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CTMC Conference 2017

There is little to compare with the excitement, the enjoyment and entertainment of the Maroon conference at Charles Town! People who attend have been amazed at the great time that is to be had by all. The 9th Annual International Maroon Conference in June 2017 promises to be the best yet – building on the successes of previous conferences. Now a four-day event, this showcase of the Maroon peoples’ culture is driving developments in historical, cultural and entertainment tourism in Jamaica.





Conference Schedule

Our Marketplace open 10:00 am - Midnight each day.

Our Wellness Village open Saturday June 24: 12:00 noon - Sunday June 25:  6:00 pm    









Captain Marcia "Kim" Douglas

Marcia "Kim" Douglas is an herbalist extraordinaire, making wines, teas, medicines and rubs from native herbs, plants and fruits, knowledge she acquired from her parents. She believes that every plant has its own use and is to be analyzed individually. She says that each plant and herb must be used correctly in order to achieve maximum benefit. At the Charles Town Maroon Council "Kim" wears many hats. She is the head tour guide and administrator for the Charles Town Maroon's tours and attractions. She is also the lead dancer in the famous Charles Town Maroons drummers and Dancers.

Mr. Marcus Goffe

Marcus Goffe is a Jamaican Attorney-at-Law. Mr. Goffe is in the final year of his PhD research at Queen Mary. His research focuses on the protection of indigenous rights, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions in the Caribbean. .

Dr. Paul Youngquist

Paul Youngquist is a professor of English in at the University of Colorado-Boulder. His areas of specialization include British Romanticism, Atlantic Studies, science fiction, literary and cultural theory. .

Dr. Frances Botkin

Frances Botkin is a professor of English at Towson University, where she teaches British Romanticism, Caribbean literature, and gender studies. She has published articles on Maria Edgeworth, William Wordsworth, Sydney Owenson, and Jack Mansong. She has also edited with Paul Youngquist a special issue in Romantic Circles Praxis Series, "Circulations: Romanticism and the Black Atlantic"; they are currently compiling a collection of academic essays, creative work, and other intellectual endeavors, borne out of the Charles Town International Maroon Conference. Though she lives primarily in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Botkin spends several months of the year in Jamaica where she helps to organize the Charles Town International Maroon Conference. Dr. Botkin's book Thieving Three-fingered Jack: Transatlantic Tales of a Jamaican Outlaw, 1780-2015 will come out with Rutgers University Press in 2017.  

Ms. Marcia Douglas

Jamaican writer, Marcia Douglas, is the author of the novels, The Marvellous Equations of the Dread, Madam Fate and Notes from a Writer's Book of Cures and Spells as well as a poetry collection, Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom. Douglas’s work has appeared in journals and anthologies internationally, and her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a U.K. Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she teaches creative writing and Caribbean literature.

Ms. Isabel Guzzardo Tamargo

Isabel Guzzardo Tamargo was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She completed a Master's degree in the English Department at the University of Puerto Rico. She is currently a doctoral student in the Graduate Program of Literatures in English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Her interests include Caribbean literature, decolonial theory, and issues of gender and sexuality.

Ms. Jazzmen Lee-Johnson

Jazzmen Lee-Johnson is a visual artist, scholar, composer, and curator. She received her BA in Film and Animation at the Rhode Island School of Design and her MA in Public Humanities at Brown University, where she was also a Public History of Slavery Fellow at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. As a multi-medium artist working in animation, printmaking, music, and performance Lee-Johnson’s creative practice consists of remixing/ redressing the history of the African diaspora by transmuting historical archives, art collections, and research into contemporary cultural forms relevant to a mobile-technological generation. As an emerging curator and artist, Lee-Johnson has curated exhibitions, performed and exhibited, internationally. Lee-Johnson traverses the subjects of critical race theory, the Atlantic slave trade, Black feminist theory, museum interpretation, and new media studies in both her curatorial and artistic endeavors.

