Northwestern Events Calendar


The Afterlives of Coral or The Persistence of Colonial Violence. A Talk by Ayana Flewellen.

When: Tuesday, February 28, 2023
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, 1515, 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Margaret Sagan  

Group: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Category: Global & Civic Engagement, Academic, Social, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity


Please join us for this talk by Ayana Flewellen of Stanford University. Lunch provided.

Mined coral lays at the foundation of colonial architecture on the island of St. Croix in the USVI. These structures, built by Black hands to withstand hurricane-force winds and the brutalities of African enslavement, still stand, scattered across rolling hills, valleys, and urban centers. Across St. Croix, many of these 18th-century structures are either left in ruins or renovated over time for continual use, making encounters with the colonial past a quotidian experience for present-day residents. Since the 2017 commemoration of the centennial transfer of the now U.S. Virgin Islands from Denmark to the United States, cultural politics regarding identity, representations of the past, disfranchisement of Black and Brown populations in the present, and heritage have been at the forefront of public dialogue. Here coral - via the structures built out of it - is discussed as an “intercultural space created at the crossroads of the novel and the familiar.” This presentation looks at three distinctive encounters with the colonial past mediated through coral, demonstrating the varied ways this organic material ruptures time and demands us to tend to the persistence of colonial violence.

Ayana Omilade Flewellen (they/she) is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University. Flewellen is the co-founder and current President of the Society of Black Archaeologists and sits on the Board of Diving With A Purpose.

Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in