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Keynote Speakers

Kaiama L. Glover is Ann Whitney Olin Professor of French & Africana Studies and Faculty Director of the Barnard Digital Humanities Center. She is the author of Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon (Liverpool UP) and, forthcoming in fall 2020, The Regarded Self: On Caribbean Womanhood and the Ethics of Disorderly Being. In 2018-2019 she was a resident Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris, France, where she began work on her current book project, "René Depestre: For the Love of Revolution." Glover is the co-editor of several works, including Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine (Yale French Studies); The Haiti Exception (Liverpool UP) and The Haiti Reader (Duke UP). Her published translations include Frankétienne's Ready to Burst (2014), Marie Chauvet's Dance on the Volcano (2016), René Depestre's Hadriana in All My Dreams (2017), and Françoise Vergès's The Wombs of Women: Capitalism, Racialization, Feminism (2020). She is an awardee of the PEN/Heim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation; founding co-editor of archipelagos: a journal of Caribbean digital praxis; and founding co-director of digital humanities project "In the Same Boats: Toward an Afro-Atlantic Intellectual Cartography."

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Professor Joseph Osei (a native of Kokofu, Ghana), is Professor of Philosophy & Religion at Fayetteville State University, University of North Carolina system, US. Since 2010, he has served at the Editor-in-Chief of the e-journal, Philosophical Papers and Review (PPR). In 2020, he became the Chancellor Nominee for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Senior Level Fellowship. His previous appointments include Ag Chair of Philosophy Dept, University of Ghana, and President of the Religious Studies Association, NC. Dr Osei’s previous Visiting Professor appointments include Northern Illinois University, University of Ghana, Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, University of Cape Coast, University of South Florida, Auburn University, AL, and Central Michigan University. His publications include five books, including: (Osei, 2020) The Challenge of Sustaining Emergent Democracies: Insights for Religious Intellectuals and Leaders of Civil Society. Heritage Publishers, Accra, Ghana; (forthcoming) The Evolution of Democracy in Africa (Osei, (2010) Ethical Issues in Third World Development: A Theory of Social Change. Edwin Mellen Press, Lewis, N.Y. His most recent Book Chapters and journal Articles include:(2020) The Burden of Being a Black Philosopher in a White World, by Springer; (2019) Frederick Douglass and the Seven Nonviolent Pathways to Social Justice;(2019)'How the Selfishness Ethics and Ideology of Ayn Rand Have Undermined American Socio-Economic Stability: Analysis and Prescription from an African Communal Ethics Perspective. https: / 103 (2017) 'Mandela’s Legacy for Political Philosophy in Africa;' (2018) 'Political Philosophy in the African Context;' (2014) 'Kant’s Contribution to Moral Evolution from Modernism to Post-Modernism;' (2014) 'Karl Popper’s Contribution to Post-Modernist Ethics,' Ethics of Subjectivity by Palgrave, Macmillan; and (2005) "Review of "The African Philosophy Reader"," Essays in Philosophy: Vol. 6: Iss. 2, Article 12.

Dr Eka Ikpe is Deputy Director and Senior Lecturer (Development Economics in Africa) at the African Leadership Centre, King's College London. Her research offers a critical understanding of socio-economic transformation processes which advances concept-building that centres Global South contexts across the fields of economic development and peace and security. Eka's research has been published widely; most recent papers include "Developmental Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Postindependence Nigeria: Lessons from Asian Developmental States" in Journal of Peacebuilding and Development (2020) and "Thinking about developmental statehood, manufacturing and international capital: the case of Ethiopia" in Canadian Journal of Development Studies (Forthcoming).
Eka is Co-Editor of Peace, Society and the State in Africa and African Perspectives of Leadership and Peacebuilding (Bloomsbury Press) and on the editorial review boards of Africa Development and Journal of Leadership and Developing Societies. She is on the Research Advisory Committee of Women for Women International.
Eka's research has supported the work of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the Economic Community of West African States, UK Ministry of Defence, UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Africa and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (formerly DFID). Eka has commented on development, peace and security in Africa for BBC World News, BBC Radio 4, Al Jazeera and Radio France International.

Dr Monique Allewaert is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research integrates literary analysis with political and environmental theory to contribute to an American studies that attends to the flows and structures of colonialism that shape the Western hemisphere. This hemispheric orientation of the field develops through sub- and supra-national frames and problematics in an effort to uncover understandings of personhood, community, place, and aesthetics that were overlooked by earlier organizations of the field. Her book Ariel’s Ecology (University of Minnesota, 2013) argues that in the American plantation zone human bodies were experienced and mythologized not as integrated political subjects but as bodies in parts. She investigates how this experience and mythology of the body shaped art forms of the period, particularly Anglo European and Afro American travel writing as well as Afro American oral stories and fetishes, considering also the implications of this experience of the body for personhood and political life.

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Dr Chris O’Connell is a CAROLINE Research Fellow at the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University. Chris holds a PhD in Political Science from Dublin City University, where his doctoral thesis analysed the influence of mobilised civil society on left-wing governments in Latin America. His current research examines the relationship between climate change, vulnerability and contemporary slavery in Peru and Bolivia.

Chris is the author of the policy report entitled ‘From a Vicious to a Virtuous Circle: Addressing climate change, environmental destruction and contemporary slavery’, which was produced in collaboration with Anti-Slavery International, the world’s oldest human rights organisation. The ground-breaking report highlights the links between the impacts of climate change, but also of extractive activities like mining and agribusiness, on driving migration and vulnerability to exploitation.

This research has received funding from the Irish Research Council and from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 713279.

For more information please see here.


Born and bred in the French Caribbean (Guadeloupe), Eddy Firmin is an artist-researcher, speaker, who lives and works in Montréal (Canada). He holds a PhD in Arts Studies and Practices from the Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada) and a master's degree from l’École Supérieure d’Art et Design le Havre-Rouen (France). He coordinates the publication of the decolonial magazine Minorit'Art. His visual artwork questions the transcultural logics of his identity and the power imbalances at play. On a theoretical level, he works on a Méthode Bossale, a proposal for the decolonization of the imaginary in art.

Eddy Firmin takes a particular interest in the politics of knowledge sharing and the epistemic conflicts that they create for the colonized artist. He strives to remediate the codes of a Caribbean ancestral custom, le Gwoka (at the crossroads of dance, song, storytelling and music). Le Gwoka is part of the very large family of Afro-Caribbean customs created to resist colonial violence, such as Paracumbé, Guineo, Bèlè, Calenda, Bomba, Tambú and many more. This imperative necessity to transfer ancestral codes to modern visual media derives from the fact that his home islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique did not give rise to a visual tradition to which one can refer, because of the restrictions of slavery on such small territories. Besides Resistance, one of the main codes of this custom is la lokans. Specific to the singer / storyteller, la lokans aims to disguise the resilience of slaves under the technicity and mastery of singing. It becomes a flower shield under which war rumbles, encapsulating the art of double language. Technicity and esthetics aim to seduce and mesmerize, while the hidden message fosters resistance to dominant discourse in the arts as in the social space.

See more information about Eddy Firmin and his work, here.