The Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF), in collaboration with the Committee for the Promotion of Research and Cayman Scholarship (CPRCS), will be hosting a symposium to discuss and celebrate the work of prominent Caymanian historian, educator, author and former member of Government J. A. Roy Bodden. The conference is called J. A. Roy Bodden: Public Intellectual Interrogating the Caymanian Society and will take place on Thursday, 24 June at the Harquail Theatre. Admission is free to the public.
President Emeritus of the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI), Mr. Bodden is the author of several books on Cayman history, politics, and culture:
• The Cayman Islands in Transition: The Politics, History and Sociology of a Changing Society
• Patronage, Personalities and Parties: Caymanian Politics from 1950-2000
• From Guard House to the Glass House: One Man’s Journey through the Maze of Caymanian Politics
• Stories my Grandfather Never Told Me
• Reflections from a Broken Mirror: Poems about Caymanian Society
• A Gathering of Old Men
“Taken together, Bodden’s books are a significant body of work on the Cayman Islands, told from the perspective of the Cayman Islands. It represents an achievement by the Islands’ foremost public Intellectual and is a body of work worthy of celebration and of intense analysis,” said Dr. Livingston Smith, Professor at the University College of the Cayman Islands and Chair of the Committee for the Promotion of Research and Cayman Scholarship (CPRCS). “The symposium is meant to be the first of a series which brings together thinkers to write and critically examine issues and encourage scholarship centred on the Cayman Islands. Presenters will be advancing their own papers but will use Bodden’s works as points of departures. This is a discourse that will be of great value to the society.”
“This Symposium is a watershed event marked by the promise it holds for a continued scholarly examination of Caymanian society,” said Mr. Bodden. “It is my hope that the occasion will be the catalyst to motivate others to add to the corpus of knowledge on the Cayman Islands as a developing society. I shall always be grateful to the Cayman National Cultural Foundation and my good friend and colleague Dr. Livingston Smith, for bringing this Symposium to fruition.”
“CNCF has always been pleased and honoured to be associated with the prodigious talent of Mr. Bodden – from his time as Minister of Education and Culture to the publishing and launching of his first book on to the present,” said Henry Muttoo, Artistic Director of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation. “This conference will go a very long way towards revealing what many of us have known for a very long time – that Mr. Bodden is, as Shakespeare says, “a keen observer and looks quite through the deeds of men”.”
The symposium will take the form of presentations on topics covered in the works of Mr. Bodden, either as individual papers, panels or round tables. Organisers have put out a call for papers on topics that are explored in Mr. Bodden’s books. Writers will be given the opportunity to present their work at the event and can do so in person or virtually.
As of this writing, Jamaican publisher Ian Randle, Dr. Tom Phillips of Trent University in Canada, Yale Professor of Economics Mushfiq Mobarack, Dr. Mark Minott of Manchester Metropolitan University and UCCI’s Dr. Christopher A. Williams, Dr. Stephanie Fullerton-Cooper, Dr. Erica Gordon, Dr. Eustace Placide and Dr. MoniKa Lawrence will be participating. Caymanian historians Dr. Roy Murray, Dr. Frank McField, Steve McField and Mary Lawrence, noted attorney Theresa Pitcairn and social analysts Sylvia Wilks, Lakiesha Mason and Shannon Seymour are also confirmed to be a part of the event. Other presenters will include Dr. Oniel Hall of Jamaica and Dr. Carlyle Corbin presenting from the South Pacific. In addition, young adults interested in writing critically about relevant issues are also invited to attend, added Dr. Smith and cited Nikki Brown, Mikana Scott, Catherine Welds and Latoya Francis who will be presenting.
Areas that will be covered include:
• The nature of small island states;
• Public service culture in small societies;
• The founding of the Caymanian society;
• Caymanian literature;
• Cayman’s political culture and political system;
• The continuing evolution of the Caymanian economy;
• Caymanian history;
• Political corruption;
• The Cayman Islands political party system;
• The nature of colonisation and decolonisation;
• Family systems;
• The Cayman Islands education system;
• Gender/ women issues;
• Epistemology; and
• The role of the public intellectual.
The deadline to submit abstracts is Friday, 18 June and full papers or paper outlines are due on Monday, 21 June.
For more information about the symposium or to submit a paper for consideration contact Dr. Livingston Smith (Livingstonsmith125@gmail.com, 916-6462).