Diaspora studies expert to discuss concept of 'marronage'

Scholar-activist William Santiago-Valles, associate professor of Africana studies at Western Michigan University, will give a talk titled The Importance of Marronage as a Concept in Diaspora Studies at 4 p.m. Friday, March 17, in Skelton Lounge, Chase Hall, 56 Campus Ave., Bates College. The public is invited to attend at no charge.  For more information, please call the Multicultural Center at 207-786-8376.

The concept of “marronage” refers to groups of fugitives from slavery (“maroons”). Often escaping within the first generation of their arrival from Africa in the West Indies and the Americas, they banded together and formed their own independent societies that survived for centuries.

Santiago-Valles has lived, traveled and organized throughout Latin America including Puerto Rico and Brazil. His work focuses primarily on race and radicalism, and his research interests include social movements and popular cultures in the African diaspora. His dissertation, titled Memories of the Future: Maroon Intellectuals from the Caribbean and the Sources of their Communication Strategies, 1925-1940, traced the pioneering work of Fernando Ortiz, Patricia Galvao, Elma Francois, Richard Hart and C.L.R. James throughout the Caribbean. His more recent publications include Producing Knowledge for Social Transformation in The Black Scholar and C.L.R. James: Asking Questions of the Past in Race and Class.

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