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Orlando Patterson for Rex Nettleford Lecture

Published:Wednesday | February 1, 2023 | 12:20 AM

Renowned writer, Orlando Patterson, will deliver the Inaugural Rex Nettleford Distinguished Lecture at the UWI Regional Headquarters in Mona, on Friday, February 3. Titled ‘The Past Has Not Passed: The Heritage of Slavery and Genocide in Jamaica’, the lecture forms part of a celebration to mark what would have been Professor Nettleford’s 90th birthday.

Patterson is best known for his extensive work on the relationship between slavery and social death, a topic on which he has written several books. His most acclaimed novel, The Children of Sisyphus, was named Best Novel in English at the first World Festival of Black Arts and Culture in Dakar, Senegal, while his book Volume 1: Freedom in the Making of Western Culture, won the US National Book Award for Non-fiction. He has also received the Gold Musgrave Medal for contributions to Literature and, in 2020, was appointed to the Order of Merit. He is currently the John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University.

Chairman of The Rex Nettleford Foundation, P.J. Patterson, has expressed his delight at having Patterson as the speaker.

“We are very pleased to have Professor Patterson, himself a distinguished son of Jamaica, return home to inaugurate this annual lecture in honour of another distinguished son of Jamaica, Professor Rex Nettleford, and we believe this presentation will inspire many, as both gentlemen have through their lives worked to ‘conquer with ideas rather than with arms’.”

The Lecture will begin at 3 p.m. and the public is invited.

The Rex Nettleford Foundation, established after the 2010 passing of the cultural icon, has also presented a trilogy of films on his life by Lennie Little-White and has published collections of his speeches and critical essays. The Foundation also awards scholarships to outstanding students who exhibit the promise of Professor Nettleford in the areas of culture, the arts, politics, trade unionism or public sector management.