Trinidad and Tobago at her alma mater at the St. Augustine Campus.

Memberships in professional organizations include the Society for Ethnomusicology, the International Association of the Study for Popular Music, Caribbean Studies Association and the Association of Black Sociologists.

She is currently the Newsletter Editor of the Caribbean Studies Association and Member of the Editorial Board for the Commentaries Journal, Dutch Sint Maarten.

Email: newseditor@caribbeanstudiesassociation.org