Lecture Series

AADS hosts two different lecture series annually- the AADS Humanities Afternoon and the Chris Gray Memorial Lecture. When there is a recording of a lecture, it will be clearly indicated. Click on "Video" to view the recorded event.

Chris Gray Memorial Lecture Series

The Chris Gray Memorial Scholarship Endowment was founded to honor the memory of former FIU History Professor, Christopher Gray. Professor Gray joined the FIU faculty in Fall 1995 and had an enormous impact on the University faculty and students during his five years at the University. Professor Gray died of cancer in October 2000 after having been diagnosed with the disease in January 1999. He demonstrated his courage and commitment to teaching and scholarship by continuing to teach classes through the spring of 2000. He has been missed terribly by the students and staff of FIU since his passing.

The memory of Professor Gray was honored again on 26 November 2001 when a plaque bearing his name was placed on a gazebo near one of the lakes on the University Park Campus. Professor Ted Young in LACC took the initiative to have the gazebo named in Professor Gray’s honor, and Jean Rahier represented African-New World Studies (now African & African Diaspora Studies). The plaque bears an inscription from the title of Professor Gray’s forthcoming book, which is in turn a proverb of Gabon’s Fang people: “The Clan Knows No Boundaries.” A small group of faculty, staff, and students gathered at the gazebo for the unveiling of the plaque and to remember Professor Gray. At the time Provost Mark Rosenberg spoke movingly of Professor Gray’s devotion to scholarship and teaching, and of his tremendous impact on all of those whom he worked with at FIU.

The Gray Scholarship Endowment was launched in December 2001 to honor Chris Gray’s memory by helping students at FIU in their quest to understand better the history and social affairs of sub-Saharan Africa. Its creators envision at annual award to a graduate student in History or a social science who is studying continental Africa. If you wish to contribute, checks for the fund should be made out to the “FIU Foundation” and the following notation should appear of the bottom left: “Chris Gray Memorial Scholarship Endowment.” Checks may be sent to Professor John Clark, Department of International Relations or to the AADS office, LC 304, Modesto Maidique Campus. The founders of the fund wish to thank all of those who have contributed to this point.

Chris Gray Memorial Lectures

202316th Lecture.Dr. Saheed Aderinto, Florida International University, "When History Roars Back: The Animal Turn in African Historical Scholarship"Video
202215th Lecture.Dr. Hilary Jones, Florida International University, "Practicing Diaspora: The Making of a ‘Senegalo-Haitian’ Community in Postcolonial West Africa"Video
201912th Lecture.Dr. Kwame Essien, Lehigh University, "Crisscrossing Paths of Slavery, Pan-Africanism and Reverse Migrations: Ghana's Location in the Atlantic Discourse"
201811th Lecture.Dr. S. Ama Wray, University of California, Irvine, " On Becoming: A Neo-African Performance Architect"
201710th Lecture.Dr. Ch. Didier Gondola, Indiana University, "Tropical Cowboys: Westerns, Violence, and Masculinity in Kinshasa"
20169th Lecture.Julienne Lusenge, Director and founder of Le Fonds des Femme Congolaises (FFC) or Congolese Women's Fund, "On the Frontline of Women's Rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Conversation with Julienne Lusenge"
20158th Lecture.Dr. Boubacar Barry, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, "What Happened to Us in Senegambia During the Slave Trade?"
20147th Lecture.Hannah Forster, Executive Director of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), Promoting Gender Equality in Africa through the Application of the "Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa."
20136th Lecture.Dr. Harold Goodwin, Leeds Metropolitan University, "What Can Tourism Contribute to Poverty Reduction in Africa?"Video
20125th Lecture.Dr. Jok Madut Jok, J. Randolph Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace Loyola Marymount University, "South Sudan and the Burden of Independence."
20114th Lecture.Solange Ghonda, The DRC's Ambassador for Children. "The Impact of Social and Political Violence on Congo's Children."
20103rd Lecture.James McGee, Ex-ambassador of the US in Zimbabwe, “Zimbabwe: A Country on the Precipice.”
20092nd Lecture.Dr. Filip De Boeck, Director of the Institute of Anthropology Research in Africa, Belgium Film presentation, “Kinshasa, D.R.C.: Cementery City” and lecture, “Children of Disorder. Intimacy, Violenceand the Production of Social Knowledge in Congolese Youth’s Management of Death.”
2003Inaugural Lecture.Dr. Florence Bernault, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Body and Power in the Colony.”

