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Keynote: Dr. Stanley H. Griffin
July 12, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm UTC+0
“Where Records Dance, Sing and Talk: Exploring Caribbean Record Forms and Archival Studies”
The current world pandemic has, intriguingly, reenergized and reinforced traditional Caribbean cultural ways of creating information, communicating news and sharing experiences. In many ways, these forms of expressing ‘communal self’, e.g. our carnivals and festivals, rhythms and songs, accents and languages, have fed stereotypes of the Caribbean people and societies as exotic, playful, and trivial. These expressions, notwithstanding, emerged out of the ruptures of the plantation, the formative colonial infrastructure that shaped Caribbean identities and nationhood.
Yet as expressions of societal documentation, there is a sharp dichotomy between what is considered archival versus cultural in the Caribbean. Our archives, i.e. institutions, materials and practices, mirror the colonial hegemony that demarcates our various territories. British, Dutch, French, and Spanish recordkeeping traditions, along with global northern agreements, dictate what is recorded and deemed archival today in the region. Thus, the creativity and memory that define the Caribbean may neither make its way to audiovisual, digital, paper forms nor be ‘preserved’ in archival precepts. If Caribbean records dance, sing and talk, what should ‘the archive’ look like? How can Caribbean-trained archivists ensure their repositories are as dynamic as their current societies and not just storehouses of past coloniality. What particular epistemologies must a Caribbean Archival Studies emphasize? In considering the Caribbean cultural as Caribbean-archival, we consider what contributions a Caribbean-oriented Archival Studies can offer the world.
Stanley H. Griffin holds a BA (Hons.) in History, and a PhD in Cultural Studies (with High Commendation), from the Cave Hill Barbados Campus of The University of the West Indies, and an MSc in Archives and Records Management (Int’l), University of Dundee, Scotland. Formerly the Archivist-in-Charge of the UWI Archives, he is Lecturer in Archival Studies and coordinates the Graduate Programme in Archives and Records Management in the Department of Library and Information Studies, UWI Mona Campus, Jamaica.
Stanley’s research interests include Multiculturalism in Antigua and the Eastern Caribbean, the Cultural Dynamics of intra-Caribbean migrations, Archives in the constructs of Caribbean culture, and community archives in the Caribbean. His most recent publications include Decolonizing the Caribbean Record: An Archives Reader (Litwin, 2018), a co-edited work with Jeannette Bastian and John Aarons, several book chapters including Archival Silences: Missing, Lost and Uncreated Archives (2021) and journal articles including the Journal of Popular Culture (2021), International Journal on Information, Diversity and Inclusion (2021), and the Journal of West Indian Literature (2021)