Brown University sponsors Friday "teach-in" on Haiti

“Framing Haiti: A Brown University Teach-In” will be held Friday, Feb. 19, from noon to 3 p.m. in the Sidney Frank Hall for Life Sciences, 185 Meeting St. All events are free and open to the public. Brown University is in Providence, Rhode Island. Sponsored by the Brown University Haitian Relief Committee, the event will address Haiti’s rich legacy of art and literature, its history and culture, as well as January’s catastrophic earthquake and the medical crises it engendered.

“The earthquake in Haiti raised many issues,” said Anthony Bogues, the Harmon Family Professor of Africana Studies at Brown and a teach-in organizer. “What social, historical, and political conditions made a natural disaster into a man-made catastrophe? What has been the historic relationship between the United States and Haiti? How do we all understand Haiti’s history?”

A panel of distinguished speakers will address these and other issues. The event will feature noted Haitian scholars Colin Dayan, professor of English at Vanderbilt University and a leading literary and cultural scholar of Haiti, and the Haitian historical sociologist Alex Dupuy, professor of sociology at Wesleyan University.

Also on the program will be two Brown medical doctors — Sachita Shah, assistant professor of emergency medicine, and Roman Hayda, associate professor of orthopaedics — who worked in Haiti in the weeks following the earthquake, and Haitian poets Danielle Legros Georges of Lesley University and Patrick Sylvain of Brown’s Center for Latin American Studies.

The event will also feature a small exhibition of Haitian art sponsored by the Providence gallery Peaceable Kingdom.

Additionally, Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design will co-sponsor a lecture by Bill Bollendorf, who in 1974 founded Galerie Macondo, a Pittsburgh gallery for Haitian art. Bollendorf will speak on the devastation of Port-au-Prince’s legendary Iron Market and Grande Rue at 3:30 p.m. in the RISD Museum’s Danforth Room.