Research studies conference in honour of the centenary of Harold Simmons’ birth

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Research studies conference in honour of the centenary of Harold Simmons’ birth
Harold Simmons.
Auguste doing field research with the late Dame Sesenne Descartes. Photo courtesy: Joyce Auguste.

PRESS RELEASE – The fifth Folk Research Centre (FRC) St. Lucia Studies Conference is scheduled for June 12 and 13, 2014.

Eight presenters have been confirmed. Topics range from Derek Walcott’s drama to St. Lucian pottery, experiences of children of East Indian immigration to the role of Kwéyòl in the legal system. The theme of the Conference is “Discovering ourselves – recent research on St. Lucia.”

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Merle St. Clair-Auguste, Vice Principal of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.

Among confirmed speakers are Dr. Terencia Joseph, Dr. Sandra Evans, Patricia Fay, Dr. Kentry Jn Pierre, Travis Weekes, Virginia Albert-Poyotte, Dr. Sonia Alexander.

The conference will begin at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday, June 12. The venue is the conference room of the Cultural Development Foundation, which is a key partner on this event.

Harold Simmons.

The first Saint Lucia Studies Conference was organised by the Folk Research Centre in March 2004. The theme was “A critical path to St. Lucia’s development.”

Visitors attended from Vienna and St. Lucian students at universities abroad presented their findings. The late Manfred Kremser, a long standing friend of the FRC from the University of Vienna, was also here and made a presentation.

The aim of the Saint Lucia Studies Conference is the presentation of research by persons investigating various areas of St. Lucian life.

The FRC endeavours to publish the presentations in print and digital format. In recent years, the Saint Lucia Studies Conference merged with the Emancipation Lectures of the Cultural Development Foundation. Other conferences were held in 2007, 2010 and 2012. The 2010 lectures on Language Policy Issues were published.

In 2012 the Conference looked at the place of the Kwéyòl language in formal education and at Emancipation and St. Lucian history. The proceedings were not published since only two submissions were received from the presenters.

The 2014 conference provides a forum to students doing research at St. Lucia’s Tertiary level institutions. The identifiable institutions are the UWI Open Campus, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Monroe College and the NRDF which offers courses of overseas based Universities and Colleges. The medical schools present in St. Lucia have also been invited to submit research findings.

Interested participants can call the FRC at 4522279.

The conference is being held in honour of the centenary of the birth of Harold Simmons (1914-1966.) He was declared a National Cultural Hero in 2005.

The FRC is home to the Harold Simmons Folk Academy.

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