Center for Caribbean Studies

Trinity College recently celebrated the launch of its new Center for Caribbean Studies, which embraces the Caribbean as an area for scholarly inquiry and builds on Trinity’s nearly two-decade-old study-away program in Trinidad. The center also focuses on the Caribbean character of the College’s home city of Hartford, which, outside of New York, has one of the largest Caribbean populations in the country, and places an emphasis on undergraduate research and internships as well as student-faculty scholarly projects within the liberal arts environment. Posse Scholar Elizabeth “Eli” Valenzuela ’17 was the first student to receive a research grant from the center; she spent two weeks in January doing research related to Hinduism on the island of Trinidad.

This work by Emmanuel Paul is part of Trinity’s Edith A. Graham Collection of Haitian Art
Photo by Pablo Delano

Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney said that Trinity is the ideal home for the Center for Caribbean Studies for three reasons. First, the College has faculty members who are “true Caribbean specialists — faculty members who do not just happen to teach a course related to the Caribbean but who have deep roots in and knowledge of the culture, music, history, politics, and literature of the Caribbean.” Second, Trinity has a special and unique relationship with The University of the West Indies (UWI) at St. Augustine in Trinidad. And third, Hartford is a city with very strong Caribbean roots, home to large Jamaican and Puerto Rican diaspora communities, among others.

Those on hand at the November 2016 opening celebration included Trinity’s Tim Cresswell, dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs and professor of American studies, and Leslie Desmangles, professor of religious studies and international studies and the inaugural director of the center. Heather Cateau of The UWI faculty of humanities and education also attended.

Starting on July 1, Pablo Delano, professor of fine arts, and Dario Euraque, professor of history and international studies, will take over as the center’s co-directors.

Visit the Center’s website at

Photos from the celebration of the launch can be viewed on Flickr.

Read about Elizabeth Valenzuela’s research grant.