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AHRC CentreCATH Seminar I, 2005-6

3 - 5 November 2005, in the Centenary Gallery at the University of Leeds

Comings and Goings

Calypso: A Moment and Movement Concerning Memory, Migration and Displacement

Lord Kitchener, Val Wilmer Collection

Invited Speakers

John Cowley (Independent writer and scholar), Arthur France (Leeds Carnival Committee), Ray Funk (Judge and DJ, Fairbanks, Alaska), Graham Huggan (University of Leeds), Hollis Liverpool (University of the Virgin Islands), Alan Rice (University of Central Lancaster), Milla Riggio (Trinity College, Hartford, USA), Gordon Rohlehr (University of the West Indies, St. Augustine), Stephen Stuempfle (Historical Museum of Southern Florida).


'Comings and Goings' Calypso: A Moment and Movement Concerning Memory, Migration and Displacement is a transdisciplinary seminar which seeks to interrogate the musical practices of West Indian Carnival by exploration of its roots/routes through, and contribution to, the evolution of contemporary music practices in Britain today, and by extension, its wider impact on British culture.

Convened by Geraldine Connor, this seminar proposes an agenda that critically examines the practice of these musics within the multifaceted field of cultural theory by addressing how they have responded to or directly affected issues of aesthetics, globalisation, coloniality, post coloniality, the post-war movement, identity, representation, cultural interpretation, social commentary, contemporary music, memory and history.

In particular the seminar will examine the genres of calypso, mento, spooge, steelband, reggae and sound systems and the more recent developments of soca, rapso, chutney, zouk and dance hall, as well as look at the impact of these genres have had within the context of contemporary popular music industry e.g., in the USA and UK. The starting point of these explorations is grounded in an initiative of the Historical Museum of Southern Florida who have developed a web exhibition, www.calypsoworld.org (co-curated by Stephen Stuempfle and Ray Funk), and conference project on the international dissemination of calypso music from Trinidad from the mid-twentieth century.

As part of a series of four world wide conferences, two of which have already taken place in Miami and New York, the Leeds seminar which is due to take place from the 3-5 November 2005 will be the third event. The fourth and final conference is scheduled for the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival in 2006.

The seminar in Leeds will be accompanied by an exhibition of photographs and memorabilia of the Leeds Carnival curated by Max Farrar and located in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. The conference programme will also include a screening of feature-length documentary film Calypso Dreams.


The conference takes place in the Centenary Gallery of the University of Leeds which is indicated on this map by the legend "Parkinson Court, University Gallery and Centenary Gallery". For information on reaching the University please see this travel information page.


Registration fees : Full Seminar Fee £60, Concessionary Seminar Fee £30, Day Rate £30. Please register using the form below.

The form is available in various formats:

  • Microsoft Word document: registration.doc
  • RTF: registration.rtf
  • Adobe Acrobat document: registration.pdf

[Introduction] [Thursday] [Friday] [Saturday] [Location] [Registration] [Accommodation] [Film] [Exhibition]

University of Leeds School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies Arts and Humanities Research Council