The 2016-2017 Michael Baptista Lecture: 'Disguise Up De English Language': Louise Bennett's Anansi Poetics

November 3, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Founders Assembly Hall, (152 Founders College)


The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean Presents:

The 2016-2017 Michael Baptista Lecture

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the passing of “Miss Lou” (1919-2006) Jamaica’s iconic and beloved poet and folklorist

Dr. Carolyn Cooper, CD

Retired Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies, University of the West Indies (Mona campus)



November 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm I Founders Assembly Hall (152 Founders College)

Reception at 6:00 – Lecture at 7:00

'Disguise Up De English Language':  Louise Bennett's Anansi Poetics

In her multiple roles as poet, story-teller, folklorist, actress, dramatist and comedian, Louise Bennett deployed humour to simultaneously mask and expose a whole range of grave socio-political issues in “post-colonial” Jamaica.  The devaluation of African-derived culture, particularly language, was a central preoccupation in Bennett's oeuvre. Like the trickster, Anansi, Bennett assumed many voices to tell the complex story of cultural identity in Jamaica.

The Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverly amassed an impressive body of artistic work beginning in the late 1930s and covering more than 50 years. Her contributions included poetry, Jamaican folk music, work on television and radio, and on the theatre stage. She spent the last decade of her life in Canada and was awarded an honorary degree from York University in 1998.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Humanities, Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas, and the Jean Augustine Chair in Education