Inaugural lecture Prof. Dr. Rose-Mary Allen

WILLEMSTAD - On Thursday, January 28, Prof. Rose-Mary Allen accepted her appointment as professor by special appointment of Culture, Community and History, with particular regard to the local and Caribbean perspective at the General Faculty of the University of Curaçao Moises da Costa Gomez (UoC) with her speech entitled: "Di Kabuya bieu pa kabuya nobo: new approaches in culture within a dynamic Caribbean context?"

The ceremony took place in the auditorium of the UoC in the presence of family members and close friends of Prof. Dr. Rose-Mary Allen, taking into account the current measures regarding the COVID-19 virus.

The evening started with a speech by the Rector Magnificus of the UoC, Dr. Francis de Lanoy, followed by Prof. Elisabeth Echteld's laudation. After this, Prof. Dr. Rose-Mary Allen was able to address the public to give her speech. In her inaugural lecture she wanted to initiate a discussion about culture and art, how they are intertwined with issues such as collective identity and connectedness, the decolonization of history and cultural heritage, community, interconnectedness and inclusion, and about questions related to gender and sexuality, especially in a (Dutch) Caribbean context.

Culture is a term that evokes different associations and has many connotations. It has been double edged, on the one hand praised and exalted as an essential contribution to life, but on the other it has also been questioned and contested. Culture as a phenomenon must then be understood as a complex, layered, dynamic, ongoing process, something that is constantly being considered, negotiated and (re) designed, and that must be approached critically. Hence the title Di kabuya bieu pa kabuya nobo.

In this inaugural lecture, Prof. Allen has used Curaçao as a 'case study' and her focal point, keeping in mind that each of the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands, has its own particularities when it comes to culture, which deserves serious scientific attention, including comparative research. She has built on long-standing concerns about culture, community and history to argue the need to critically place Curaçao in the broader and intellectual discussions around culture that takes into account the social context, both past and present.

The evening ended with the opportunity to congratulate the new professor on the patio of the UoC still taking into account the measures of social distance in force.