Olivia DrakeOctober 30, 20152min
Professor of Anthropology Gina Athena Ulysse received the Haitian Studies Association's Excellence in Scholarship award during the organizations' 27th annual conference Oct. 24. The conference centered around the theme "Haiti in the Global Environment: Presence, Representations, Performances" and took place at the Université de Montréal in Québec, Canada. Previous anthropologists awarded this honor include Paul Farmer (2001) and Michel-Rolph Trouillot (2003). While in Québec, Ulysse presented a talk on "Successfully Individuating Within Academia: Thoughts on Rebel Mentoring and Your Voice” at the Emerging Scholars pre-conference. Ulysse also will be recognized by her peers at the American Anthropological Association meeting next month for…

Olivia DrakeAugust 25, 20152min
Gina Athena Ulysse, professor of anthropology, is the author of Why Haiti Needs New Narratives: A Post-Quake Chronicle, published by Wesleyan University Press in 2015. In this book, Ulysse, a Haitian-American anthropologist and performance artist, makes sense of her homeland in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. Mainstream news coverage of the catastrophic earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010, reproduced longstanding narratives of Haiti and stereotypes of Haitians. Cognizant that this Haiti, as it exists in the public sphere, is a rhetorically and graphically incarcerated one, Ulysse embarked on a writing spree that lasted more than two years. As an ethnographer and a…

Lauren RubensteinJuly 27, 20153min
Writing for Africa is a Country, Professor of Anthropology Gina Athena Ulysse reflects on the story of Sandra Bland, an African-American woman who was arrested by a state trooper during a traffic stop in Waller County, Texas and was later found dead in her jail cell. Video footage from a dashboard camera found the trooper had threatened Bland with a Taser after she refused to put out her cigarette and the encounter escalated. Her death was found to be a suicide, though her family has doubts. Ulysse writes that she identified with Bland, and responded strongly to images and videos of the…

Lauren RubensteinJune 18, 20152min
In a blog post on Africa is a Country, Professor of Anthropology Gina Athena Ulysse reflects on two horrific stories in the news: the mass deportation of thousands of migrant workers and their families of Haitian background from the Dominican Republic, and the killing of nine people in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. The "ethnic purging" taking place in the Dominican Republic, writes Ulysse, "is a rejection of a certain kind of Black. Blackness that is too African." She continues: Despite our somatic plurality and the color gradations we encompass, Haiti and Haitians have always been portrayed and understood as that…

Lauren RubensteinJune 3, 20155min
Professor of Anthropology Gina Athena Ulysse was recently invited to guest edit a double issue of the journal e-misférica on the theme of Caribbean rasanblaj, to which three of her Wesleyan colleagues also contributed. The journal e-misférica is an online publication of New York University's Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, a "collaborative, multilingual and interdisciplinary network of institutions, artists, scholars, and activists throughout the Americas. Working at the intersection of scholarship, artistic expression and politics, the organization explores embodied practice-performance as a vehicle for the creation of new meaning and the transmission of cultural values, memory and identity." For several years, Ulysse has been involved with the…

Lauren RubensteinJune 1, 20155min
In its most recent meeting, the Board of Trustees conferred tenure on Hari Krishnan, associate professor of dance. He joins seven other faculty members who were awarded tenure earlier this spring. In addition, seven faculty members were promoted to Full Professor: Mary Alice Haddad, professor of government; Scott Higgins, professor of film studies; Tsampikos Kottos, professor of physics; Edward Moran, professor of astronomy; Dana Royer, professor of earth and environmental sciences; Mary-Jane Rubenstein, professor of religion; and Gina Athena Ulysse, professor of anthropology. Brief descriptions of their research and teaching appear below. Associate Professor Krishnan teaches studio- and lecture-based dance courses on Mobilizing Dance: Cinema, the Body, and Culture…

Lauren RubensteinMay 24, 20153min
  During the 183rd Commencement ceremony, President Michael Roth awarded the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching to three faculty, and the Raymond E. Baldwin Medal to an alumnus. Three outstanding teachers are recognized annually with the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. This year, President Michael Roth honored Michael Calter, David Schorr and Gina Athena Ulysse for their excellence in teaching. The prizes are made possible by gifts from the family of the late Frank G. Binswanger Sr., Hon. ’85, and underscore Wesleyan’s commitment to its scholar-teachers, who are responsible for the university’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education. (more…)

Lauren RubensteinMarch 20, 20153min
Gina Athena Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology, wrote a tribute on the Tikkun Daily Blog to Karen McCarthy Brown, professor emerita of anthropology and sociology of religion at Drew University, who passed away earlier this month. "Reading Karen’s Mama Lola kept me in grad school. Vodou got a human face from her," Ulysses posted on Facebook after hearing news of Brown's death. She goes on to explain, "Mama Lola was published by the University of California Press in 1991. Based on extensive fieldwork conducted over a decade, Brown became an initiate of her subject, as a condition to deeper research and writing…

Olivia DrakeOctober 13, 20141min
Gina Athena Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology, participated in "Imagining and Imaging the Caribbean,” the inaugural conference of Columbia’s Greater Caribbean Studies Center, on Oct. 18. Ulysse discussed "Writing in the Caribbean Diaspora" with fellow panelists Cuban writer and artist Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo (Brown University) and Kittian-Brittish novelist Caryl Phillips (Yale University). Other topics included "The Greater Caribbean as a Geo-Historical and Cultural Region," "Writing about the Caribbean from National Perspectives" and "Photographing the City in the Greater Caribbean." The event concluded with a Caribbean concert.

Olivia DrakeMarch 31, 20141min
On March 6, Gina Athena Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology, presented "Why Haiti Needs a Higher Love I," a performative meditation on representation, ripostes and self-making at Central Connecticut State University's Center for Africana Studies 20th Anniversary Conference. On March 10, Ulysse and Jungian analyst and author Craig Stephenson participated in a public dialogue titled "Possession and Inspiration – Between the Psyche and the Spirits: A Conversation about Therapy and Vodou" at the CUNY Grad Center in New York City.

Lauren RubensteinAugust 30, 20131min
Gina Athena Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology, associate professor of African American studies, wrote a new piece for The Huffington Post, titled, "Arlene Torres or Why Anthropology Still Matters (Part II)." The article features Arlene Torres, a Hunter College professor and leading expert in urban anthropology. She recently was awarded a grant by the National Parks Service to conduct an ethnographic study of community formations in Paterson, N.J., where over 50 different ethnic groups reside. Torres notes, "parks will need to understand the new ethnic groups that become their neighbors so that they may establish collaborative relationships across linguistic and cultural…

Lauren RubensteinAugust 28, 20131min
Gina Athena Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology, associate professor of African America studies, wrote an article, "Presumed Innocent: On Bill Traylor's Verve," which appeared on the website Anthropology Now. Ulysse reflects on an exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum by Bill Traylor, a former slave who began drawing at the age of 85, and produced his entire body of work in three years.