Ms. Tejan Green-Wasza

Tejan Green-Waszak is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who was raised in Jamaica, Canada and the USA. She is a PhD candidate in English at St. John’s University and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Long Island University where she was also a Teaching Fellow. Her research interests are in Anglophone Caribbean literature and cultural studies as well as postcolonial literary studies. Tejan has taught at Columbia University, Empire State College and Long Island University, where she currently coordinates the Core Seminar Program. In addition to teaching English composition, literature and creative writing, she is a poet and performance artist. In 2015 she co-authored a collection of poetry in conversation titled We Were Us and more recently she co-edited an interdisciplinary anthology titled Idea of the Human.

Mr. John Favini

John Favini is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Virginia. His research, broadly, examines the ways people interact with local ecologies, especially in light of climate change. He has previously performed research in Senegal, where (post)colonial biases toward pastoralists and conservation discourse converged to justify the displacement of Senegal's Fulani pastoralists from their historical grazing lands. At the moment he is interested in learning about how Maroons variably relate to local landscapes, and the role conservation might play in substantiating their autonomy in light of renewed attempts at bauxite mining in Cockpit Country.

Dr. Prospere Charles

Prospere Charles is a Haitian-American with a PhD in Public Policy and a MBA in Finance & Administration. He spends most of his time between the United States and Haiti, conducting public policy research, supporting local governance and leading advocacy activities to alleviate poverty in marginalized communities. Before joining the 1804 Institute, Dr. Charles was the Country Director for Project HOPE where in 2010, following the Haiti’s earthquake, he raised successfully the plight of people living with disabilities in Haiti to national consciousness. In 2013, he founded Haiti’s Responses to support Haiti government’s strategic planning and disaster’s relief efforts. While he devotes a major part of his time to public welfare, Dr. Charles is also a Global Finance Consultant for major pharmaceutical companies such as Merck and Bayer pharmaceuticals. Charles wrote numerous articles for the PA times and co-authored an educational manual on transparency and accountability used in Universities throughout the United States. His imminent book, “The Causes of Poverty in Haiti” will be out in a few month. His research focus on: Haiti’s history, poverty alleviation, black leadership and institutions building in third world countries. Dr. Charles can be reached at prospere.charles@1804institute.org

Ms. Rebecca Schneider

Rebecca Schneider is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Colorado. She teaches classes on African-Caribbean diasporic literature and radical eighteenth-century women writers, including Phillis Wheatley and Mary Prince. Her dissertation examines a culture of resistance among enslaved people in the anglophone colonial Caribbean from Tacky’s Rebellion to the Emancipation War, including marronage.

Mr. Tony Polanco

Tony Polanco is a Panamanian American poet, actor, author, filmmaker and immigration advocate raised in South Central Los Angeles, California. He graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2009 with Bachelor degrees in Political Science and Spanish. In October 2013, Tony published his first book, "Verses from the Diaspora", which included his original poems in English, Spanish and Portuguese to commemorate the African Diaspora. In 2014, he announced his tour entitled La Afrolatinidad Tour and performed in New York City, Hollywood, Miami and Austin. He has also performed in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rikers Island Juvenile detention, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Desoto City Hall and Baltimore Commhnity College.

Ms. Ines P. Rivera Prosdocimi

Ines P. Rivera Prosdocimi is a Jackie McLean Fellow at the University of Hartford and a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Maryland. She specializes in the literature of Hispaniola and its diaspora. In addition to creating new scholarship on the maroon figure in Hispaniola and teaching literature and writing, Ines is a poet. She has published creative writing in Alaska Quarterly Review; Bellevue Literary Review; Nimrod; Puerto de Sol; The Caribbean Writer; and Witness. Black Lawrence Press has selected her book, Love Letter to an Afterlife, for publication in May of 2018.

Professor Julian Henriques

Professor Julian Henriques is convenor of the MA Scriptwriting programme and director of the Topology Research Unit in the Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London. Previously Julian was head of film and television at CARIMAC at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. Julian researches street cultures, music and technologies including those of the reggae sound system. He has credits as a writer-director with the feature film Babymother, a reggae musical, the improvised short drama We the Ragamuffin and as a producer with numerous BBC and Channel Four documentaries; a sound artist with the sculpture Knots & Donuts at the Tate Modern, a founding editor with the Ideology & Consciousness journal and as an author with: Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity, Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems Performance Techniques and Ways of Knowing. Sonic Media: the Dancehall Sound System Set, Session and Scene is forthcoming.

