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Jan DeCosmo

Jan DeCosmoJan DeCosmo
CSA President 2014-2015

Jan DeCosmo is Professor of Humanities in the Department of Visual Arts, Humanities & Theatre at Florida A&M University, where she has been teaching for 34 years. Her undergraduate and master’s degrees were in International Affairs, and her Ph.D. (Florida State University,1987) was in Humanities, with a dissertation on the concept of alienation in the writings of Karl Marx, Max Weber and Hannah Arendt. Her research and publications include two books, a film and numerous articles on a variety of subjects related to the Caribbean, Bahia (Brazil) and Southwest Louisiana.  In addition to humanities survey courses, she has taught art history classes in the past and today teaches Caribbean Religion & Culture and African Humanities classes. As founder and grants writer for the Center for Caribbean Culture at FAMU, DeCosmo has received over $¼ million in funding for a variety of public programs, including film festivals, performing groups, concerts, conferences, and music festivals. For spring break each semester she organizes affordable student trips to locations such as New Orleans, the Caribbean, Bahia and Europe (Paris, Barcelona and Florence). She has also led faculty and student trips to Havana, Cuba. After traveling to the Bahamas in 1996 and locating FAMU student practitioners, she founded the FAMU Rhythm Rushers Bahamian Junkanoo group.  She is an avid collector of music, film and art (the latter primarily from Haiti, Cuba, and Bahia). Her Haitian collection of over 25 works of art is currently on display at FAMU’s Black Archives Research Center. DeCosmo became a lifetime member of CSA after attending her first conference in Kingston and Ocho Rios, Jamaica, in 1993