Friday, October 18, 2013

Annual Eric Williams lecture to feature Lord Relator and Rawle Gibbons

The 15th Annual Eric E. Williams Memorial Lecture at Florida International University’s Modesto Maidique Campus will take place at the School of Public and International Affairs Lobby, on Friday, October 18, 2013. It begins at at 6:30 p.m. at the campus at 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida. Admission is free and open to the public.

This year's speakers are Rawle Gibbons, founding Director of the Centre for Creative and Festival Arts at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and Willard Harris, also known as Lord Relator.

Relator is a seasoned Trinidad and Tobago calypsonian noted for imitation and his "extempto" ability - the art of composing impromptu lyrics about any subject, at any time, without previous thought or study. 

The lecture “One From Ten Leaves Nought, Ten To One Is Murder: Eric Williams, The Mighty Sparrow and the Arithmetic of Caribbean Self-Definition” promises to address the symbiotic relationship between the two men, and to showcase the development of a national and regional consciousness in Trinidad and Tobago – by means of Williams’ intellectual vision, parlayed into the language of the “street” by “The Calypso King of the World”, the Mighty Sparrow.
The Lecture pays tribute to his numerous accomplishments spanning more than 60 years. Sparrow has had to cancel his appearance, due to illness but Lord Relator will take up the baton, singing, in counterpoint to Mr. Gibbons’ talk, bars of the Sparrow calypsoes that illustrate his point. 

In the Q & A that follows, Relator will demonstrate his “extempo” talents with members of the audience.

Rawle Gibbons is an established playwright, stage director and professor at the University of the West Indies. Appointed to devise and head its first academic arts training program in 1986, his theatre 
productions include, CLR James’ “The Black Jacobins” (1975) and Derek Walcott’s “Drums and Colours” (1998). 

His plays are published as “A Calypso Trilogy” (Ian Randle and Canboulay, 1999) and “Love Trilogy” (Canboulay Productions, 2012). Since 2008, Gibbons has been President of the Caribbean Network of Art Presenters, CARIBNET, which spans the French, Spanish, Dutch and English-speaking Caribbean. He also serves as a resource for the regional Caribbean Examinations Council. 

Harris (Relator) has been composing and singing calypsoes since his early years, winning several local competitions. At a time when the average calypsonian was of a mature age, Relator captivated the nation with his impeccable style and youthful manner. He has performed internationally with major stars Billy Ocean and Jimmy Cliff.

Established in 1999, FIU’s annual Eric Williams Lecture honors the distinguished Caribbean statesman Eric E. Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and Head of Government for a quarter of a century until his death in 1981. 

Dr. Williams is best known for his groundbreaking work, the 69-year-old Capitalism and Slavery, which has been translated into seven languages, including Russian, Chinese, Japanese and this year, Turkish and Korean. 

Popularly referred to as The Williams Thesis, this landmark text continues to inform today's ongoing debate and remains “years ahead of its time...this profound critique is still the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development,” according to the New York Times.
For more information, please contact 305-348-6860/271-7246 or

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai