This course introduces students to Caribbean Civilization by means of immersion in Trinidad and Tobago’s society, culture, economy and politics and by means of a study segment of 10 days in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica. This introduction to Caribbean Civilization and its Trinidadian variant is presented in the broad context of what contemporary scholars call the African and Asian Diasporas in the Americas, including the broadly defined region of the Caribbean.
An integral part of the Caribbean Civilization course is a nine-day Study Tour to Costa Rica which is designed to provide students with a comparative look at two different Caribbean countries, giving them firsthand academic and personal experience in both Costa Rica and Trinidad. This enables students to experience Caribbean culture and its relationship to the African Diaspora in a Spanish speaking country that shares many aspects of Caribbean Civilization of the English- speaking “Island Caribbean” countries like Trinidad & Tobago, but with a very different colonial and post-colonial history in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Work and Play: The Trinidad Experience
This course will explore the network of festivals that underlie the countries cultural matrix, focusing on the history of emancipation as a way of seeing, thinking, creating, and adapting. The readings will include poetry, calypsoes, novels, and plays by such authors as V.S. Naipaul, Derek Walcott, Earl Lovelace, Merle Hodge and others. The course will also include visiting lecturers and performers, and will provide students the opportunity to explore performance traditions as observers and participants.
Festival Arts as Cultural Performance
This course will examine ways in which performance is in many cultures linked to festivals of many different kinds. It will examine the ethos of what can be called the “festival world” in contrast to the “workaday world.” We will consider ways of regulating time (festival time vs. clock time), the demands of vocation vs. leisure, play vs. work. In addition to studying festival drama, we will examine the idea of festivity. Particular attention will be paid to Caribbean Carnival as street theater, evolving from emancipation festivals in the 19th Century.
An internship in an international setting can be very rewarding but demands flexibility and sensitivity. Integrated internships enable a student to investigate a particular interest or career option. The emphasis is on field experience, which is complemented by a written paper at the end of the semester, as well as a supervisor’s assessment of the student’s performance. Students will work at the internship for an average of 8 to 10 hours a week during 12 weeks (approximately 100 hours total at the end of the semester). Internships conducted in Trinidad must meet the same standards as internships at Trinity College in Hartford, including overall contact hours and academic requirements. During the internship process, the student will receive advice and support from the Trinidad faculty and staff, as well as the internship supervisor who will oversee your progress.