Dr. Marcus P. Nevius

Marcus P. Nevius is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Rhode Island, with a joint appointment in Africana Studies. He received his B.A. and M.A. in history from North Carolina Central University, and his Ph.D. in history from the Ohio State University. He has authored scholarly reviews for the Journal of African American History and H-Net Slavery Reviews. He is currently completing his first book tentatively titled “city of refuge”: Petit Marronage and Slave Economy in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1790-1860, under contract with the University of Georgia Press.

Ms. Sarah Jessica Johnson

Sarah Jessica Johnson is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation, "Maroons and Marronage: A Literary Study with Objects," reads eighteenth and nineteenth-century fictional maroon narratives from the United States and Caribbean. She argues for ways in which fiction can function as an archive of the powerful resistance practice of marronage.

Ms. Lisa Betty

Lisa Betty is a PhD candidate in History at Fordham University in New York City. She serves as Graduate Assistant for the Bronx African American History Project at Fordham supporting Bronx community collaboration and development of the oral history digital archive. In addition to her research within academic spaces, she has worked in the field of nonprofit advocacy serving in organizations that advocate for children, families and incarcerated populations.

Ms. Tracey Stewart

Tracey Stewart is a Ph.D. candidate in the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia. Her area of focus is music, memory, trauma and identity among post-colonial communities and individuals in the Americas and the Caribbean. She is a Fulbright Alum, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Howard University, and a Master of Arts from the University of Virginia. Tracey currently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, but was born and raised in Westbury, New York.

Ms. Desiree C. Bailey

Desiree C. Bailey is a poet, writer and educator. She has a BA from Georgetown University and MFA from Brown University. She has received fellowships from the Poets House, Kimbilio Fiction, The Conversation, the Norman Mailer Center, Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and Princeton in Africa. She is also a recipient of the 2013 Poets and Writer's Amy Award. Her work is published in Best American Poetry, Callaloo, Transition, The Collagist and Muzzle, among other publications. She is currently the fiction editor at Kinfolks Quarterly. Desiree was born in Trinidad and Tobago and at a young age, moved with her family to a pre-dominantly Caribbean community in Queens, NY. She has lived in Cape Town, South Africa, working at an education reform organization by day and co-hosting an open mic/performance series at a jazz bar at night. She has also lived in Washington, DC and Providence, RI. She currently teaches English at CUNY's Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Mr. Thomas Day

Thomas Day is a graduate student in the department of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studies slavery and slave resistance in early American and the Atlantic world. His current research is on the wider legacy of maroons in the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia in both politics and culture. He hopes to continue this research into a dissertation examining the broader impact of slave resistance and maroons on early America and hopes to show the vitality of maroons and slave resistance to the story of U.S. history in a global context. Before coming to UIUC, Thomas earned a BA from Virginia Tech and a MA from Virginia Commonwealth University where his thesis explored British press responses to the Jamaican rebellions of 1760, 1832, and 1865.

Mr. C. S. Giscombe

C. S. Giscombe’s poetry books are Prairie Style, Giscome Road, Here, etc.; his book of linked essays (concerning Canada, race, and family) is Into and Out of Dislocation. Ohio Railroads (a poem in essay form) was published in 2014 and Border Towns (essays on poetry, color, nature, television, etc.) appeared in September 2016. His recognitions include the 2010 Stephen Henderson Award, an American Book Award (for Prairie Style) and the Carl Sandburg Prize (for Giscome Road). He has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fund for Poetry, the Canadian Embassy to the United States, and other agencies; his work on Canada was acknowledged with a Fulbright Research Award by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars. Projects underway include a prose book titled Railroad Sense (having to do with trains and other forms of public transportation) and a poetry book titled Negro Mountain. C. S. Giscombe teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is curator of the Mixed Blood readings, talks, and publication series. He is a long-distance cyclist..

