Public Event – Haiti Earthquake 10th Anniversary Symposium

Friday, February 7, 2020, 1:30 pm-7:30 pm
Saturday, February 8, 2020, 9:00 am-7:00 pm

*All symposium events will be held in Boone Recital Hall except where indicated.

Haiti Earthquake 10th Anniversary Symposium

In February, the College will host the Haiti Earthquake 10th Anniversary Symposium, a gathering of academics, artists, engineers, policy experts, scientists, writers, and scholars who will share their perspectives on the impacts of the Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and the relationship of both events to seismic and drought issues in Southern California.

Symposium panelists include:

Kit Miyamoto (California commissioner and founder of Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief) is a world-leading expert in disaster resiliency engineering, disaster response, and reconstruction. He provides expert engineering and policy consultation in Mexico, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Haiti for both policy and engineering expert consultation. He is a California Seismic Safety Commissioner. Dr. Miyamoto holds graduate degrees from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and California StateUniversity, where he has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumni. He has won the Engineering News Record’s “Global Best Project” award an unprecedented three consecutive times. Major media such as ABC, CNN, LA Times, NY Times and Rolling Stone have profiled him.

Sabine Kast (executive director of Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief) played a key leadership role in disaster response and recovery programs following the 2010 Haiti, 2015 Nepal, 2016 Ecuador, and 2017 Mexico earthquakes. Sabine has developed and oversees a multi-country disaster risk identification and reduction program called PREPARE. This program is the USAID funded, multi-year earthquake and hurricane disaster preparedness and mitigation program being implemented in Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador, and Mexico. She is a globally recognized leader in urban disaster risk management and policy. She currently researches with the University of Tokyo for state-of-the-art disaster recovery policy development. Her passion is to save lives in underserved and disaster-prone communities.

Myriam J. A. Chancy, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is a Guggenheim Fellow, Hartley Burr Alexander Chair in the Humanities at Scripps College, and Interim Director of the Scripps Humanities Institute (2019-20). Her novel, 12 (Douze), on the Haiti earthquake, is forthcoming from HarperCollins Canada.

Elidio La Torre Lagares (Poet and professor, Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras) earned his MFA in creative writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. He has published Cuerpos sin sombras (1998) and Vicios de construcción (2008), two poetry collections in Spanish. September, a volume of short stories, was recognized in the Puerto Rico Pen Club literary awards in 2001. Wonderful Wasteland and other natural disasters(2019)is his most recent book, a volume of poems about the different levels of the sequestration of experience in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María.

Raquel Salas Rivera (2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia) are the author of while they sleep (under the bed is another country) from Birds, LLC and the inaugural recipient of the AmbroggioPrize from the Academy of American Poets for their book x/ex/exis. They are also the author of six chapbooks and four other full-length poetry books. Their fourth book, lo terciario/the tertiary, winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry, was on the 2018 National Book Award Longlist and was selected by Remezcla, Entropy, Literary Hub, mitú,Book Riot, and PublishersWeekly as one of the best poetry books of 2018.

Sarah Gilman (Associate Professor of Biology in W. M. Keck Science Department of Scripps, Pitzer, and Claremont McKenna Colleges) holds a B. S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Population Biology from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Gilman’s research explores how abiotic factors influence organisms and ecosystems across a range of spatial scales, from the physiology of individual organisms to continental distributions of entire species. She uses a combination of field, laboratory, and computer modeling techniques to examine and predict the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems.

Maritza Stanchich (associate professor of English, University of Puerto Rico) teaches literature of the Puerto Rican diaspora, U.S.Latino, Caribbean and U.S. American literatures, and currently coordinates her department’s MA and doctoral programs. Her scholarly essays on William Faulkner, literature of the Puerto Rican diaspora, and the crisis at the University of Puerto Rico, have been published in several peer-review journals and books. She also served in the Academic Senate for four years, during a time of historic institutional crisis.

Hilda Lloréns (associate professor of anthropology, University of Rhode Island) is a cultural anthropologist whose scholarship focuses on understanding how racial and gender inequality manifests itself in cultural production, nation-building, access to environmental resources, and exposure to environmental harm. Dr. Lloréns is the author of Imaging the Great Puerto Rican Family (2014), and of several academic articles including Imaging Disaster (2018) and Water is Life, but the Colony is a Necropolis (2019, with Maritza Stanchich). Her writings have also been published in The Conversation, SAPIENS, NACLA Report on the Americas, LatinoRebels, Social Justice Blog, and others.

