“Which Medium? Whose Story?” (September 21)

Published: September 20th, 2017

Category: News

Oonya Kempadoo on storytelling, collaborative digital humanities, and environmental sustainability in the Caribbean 

Which Medium? Whose Story?

Oonya Kempadoo

5 PM, September 21, 2017

Smathers Library 100

University of Florida


Each story has its calling in a particular form. But don’t we think, imagine and remember in an interdisciplinary and multimedia way? Following the development of Oonya Kempadoo’s new work, Naniki, the journey from analog to digital and multimedia reveals a navigation of gaps, challenges, leaps and bounds which includes collaborative research and educational tools. It also reflects how the arts/artist and storytelling is valued (or not) today in the Caribbean, particularly in science and sustainability concerns, within aid-dependent resources, a colonial education system and inherited relationships with “modernization.”

Oonya Kempadoo is the author of Buxton Spice (1997), long-listed for the Orange Prize and translated into six languages; Tide Running (2001), winner of the Casa de Las Americas Prize (2002); and All Decent Animals (2013), #6 on Oprah Winfrey’s Summer Reads for 2013. A consultant in the arts and social development, including work with UNICEF, UNAID, Kempadoo was Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence and Creative Writing Instructor (2013–14) at two colleges in Connecticut. She serves as advisor to the Caribbean literacy non-profit “Hands Across the Sea” and is co-founder of the Grenada Community Library & Resource Center in St George’s, Grenada. A leader in digital arts and educational collaboration in the Caribbean, Kempadoo has initiated two digital projects to support environmental sustainability in the region. The first, Naniki, is a speculative fiction, multimedia, eco-social project designed to engage students in the Caribbean and other countries in uses of digital technologies and supporting environmental sustainability. The second, Carisealand, is a digital platform for scholars, artists, and the public for sharing projects on sustainability, designed and built by Create Caribbean Research Institute and students of Dominica State College.

“Which Medium? Whose Story?” is the opening keynote of “Collaborating Across the Divide: Digital Humanities and the Caribbean,” a two-day symposium at UF sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere with support from the Rothman Endowment, and co-sponsored by the Creative Campus Program, Center for Latin American Studies, the Interdisciplinary Working Group on Caribbean Arts and Humanities, the Science Fiction Working Group and Imagining Climate Change, the George A. Smathers Libraries, the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research, the Department of English, the Department of History, the UF Informatics Institute, France-Florida Research Institute, and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department. See this page for more information and a complete program of the symposium.

This event and all sessions of “Collaborating Across the Divide” are free and open to the public. No advance registration is required.


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