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17:30 - 19:00 25 October 2017

Postcolonial Trauma and the Politics of Memory: Performing Time in 'The Trial of Governor Eyre'


Lecture Room 103 | UCL – Institute of the Americas (link Map)
51 Gordon Square | London | WC1H 0PQ | United Kingdom

Open to: Alumni | Public | Academic | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Dr Jason Allen-Paisant, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Leeds, Jason Allen-Paisant is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the School of Modern Languages & the Centre for World Literatures at the University of Leeds. His work covers various aspects of Caribbean writing and performance in French and English. He is the author of Théâtre dialectique postcolonial: Aimé Césaire et Derek Walcott (Classiques Garnier 2017) and is at work on a monograph entitled Dante's Postcolonial Lives: The Commedia in African and African Diaspora Writing.

The Trial of Governor Eyre is a theatricalized trial written by Jamaican lawyer Bert Samuels to judge Governor Edward John Eyre for his bloody suppression of the Morant Bay Rebellion (1865) that claimed the lives of 439 Black Jamaicans. This paper examines the complex phenomenology of time that inheres within the theatrical piece: as a staged trial, it simultaneously involves two protocols of performance: theatrical representation and the social performance of justice and the law. It is both a work of the imagination and a juridical event bearing heavy stakes for the performers, spectators and other parties involved; a social and aesthetic drama of 1865 and the present that blurs temporality in peculiar ways. Drawing upon phenomenological theory and theories of trauma and (post)memory, my paper will investigate what the play-trial’s uses of time show about the experience of time itself in the context of colonial violence.


Oscar Martinez
+44 (0)2031089721 | ucl-ia@ucl.ac.uk


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