Multi Faith Centre, 569 Spadina Avenue, Toronto

The Diaspora Voices Conference Organising Committee (COC) invites students from any postsecondary institution in the GTA and the surrounding area and any discipline or field, as well as any interested member of the wider public, to participate in the U of T Caribbean Studies Program’s third annual one-day, student-organised, interdisciplinary conference on the Caribbean and its diaspora. Now in its third year, this annual conference offers a vital public venue to highlight, discuss and celebrate the work and ideas of students interested in the Caribbean. All students, faculty and friends of the Caribbean Studies Programme at the University of Toronto, and members of the college and university community and the public are invited to attend and participate in the conversation. The primary organisers and most of the participants are students themselves (with faculty and staff support). This conference gives organisers and participants the opportunity to gain invaluable organising experience and a chance to get a glimpse of what it might feel like to pursue a career in academia. Additionally, it creates a unique space for community interaction, self-empowerment and networking. All of the work presented will be considered for publication in the U of T Caribbean Studies Student Union Journal and/or on the website of the Caribbean Studies Program.

We seek proposals and submissions from any of the following people or groups:

- postsecondary and other students and members of the wider public, who have written a paper on a Caribbean topic, and who wish to share their work with a wider community of interested people. Term papers, book/film reports, or any other analytical format are welcome.

- students who want to share and reflect upon their experiences as part of practicum or fieldwork training in the Caribbean, or with Caribbean communities in Toronto.

-  authors of spoken word poetry, prose, music, visual arts, and short ‘think’ pieces, whose work is relevant to the conference. The work of visual or installation artists will be featured as part of an art exhibit. All artists selected will be invited to perform and discuss their work as part of a special session of the conference focusing on the arts and the artistic process.

- presenters/proposals which highlight the work of young, community organizers and activists who are making important contributions to building and sustaining community life in the Toronto Caribbean community.

- graduate students who would like to participate as either presenters on our graduate student panels or panel facilitators/chairs.

Academic presentations should be approximately 10-12 minutes long.  Presenters of artistic pieces are also encouraged to work within this time frame. Based on the submissions which we receive we will group the papers into panels with general themes. We would like to especially encourage submissions which address issues relating to Haiti, past, present and future.

The conference takes place on Saturday, March 5 2010, with a deadline for proposals and submissions on Monday, February 14 2010. Submissions/proposals should be a summary of your work not exceeding 300 words in length. If yours is an artistic piece then you may submit the entire work. All submissions should include a title; the individual’s name and institution; a telephone number and an email address. Refreshments and lunch will be served. We will have some limited childcare available with experienced childcare providers, but spaces are limited. Those in need of childcare in order to facilitate their involvement in the conference are strongly encouraged to make arrangements with the COC ahead of time.

For more information please send an email to:
diasporavoicesconference@gmail.com and/or Melanie Newton, Department of History and New College (melanie.newton@utoronto.ca/ 416-978-4054)

Members of the Conference Organising Committee:
Renée Annan, Lenore Butcher, Krystle Bovell, Ivan Roberts Davis (Undergraduate)
Shari Deonarinesingh (Caribbean Studies Students Union)
Sharifa Khan, Benjamin Landsee and Adwoa Onuora (Graduate)
Melanie Newton, Alissa Trotz (Faculty advisors)