The Inaugural Rastafari Studies Conference: “Negotiating the African Presence: Rastafari Livity and Scholarship”
THE INAUGURAL RASTAFARI STUDIES CONFERENCE
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES, MONA
AUGUST 17, 2010 – AUGUST 20, 2010
2010 will mark 50 years since the “Report on The Rastafari Movement in Kingston, Jamaica” was first published by the then University College of the West Indies. This Report authored by M.G. Smith, Roy Augier and Rex Nettleford validated the University’s sense of its social responsibility and remains one of its most successful monographs, having gone through eight reproductions without change in form or content, on its way to becoming a most highly referenced document on the Movement.
2010 also marks the 80th anniversary of the Rastafari Movement itself, which has grown from a few visionaries struck by the coronation of the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I in November 1930, into a vital force in reconstructing and elevating the African Presence in the Western landscape.
In recognition of these two anniversaries and on the birthday of the Pan-African champion and nation’s first National Hero, the Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the Institute of Caribbean Studies announces the inaugural Rastafari Studies Conference to be held at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies August 17 - 20, 2010, under the Chairmanship of Emeritus Professor Sir Roy Augier.
The University of the West Indies recently hosted a Rastafari Studies Conference at the Kenneth Hall Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Humanities & Education, Mona Campus. The conference which ran from August 17th to 20th was held under the theme, "Negotiating the African Presence -Rastafari Levity and Scholarship." It was held as the 50th Commemoration of the UWI report on 'The Rastafarian Movement in Kingston."
The gathering at Mona brought together Rastafarians, lecturers and sympathizers from the Caribbean and the Diaspora for over four days of reasoning and assessment of the impact of the watershed study on the advancement and challenges of the Rastafarian movement over the past 50 years. Other reasonings were held at the Institute of Jamaica and Bob Marley museum.
Rastafari Studies Conference, Photography, and More…
The University of the West Indies convened a Rastafari Studies Conference last week to mark the 50th Anniversary of the publication of the Report on the Rastafari Movement conducted by three scholars of the then-University College to make recommendations to Government as to what to do with the growing Rastafari movement. Under the Chair of Professor Emeritus Barry Chevannes and co-ordinated by Professor Ras Jalani Niah, the conference presented papers from scholars and students from Jamaica, USA, Mexico, Ethiopia, Panama, the Caribbean, Italy, France and Australia on different aspects of the Rastafari faith and movement.
The 50-year-old Report was re-printed for the Conference, along with the Minority Report written by the Rastafari members of the delegation that travelled to several African countries to research the possiblity of re-settlement by African-descended Jamaicans. In an address at the Opening Ceremony, Professor Sir Roy Augier gave his personal recollections, as the only surviving author of the Report, of the history that led up to the Report, and candidly expressed his hope that in focusing on African repatriation, Jamaican Rastafari would not totally abandon the land of their birth.
Some of theworkshops and panel topics included: Rastafari Communities & Sustainable Development; Rastafari In the Global Concept; Rastafari, the State and Revolution; the Ethiopian Orthodox Cchurch as Spiritual & Cultural Liberator; and the Role of Rastafari Man & Woman.
Over 3 days speakers explored different aspects of the Rastafari movement and stimulated conversations and discussions between participants and supporters of the faith, including UWI Professors Carolyn Cooper, Dr.Michel Barnett, Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niah and Dr. K’adaamawe K’nife — all of whom earned degrees at the UWI. The conference was telecast globally and the more than 70 papers will be published.