UWI, JNBS host conference marking 150th anniversary of the Morant Bay Rebellion
THE DEPARTMENT OF History and Archaeology, under the auspices of its Social History Project hosted a three-day conference from October 22-25, 2015, dubbed, “‘The Terror Spread’: The Morant Bay Rebellion and Jamaican History”, to mark the 150th anniversary of the Morant Bay Rebellion of 11 October 1865.
The conference kicked off with the opening ceremony on October 22 at which a most insightful keynote address on Jamaica’s political history in the post slavery period was given by Historian, Dr Swithin Wilmot, Senior Lecturer in the Department. The address, titled, “The Road to Morant Bay: Politics in Free Jamaica, 1838-1865” was well received and generated many questions and discussion among the 120 attendees.
Earlier in the programme, members of the Pantomime Company, led by Barbara Gloudon, gave a very emotionally moving 15-minute performance of “Poetry for Bogle”.
Also, during the opening ceremony, Earl Jarrett, Chairman of the Board of the Jamaica National Building Society Foundation, launched the Parish Histories of Jamaica project which the department is carrying out in partnership with the Jamaica National Building Society Foundation.
The two days of panel presentations which followed included 18 academic paper presentations by local and international scholars. These were well attended, and included high school students from Knox College, York Castle High and Campion College. Some 80 people attended the Saturday sessions, and 20 people participated in the field trip to Easington, Stony Gut and Morant Bay on the Sunday.
Several attendees and participants have commended the department for an excellent conference, not only in terms of its organisation, but also for the quality of the papers presented.
“I want to write to thank you so much for organising such a fantastic, rich, inspiring conference: it was a real honour and a pleasure to be there and to be able to participate in what felt like something of an historic event,” wrote Professor Timothy Watson, University of Miami. “I thought the papers were of extremely high quality. I learned so much,” Watson said.
“Your keynote lecture was brilliant, mainly through your ownership of the material,” said Professor Newton Duncan, Head of the Department of Surgery, The UWI, Mona.
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