Dr. Leahcim Semaj

Dr. Leahcim Semaj is noted among the leading Motivational and Keynote Speakers, Creative Thinkers and Problem Solvers in the Caribbean. This Quantum Transformation Psychologist combines ancient wisdom with contemporary ‘livity’ to bring fresh insight to old human problems. As a Transformation Specialist he offers two options – ABOVE or BEYOND. Above where you presently are or Beyond your wildest dreams. He is a frequent facilitator for Leadership Training, Strategic Planning Retreats, Organizational Restructuring, Cultural and Work/Values Alignment and Corporate Coaching. Dr. Semaj has worked with many sectors including - • Energy, Hospitality, Finance, Gaming, Telecommunications, Security, Agriculture, Pharmaceutical, Shipping, Distribution, Manufacturing, Education and Government. • He has worked in North America, South America, Europe and across the Caribbean. The Jamaica Employers’ Federation has recognized Dr. Semaj for “Leadership in Innovative Workplace Practices”. He is included in Peter Ferguson’s publication CHANGE MAKERS as one of the 101 men who have helped to define modern day Jamaica. Dr. Semaj is a graduate of Kingston College (Jamaica). He has a B.A. cum laude (1974) from City College of New York, M.Sc. (1976) & PhD (1978) from Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey and Pre & Post Doctoral Fellowships from Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey. He has held teaching and research posts at Rutgers and at Cornell University (USA), at the University of the West Indies and The College of Agriculture in Jamaica. He has been involved in Jamaican media as a newspaper columnist for all the major publications and hosted a variety of radio and TV programmes. Presently, he is the co-producer and co-host of FOOD for THOUGHT on TVJ. This is a one hour current affairs magazine programme dealing with a wide range of intellectually stimulating issues in a lively and entertaining manner.

Dr. Isis Semaj-Hall

Isis Semaj-Hall is a Jamaican-born scholar of Caribbean literature and popular cultural expression. She holds a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park (USA). She is a lecturer at University of the West Indies, Mona within the Department of Literatures in English. Her interests include sound studies, remix studies, decolonial discourse, postcolonial theory, Rihanna, dancehall, dub, and Diana McCaulay. Lately she has published in SX Salon, she blogs at "write pon di riddim," and she is carrying out research for her book manuscript titled On the B-Side: Dub, Disruptions, and the Decolonial in Contemporary Caribbean Literature...

Dr. Patricia González Gómez-Cásseres

Patricia González Gómez-Cásseres, Ph.D is a senior Lecturer at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She teaches Caribbean literature and Culture courses, as well as Spanish Language courses. Her first publication La sartén por el mango: Encuentro de escritoras latinoamericanas published in 1983 by Huracán in Puerto Rico became a major work consulted avidly by Latin American Feminists and was used in Latin American women studies courses in many universities in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. Her next publication, Confluencias en México: Palabra y Género, published at the Benémerita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) in 2007, covered issues related to women in Academia in Mexico across different disciplines, including history, anthropology, literature and philosophy. Her current research center around Cuban ritual theater and Latin American women writers, and she has authored many scholarly articles. In 2015, she received an NEH grant to translate Lydia Cabrera’s book The Sacred Language of the Abakuá. Thanks to the grant, she traveled to Cuba, Cameroon and Nigeria during the summer of 2016 to research secret societies in the Calabar region, similar to those known as the Abakuá in Cuba.

Captain Marcia "Kim" Douglas

Marcia "Kim" Douglas is an herbalist extraordinaire, making wines, teas, medicines and rubs from native herbs, plants and fruits, knowledge she acquired from her parents. She believes that every plant has its own use and is to be analyzed individually. She says that each plant and herb must be used correctly in order to achieve maximum benefit. At the Charles Town Maroon Council "Kim" wears many hats. She is the head tour guide and administrator for the Charles Town Maroon's tours and attractions. She is also the lead dancer in the famous Charles Town Maroons drummers and Dancers.

Conference News

The Charles Town Maroon Council, the Charles Town community and the Conference Organizing Committee are hard at work putting things in place for this year’s conference.

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