SYMPOSIUM: Decolonization Across Disciplines in the Americas



One of the most pressing issues of the contemporary moment is decolonization. The legacies of colonialism have affected all aspects of society in the Americas, and it is important to understand them and the ways they can be negotiated and undone—how can society be decolonized? As part of its Study of the Americas Initiative, Florida Atlantic University is hosting a one-day interdisciplinary symposium to spread information and foster discussion about decolonization in the Americas and south Florida specifically.

This unique event features panels of speakers throughout the day and will close with a general discussion among all event participants to ask questions about and prod the finer points of decolonization. Sponsored in part by a Florida Humanities Council Grant, the event Is free and open to the general public, and area faculty and students are especially welcome to participate in this educational event, the goal of which is to spread awareness of decolonization and encourage its inclusion as a core element of curriculum.

The symposium brings together scholars from Florida Atlantic University and other Florida institutions to examine and discuss decolonization within historical, literary, political, cultural, racial, gendered, and other contexts of the Americas conceived broadly, with awareness of the ways Florida, and south Florida especially, is a nexus of hemispherical interconnections. The symposium
will be the culmination of a series of events at FAU surrounding the art exhibition, Decolonizing Refinement: Contemporary Pursuits in the Art of Edouard Duval-Carrié.


8:00 am – 9:00 am -  Continental breakfast - Performing Arts Building Lobby

9:00 am - 10:45 am - Performing Arts Building 101

Panel 1: Decolonizing the Caribbean

Chair, Yolanda Gamboa , Florida Atlantic University

  • Race, Counter-Hegemony, and Decolonization in the Bahamas -  Susan Love Brown , Florida Atlantic University
  • Epistemic Decoloniality and African-Derived Religiosity: Delinking from the Fundamentals of Modernity in Post-Slavery Jamaica - Stacy J. Lettman , Florida Atlantic University
  • Decolonial Feminism, Sabor, and the Latina Dancing Body - Priscilla Renta , Florida Atlantic University
  • Tracing the Caribbean Origins of Anthropocene: Toward Decolonizing Climate Change Discourse - Ali Tal-mason , Florida Atlantic University

11:00 am – 12:45 pm -  Performing Arts Building 101

Panel 2: Decolonizing Communication

Chair, Yvette Fuentes , Nova Southeastern University

  • Unsettling the Coloniality of the Affects: Transcontinental Reverberations between Teresa Brennan and Sylvia Wynter - Lauren Guilmette , Florida Atlantic University
  • Picturesque Guadeloupe: De/colonizing the Territorial Imaginary - Stella Vincenot , Rollins College
  • Un/Making the Comanche Dictionary: Towards a Comanche Linguistics and Practical Lexicography - Kathryn Pewenofkit Briner , Florida Atlantic University


2:00 pm – 3:45 pm - Performing Arts Building 101

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm - Lunch - CU 97 Building, Third Floor Atrium

Panel 3: Decolonizing Florida Spaces/Peoples

Chair, Manny Rossi , University of Miami

  • Britain’s Ambitious Florida Venture: Turnbull’s Smyrnéa Settlement (1766-1777) - Arlene Frad kin, Florida Atlantic University
  • What is the History of Your Book? Self-Determined Classroom Research Experiences in South Florida - Charlie Glee k, Florida Atlantic University
  • South Florida as a Colonial Space - Evan Bennett , Florida Atlantic University

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Closing discussion session


Funding for this program was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment of the Humanities.


Thank you to Michael Horswell , Dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, for supporting this event. Thank you to William Faulds , Director of the University Galleries at Florida Atlantic University, for his tireless work with the programming on decolonization. Thank you to Khaulah Nuruddin for her wonderful curating of the "Decolonizing Refinement" exhibition. Thank you to Karen Leader for her tremendous role in organizing the decolonization programming. And a special thank you to Rebecca Al-Hattab , Aimee Arias , Polly Burks , Betsaida Casanova , Charlie Gleek , Hendreck Joseph , Ilaria Serra , and Marianna de Tollis for their extraordinary work in bringing this symposium to fruition.