AADS Humanities Afternoon

202313th Afternoon. In Collaboration with Center for Women's and Gender Studies/Black Mothers Care Plan. A Celebration of Black Motherhood & Maternal HealthDocumentary filmaker Dr. Adeiyewunmi (Ade) Osinubi, Imani Warren, Filmaker, Artist, & Cultural Preservationist
202212th Afternoon. In Collaboration with Frost Museum: Anti-Blackness and State-Sanctioned Violence: Art and Activism in Global PerspectivePhotojournalist Vanessa Charlot, filmmaker Amberly Alene, Human Rights activist Rinu Oduala, community activist Alexey Rodriguez, and sociologist Tanya Saunders
20199th Afternoon. "Givin' Them Something' They Can Feel: An Interrogation and Celebration of Black Soul"Marsha Music “Detroit’s Cultural Legacy"; Dr. Randal Jelks, University of Kansas; Dr. Nick Salvatore, Cornell University; Soul Teach-In by Ms. Betty Wright
20188th Afternoon. "Rendering the Black Fantastic: Movement, Resistance, and Power"Dr. Margo Natalie Crawford, University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, Duke; Dinizulu Gene Tinnie, public artist and Humanities professor; Davey D, nationally recognized journalist
20167th Afternoon. "How Do Global Black Lives Matter? Art, Activism and the Academy"Cheryl Boyce Taylor, Founder and Curator of Calypso Muse; Luciane de Oliveira Rocha, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Miriam "Duchess" Harris, Malacaster College; Umi Selah, Dream Defenders; Christen Smith, University of Texas at Austin
20156th Afternoon. "Theorizing the Diaspora: Going Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology"Dr. Michelle Wright, Northwestern University, "Blackness in the Postwar Diaspora: Polyvalent Spacetimes for Inclusion and Diversity."
20145th Afternoon. "LEGACIES: Black Cultural Transnationalism, Remembering Nelson Mandela and Amiri Baraka"Dr. Chérif Këita, Carleton College "Searching the Grey area of the South African Liberation History"; Dr. Haki Madhubuti, Third World Press "The Malcolm X Legacy: What It Means to Be Black and Literate in the 21st Century and the Importance of Art in the Maturation of All People"
20134th Afternoon. "Rastafari Then and Now: Caribbeanist Anthropology, Gender Relations, and Global Dimensions"Dr. Robert Hill, University of California-Los Angeles, "The Ras Tafari Movement in Kingston, Jamaica: Political Breakthrough or Academic Betrayal?"; Dr. Michael Barnett, University of West Indies, Mona-Jamaica, "Rastafari in the New Millenium"
20123rd Afternoon. "Afro-Homo: Norming Nation, Norming Sex"Dr. Neville Hoad, University of Texas at Austin, "Traditional Modernity: Homosexuality and Customary Law in South Africa."; Dr. Frieda Ekotto, University of Michigan,"Women Loving Women in Sub-Saharan Africa"; Dr. Thomas Glave, State University of New York, Binghamton, 2012-2013 Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge, the UK, "A Nation of Sodomites; or, What the Writer Said to the Activist and the Activist to the Writer."
20112nd Afternoon. "Crossing the Sahara and Back: African Feminisms in Dialogue"Dr. Fatima Sadiqi, University of Fez, Morocco, "Sources of Power for Feminisms in the African North"; Dr. Abena Busia, Rutgers University, "The Women Writing Africa Project: African Women, Feminism, and the Production of Knowledge"; Dr. Obioma Nnaemeka, Indiana University, "Captured in Translation: Africa and Feminisms in the Age of Globalization"
20101st Afternoon. "Haiti and her Dyaspora: The Politics of Aesthetics and the Aesthetics of Politics"Dr. Jean Jonassaint, Syracuse University; Dr. Evelyn Cartright, Barry University; Dr. Charles Asselin, Mount Olive College; also featuring Haitian authors Marie Celie Agnant and Lionnel Trouillot and Haitian American photographer Noelle Theard

Eric Williams Memorial Lecture Series (1999-2017)

The Eric Williams Memorial Lecture is organized by the African & African Diaspora Studies Program Distinguished Africana Scholars Lecture Series in conjunction with the Eric Williams Memorial Collection at the University of the West Indies. It has quickly become one of the major events of the University’s calendar. The University, through its various administrative committees, has ensured that the Lecture is executed at a level befitting its name and commensurate with other activities of its caliber. We are, therefore, committed to maintaining this excellence.

