50th Association of Caribbean Historians Annual Conference
The Association of Caribbean Historians (ACH) is commemorating its 50th Conference this year, and just over 100 historians are expected to gather at the Cave Hill Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) in Barbados for the its Annual Conference from June 10 to June 15, 2018.
The conference, which is being held under the theme: “ACH @ 50: Continuity, Change and Challenge” is being organized by the Department of History and Philosophy at Cave Hill as part of the UWI’s 70th Anniversary Calendar of Events.
In recognizing the contributions of the ACH, Vice Chancellor of the UWI, and renowned historian, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted: “The ACH has come of age as a premier academic body that spans the region and beyond. In five decades its members have defined and redefined the historical narrative around identity, culture and the shaping of a distinct Caribbean civilization. It continues to help shape national and regional policies, and has indigenized curriculum content at multiple levels. Few academic institutions have contributed so much to nation building and liberation in the region.”
The President of the ACH, Rosemarijn Hoefte, Professor of History at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) and the University of Amsterdam said “In these 50 years, the ACH conference has become the important annual conference for historians doing research in and on the Caribbean”.
The conference has a forward-looking programme with panels, exploring “The Future of Caribbean History” and “Digital Archives in the Caribbean.” Delegates will also discuss reparations, public health, decolonization, gender, migration and identity in the Caribbean.
The conference will include a Special Past Presidents’ Roundtable during the official opening on June 10 to reflect on the past and future development of the region’s premiere professional historical organization. The ACH held its first conference as colloquium organized by Jacques Adèlaïde-Merlande in 1969 in Guadeloupe. Fifty years later, the ACH has grown to almost 1000 members globally, and meets in a Caribbean destination annually, conducting sessions in French, Spanish and English.
A Special Roundtable on Hurricane Impacts on Cultural and Educational Institutions in the Region: Urgent Needs, Long-term Challenges, sponsored by the Peter Moores Barbados Trust, has been organized for June 11, which will bring together perspectives of historians from Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Antigua and Barbuda to reflect on the impacts of the devastating 2017 hurricane season.
The ACH has partnered with Brill Academic Publishers and the Barbados Museum and Historical Society (BMHS) to launch a special museum exhibit documenting the association’s rich history on June 14 before the eagerly anticipated annual conference dinner (fête).