In the 1960s, Room 03 near the Main Library was a major lecture room at the UWI Mona campus. Elsa Goveia, the young regional university’s first woman to rise to the rank of professor and the first lecturer in Caribbean history, lectured there. Walter Rodney would have attended lectures there and, we’re told, gave at least one of his informal lectures there during his truncated stint as a lecturer at the UWI in 1968. Pointed lectures and ‘groundings’ within and outside the Mona Campus would help build the case for his exclusion by the Jamaican government in mid-October 1968.
A Teach-In planned for 3pm on Thursday, April 12, in Room 03, will hear from a panel of persons who attended UWI in the 1960s as well as a brief contextual input from Elsa Goveia Memorial Lecturer Prof Brenda Gayle Plummer who lectures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and who will be addressing Black Struggle in the 1960s North America at the Goveia Lecture on April 10. So the Teach-In will engage with the UWI experience of the 1960s, with some wider context. And in looking at the UWI of the 1960s, we will be especially interested in the extent of student awareness and activism, as we build towards an October 2018 conference and exhibition, titled: Confrontations: UWI Student Protest and the Rodney Disturbance of 1968. The conference and exhibition are a collaboration of the UWI Museum and the UWI Mona Department of History & Archaeology, recognising the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Rodney events in Jamaica as well as the UWI’s 70th anniversary celebration. The Teach-In and later conference/exhibition are part of the collaborative ‘UWI and the 1960s’ occasional series which the Museum and Department have been engaged with since 2015. These events take place at a time when academics and activists in several countries are remembering the global wave of student protest that shook the world in 1968.
If you were at UWI in the 60s or if you had a direct or indirect involvement with or an interest in Walter Rodney’s UWI sojourns (as a student and then as a lecturer and ‘disturber’ in 1968), join us in Room 03 and be part of the discussion. We will also mount a pop-up exhibition to complement the panel discussion, so if you have relevant photos, pamphlets or artifacts of the period, please bring them to share!