This interdisciplinary symposium will bring together scholars and artists to facilitate a conversation about different ways to sense and make sense of the multiplicity of Caribbean sensoria that have defined the region over the past three centuries. The symposium, hence, will foster dialogue on the ways in which sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight—and other sensorial categories outside of western conceptions of the sensorial like equilibrium or perceptions of the numinous world—have been experienced, created, and transmitted by the diverse groups of people who have inhabited the region over the past four centuries.

*All activities are open to the public

Thursday, September 21st, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

“Song for the Beloved”

Song for the Beloved is an interactive performance honoring those who have died from urban violence in Kingston, Jamaica linking these experiences to other forms of violence in communities around the world. Through visual arts and performance, participants negotiate contested memories across differences as an act of re-creating and repairing the past in the present.

Friday, September 22nd, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm


Alejandra Bronfman (University of British Columbia)

Honor Ford-Smith (York University)

Paul C. Johnson (University of Michigan)

Roshini Kempadoo (University of Westminster, London)

Jeannine Murray-Román (Florida State University)

Juan Carlos Quintero Herencia (University of Maryland)


Pablo F. Gómez (Medical History and Bioethics, History)

Víctor Goldgel-Carballo (Spanish & Portuguese)

Performance coordination:

Paola Hernández (Spanish & Portuguese)

Sponsored by:

The Anonymous Fund of the College of Letters and Sciences, Latin American, Caribbean, and American Studies Program (LACIS), the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS), the Medical History and Bioethics Department, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Art Department, and the Center for Visual Cultures (CVC)

Image Credit: Copyright © 2017-Honor Ford-Smith- Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics



Thursday, September 21st, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

“Song for the Beloved”

An Art Performance by

Honor Ford Smith

Location: Festival Room, Memorial Union B196, 800 Langdon St.


Friday, September 22nd, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm


9:10 AM – Alejandra Bronfman (University of British Columbia), “Toxic Sounds: Vieques, Bombs, Bodies”

Discussant: Pablo Gomez (UW-Madison, Medical History and Bioethics, History)


10:10 AM – Jeannine Murray-Román (Florida State University), “Fleshing Out Death’s Equations in Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings

Discussant: Luís Madureira (UW-Madison, Spanish and Portuguese, African Cultural Studies)


11:10 AM – Honor Ford-Smith (York University), “Reflections on ‘Song for the Beloved’”

Discussant: Henry J. Drewal (UW-Madison, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Art History and Afro-American Studies)



12:00- 1:45pm – Lunch break


2:00 PM – Roshini Kempadoo (University of Westminster, London), “See We Here: Caribbean archives, memory and critical aesthetics”

Discussant: Guillermina De Ferrari (UW-Madison, Center for Visual Cultures director, Spanish and Portuguese)


3:00 PM – Juan Carlos Quintero Herencia (University of Maryland), “Notes on an archipelagic image ( ): Poetics, Politics, and Sensorium in the Caribbean”

Discussant: Víctor Goldgel-Carballo (Spanish and Portuguese)


4:00 PM – Paul C. Johnson (University of Michigan), “Modes of ‘Return’: Ancestors, Migrants and the Senses in the Caribbean

Discussant: Jerome Camal (UW-Madison, Anthropology)


Location: Memorial Library, Special Collections, Room 976 (Take elevator to 9th Floor), 728 State St.




Art Performance:

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Pablo Gomez:

Victor Goldgel-Carballo: