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Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah Appointed Member, International Scientific Committee of UNESCO’s Slave Route Project

The International Scientific Committee (ISC) of the Slave Route Project now has a new UWI representative. Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah follows in the footsteps of Prof. The Hon. Rex Nettleford who helped to establish the Project, and Prof. Sir Hilary McDonald Beckles who is a member.

The Slave Route Project was launched in 1994 in Ouidah (Benin), guided by the ISC. It comprises experts in various disciplines from different regions of the world who have been chosen in their personal capacity to contribute their expertise. The Committee is renewed by 50 per cent biennially and now has twenty members whose aims are to bring attention to the crime of slavery and its effect on peoples of African descent.

More broadly, the Project has a mandate to (i) develop knowledge on the major causes, the stakes and the methods of operation of the slave trade and slavery through multidisciplinary research; (ii) understand the consequences of this tragedy and promote the cultural interactions generated among the peoples of the continent concerned; and, (iii) to contribute to mutual understanding, tolerance and dialogue among peoples and cultures.

Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah is the inaugural Rhodes Trust Rex Nettleford Fellow in Cultural Studies (2005) and lectures in Cultural Studies at the UWI’s Institute of Caribbean Studies where she now serves as Director. She is a cultural expert who has been teaching and researching Black Atlantic performance geographies, ritual, dance, popular culture, and the sacred, for many years. Dr. Stanley Niaah is also author of the seminal text Dancehall: From Slave Ship to Ghetto (2010, University of Ottawa Press).

At the last meeting of the ISC which took place in Port Louis (Mauritius) from November 27 - 30, 2017, where new members to the ISC received an official welcome, Dr Stanley Niaah was also appointed Rapporteur and joins the Bureau for the next two years of her four year term.

Sonjah Stanley Niaah


UNESCO Slave Route Project

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