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Reggae Music; Reggae Wisdom: Tuesday Sept. 2 at Noon

9/1/2008 —

Dr. Clifford Manlove, associate professor of English, will be hosting a reggae music party on Tuesday September 2 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. on the Buck Green between the Student Community Center (SCC) and Main Building. Be sure to sample the Caribbean food available in Cafe Metro in the SCC while enjoying the music. This event, along with a Haitian art exhibit, opens this year's focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.

Dr. Manlove provides this background on reggae:

A moving and easily identifiable music, reggae also inevitably tells stories—whose narratives and sacred roots are often missed for the enjoyable beat. Unlike most other popular music of the twentieth century however, the stories sung in reggae are not about any one individual—their hopes, and dreams, and feelings—but rather are about the modern struggle of sacred versus profane, of a community against 3 colonizing forces: commerce, government, and organized religion. Reggae is a transatlantic cultural transaction between West Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas. In addition to its aesthetic and spiritual/folk significances, reggae also tells the stories behind the rebellious political life of the Caribbean, and Jamaica (becoming independent only in 1962) in particular.

Also on September 2, students in participating classes will view the film The Harder They Come, which portrays Jamaican society 12 years after independence and includes much reggae music. Dr. Manlove will introduce the film and provide the context. He recently had an essay on this film accepted for publication in Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters for their Winter, 2008 special issue ("The Politics Issue"). The paper is entitled "Reggae and Rastafarian “Versions” of “Dread” Politics in The Harder They Come."

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