Dr. Fiona Vernal’s research on Connecticut’s West Indian immigration history has been featured on the Uconn Today page. Dr. Vernal’s research discusses–
“Guest workers arrived in America through bilateral labor agreements between British West Indian colonies and the United States, says Vernal, whose family origins are in Jamaica. They were men who replaced the thousands of Americans who left their jobs to fight in the war, some working in industry, but most in agriculture.
The shade tobacco workers from the West Indies islands lived in camps at Bradley Field and other locations, and soon began to develop a sense of community, Vernal says, when for the first time people from the island nations in the Caribbean got to know each other through a broader West Indian lens. Other than workers laboring in the banana and sugar industries, the only other large scale effort that previously brought men from the Caribbean island nations together was the building of the Panama Canal.”
Fiona Vernal is a native of Trelawny, Jamaica and grew up in Trenton, New Jersey. She earned her BA in history with a certificate in African American Studies from Princeton University in 1995 and her MA and PhD from Yale. After completing her doctoral work in December 2003, she served as director of African Studies at Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since 2005 she has taught at the University of Connecticut’s Department of History where her courses focus on precolonial, and colonial Africa, the history of South Africa, slavery, and the African diaspora. Since 2015, her teaching pedagogy has shifted to incorporate inquiry-based learning and human rights practice, yielding the exhibits: “Children of the Soil: Generations of South Africans under Apartheid” (April 2016) and the upcoming “Child Labor and Human Rights in Africa” in 2018.
Dr. Maria Martinez, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success, will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Connecticut Association of Latinos in Higher Education (CALAHE) on Friday, November 16, at the Association’s annual meeting at Goodwin College. This is CALAHE’s highest honor, recognizing those individuals who have made significant contributions to the educational and social advancement of Latinxs at all levels of higher education within the state of Connecticut.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Martinez on this well-deserved honor.
At a talk led by Assistant Professor of Sociology and El Instituto Daisy Reyes – author of a new book, Learning to Be Latino – students discussed how their experiences at UConn have shaped their identity politics.
In her new book, sociology and El Instituto professor Daisy Reyes investigates how the particular college that Latino students attend shapes their understanding of themselves and their world views. CLAS majors weigh in about their own experiences at UConn.
In Learning to Be Latino, sociologist Daisy Verduzco Reyes paints a vivid picture of Latino student life at a liberal arts college, a research university, and a regional public university, outlining students’ interactions with one another, with non-Latino peers, and with faculty, administrators, and the outside community. Reyes identifies the normative institutional arrangements that shape the social relationships relevant to Latino students’ lives, including school size, the demographic profile of the student body, residential arrangements, the relationship between students and administrators, and how well diversity programs integrate students through cultural centers and retention centers. Together these characteristics create an environment for Latino students that influences how they interact, identify, and come to understand their place on campus.
On September 20th, a Tertulia presentation lead by Scott Wallace at the University of Connecticut discussed the struggle to defend the rights of isolated tribes of the Amazon.
President-elect Jair Bolsonaro wants to harvest the rain forest’s riches, raising fears among environmentalists and indigenous communities. Are they justified?
The victory of hard-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election Sunday has set off alarm bells among indigenous communities and environmentalists over the fate of the Amazon rain forest. Activists and native leaders are particularly concerned by Bolsonaro’s campaign pledges to rollback protections of the rain forest and indigenous rights. Yet some experts say there are limits to how far Bolsonaro will be able to go on his promises, perhaps suggesting a more moderate future.