Nadège Veldwachter’s (associate professor of French, Purdue University) research focuses on literary sociology, globalization, translation, and postcolonial historiography. Her articles have been published in academic journals such as Cahiers d’études africaines, Literary Studies, Research in African Literatures, or Modern Language Notes. She is the author of “Literature francophone et mondialisation” published by Karthala editions in 2012. In recent years her research has been devoted to the Second World War and its manifestations in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.

Brian Concannon (former director, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti) co-managed the BAI in Haiti for eight years, from 1996-2004, and worked for the United Nations as a Human Rights Officer in 1995-1996. He founded IJDH, and has been the Director since 2004. He helped prepare the prosecution of the Raboteau Massacre trial in 2000, one of the most significant human rights cases anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. He has represented Haitian political prisoners before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and represented the plaintiff in Yvon Neptune v. Haiti, the only Haiti case ever tried before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Beverly Bell (associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (Washington), Fellow at Open Church (London), and Coordinator of the Itinerant University for Resistance, Port-au-Prince) is a journalist and writer, Bell’s work includes Walking on Fire: Haitian Women’s Stories of Survival and Resistance and Fault Lines: Views across Haiti’s Divide. She has also worked for almost four decades as an organizer and advocate with social movements, mainly in Haiti but also in other parts of the Caribbean and Latin America, plus southern and West Africa and the U.S. Bell’s greatest areas of focus have been just economies, participatory democracy, gender justice, human rights, territory and autonomy of indigenous peoples, land rights of small farmers, food sovereignty, and the global commons. She has participated extensively in struggles against destructive policies and practices of the U.S. government, international financial institutions, and multinational corporations. A fourth-generation native of New Orleans, Bell currently lives in Chiapas, Mexico.

Yanick Lahens (writer, Professor to the Annual Chair in Francophone Worlds at the Collège de France) was born in 1953 in Haiti. She completed her primary education there prior to leaving for France where she completed university studies in Modern Literature. She returned to Haiti in 1977. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the International Congress of Francophone Studies and is currently a member of the editorial board of the French-Haitian magazine Conjunction. She recently joined the Board of Trustees of Quisqueya University. Yanick Lahens has received, among other honors, recognitions from: the women’s organization Kay Fanm for her civic involvement in 2007; from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Organization of La Francophonie in Haiti; by the Haitian Studies Association for the whole of her work; by the cultural association ARAKA.

Jonathan M. Katz (AP journalist)  was the Associated Press correspondent in Haiti from 2007 to 2011. The only full-time U.S. news reporter there during the quake, he later broke the story that United Nations soldiers likely caused a post-quake cholera epidemic that killed thousands. Katz has reported from more than a dozen countries and territories. In 2011, he was awarded the Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism. His book, The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster (Nonfiction, 2013) is described as “A top-notch account of Haiti’s recent history, including the January 2010 earthquake, from the only American reporter stationed in the country at the time …An eye-opening, trailblazing exposé” by Kirkus Reviews.

April Mayes (associate professor of history, Pomona College) teaches courses in Caribbean and Latin American history. Her first monograph, The Mulatto Republic: Class, Race, and Nation in the Dominican Republic, won the Haiti-Dominican Republic Section of the Latin American Studies Association Best Book Prize. She is the co-editor, along with Dr. Kiran Jayaram, of Transnational Hispaniola: New Directions in Haitian and Dominican Studies. She is currently working on a historically-grounded, ethnographic study of contemporary Haitian migration to the U.S.-Mexico borderlands

Handerson Joseph (adjunct professor of anthropology, Universidad Federal do Amapa (UNIFAP/Brazil) has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the Museu Nacional de la Universidad Federal del Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) with a co-tutelage from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.  He is a member of the Brazilian Anthropology Association, the Association of Haitian Studies, and the Association of Caribbean Studies. His research topics include: Haitian Diaspora, Cross-border migrations; Mobility and border, and Post-colonial studies. In the past 6 years, he has conducted research in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, France, French Guiana, Haiti, Cuba, Canada, and the United States. 

A schedule of the symposium events can be found here.

Presented in partnership with the Cultural Studies Department, Claremont Graduate University, the Inter-Collegiate Africana Studies Program, and Café con Libros Press Booksellers