Inaugurated in 1999 by the pre-eminent scholar and historian, Dr. John Hope Franklin, the intent has been twofold: to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Eric Williams, noted historian and Caribbean statesman; and to provide an intellectual forum, generally, for the examination of pertinent issues in Caribbean and African Diaspora history and politics. FIU’s Eric Williams Memorial Lecture has now been concretized as one of the most significant and anticipated intellectual contributions and draws a large attendance from the South Florida community, which comprises a sizeable Caribbean population.

Eric Williams Memorial Lectures

201719th Annual Lecture.Dr. Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education, University of California, Los Angeles, "Do Black Lives Matter in the Age of Trump?"
201618th Annual Lecture.Honorable Bharrat Jagdeo, Former President of Guyana, "The Caribbean and American Presidential Power: A Donald Trump Ascendancy."
201517th Annual Lecture.Honorable Dr. Ralph Everard Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, "The US-Cuba Accord: How the Caribbean Paved the Way."
201416th Annual Lecture.Honorable Dr. Kenny Davis Anthony, Prime Minister of St. Lucia, “Reparations and 21st Century Development: The Silence is Broken and We Speak to the World."Video
201315th Annual Lecture.Dr. Rawle Gibbons, University of West Indies, "1 From 10 Leaves 0, 10 to One is Murder: Eric Williams, The Mighty Sparrow and the Arithmetic of Caribbean Self-Definition."; Performance by The Lord RelatorVideo
201214th Annual Lecture.Reginald Dumas, Former Veteran Diplomat, Foreign Service, Trinidad and Tobago, "50 Years after Independence, Is Eric Williams Still Relevant?"; Rachel Manley, daughter and grand-daughter of two former Jamaican Heads of Government, "50 Years of Jamaican Independence: A Manley Perspective."Video
201113th Annual Lecture.Dr. Ivelaw Griffith, York College - CUNY, "Drugs and Crime as Problems Without Passports in the Caribbean: How Secure is Security and How Sovereign is Sovereignty?"
201012th Annual Lecture.P.J. Patterson, Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, "The Renaissance of Haiti: A Template for Caribbean Integration."Video
200911th Annual Lecture.Portia Simpson Miller, Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, “A New Vision for a New World Reality: Prospects for the Anglophone Caribbean.”Video
200810th Annual Lecture.Dr. Arnold Rampersad, Sarah Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University, “The Challenge of Leadership in America: Race, History and the Emergence of Barack Obama."
20079th Annual Lecture.Dr. Joseph Inikori, Professor of History, University of Rochester; Verene Shepherd, Professor of Social History, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, “Emancipation, the African Atlantic and the Long Road to Freedom.”Video
20068th Annual Lecture.Dr. Colin A. Palmer, Dodge Professor of History, Princeton University, “Eric Williams and the Continuing Challenges of a Diverse Caribbean.”
20057th Annual Lecture.Dr. Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool, Associate Professor of History, University of the Virgin Islands, “One Caribbean: Eric Williams on Carnival, Culture and Development.”
20046th Annual Lecture.Dr. Robert Fatton, Julia A. Cooper Professor of Government/Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia and prize winning author Edwidge Danticat, “Haiti, Patterns of Crisis: Culture and Politics in the Caribbean.”
20035th Annual Lecture.Dr. Angela Davis, Professor in History of Consciousness and Chair of Women’s Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, “Slavery and the Prison Industrial Complex.”Video
20024th Annual Lecture.Distinguished Caribbean Women, Mia Mottley, Attorney General of Barbados; Cynthia Pratt, Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas and former first lady of Jamaica; Beverly Anderson-Manley, “Women and Politics in the Caribbean.”
20013rd Annual Lecture.Dr. Hillary Beckles, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, “The Global Politics of Reparations, Before and After Durban.”
20002nd Annual Lecture.Kenneth Kaunda, Former President of Zambia, “Orphans of Africa: The Ignored Casualties of AIDS.”
1999Inaugural Lecture.Dr. John Hope Franklin, Professor Emeritus, Duke University, “Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation.”