Trinidad and Tobago Program General Information

Summer Program in Trinidad and Tobago

July 14 -- August 2

Sponsored by Department of Pan African Studies

Hosted by University of the West Indies


A week before the class departs for Trinidad and Tobago, preparatory lessons will be held at UofL’s Department of Pan African Studies. During this time students will choose a topic of study in relation to Caribbean culture. There are severaltopics that students can choose from such as: religion, music, dance, theatre, Carnival, language, and much more!!! (July 14 -August 2) students will spend three weeks studying at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine.

Program Features Include:

  • Turtle watching
  • Cultural workshops: learning how to play steel pan drums, traditional dances, and mask making
  • Visits to ASA Wright Nature Center, Argyle falls, Waterloo Temple, Dattatreya Temple, Maracas Beach, and Pitch Lake. Pitch Lake is the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world.
  • Lectures given by instructors from the University of the West Indies
  • Attend Emancipation Festivities

Academic Requirements

  • PAS 586: Field Study - 3 credit hours Undergraduate Level
  • PAS 686: Field Study - 3 credit hours Graduate Level

The course explores the significance of artistic performance in social and cultural formation in Trinidad and Tobago, using the Festival as the medium of examination. The Festival, as developed in Trinidad and Tobago, is considered an interesting example of artistic performance, social commentary, and street theatre that provides a basis for rich intellectual inquiry and analysis. There is much in the Festival linked to drama. Teaching will be structured around Carnival, the Indian celebration of Ramleela, Hosay, and Spanish Parang. The course has two major components:

1) Experimental education-The exploration of performance as a particular social and cultural information medium;

2) Research- The development of anthropological and ethnographic skills necessary to understand the performance scale to the point of being able to explain the underpinnings of drama and of festival in theoretical ways.

Each student is expected to participate in all organized workshops and field trip activities. Failure to do so will result in a lower course grade. Assigned readings are to be completed before class to better facilitate questions and lively discussion. Students are expected to maintain regular class attendance and completion of all the below listed course requirements:

  1. A journal divided into two sections
    1. Living Experience
    2. Academic Knowledge, i. e. from lecture note, workshop notes, observations, discussions, field trips, etc.. The journal will be checked in the middle of the course and again at the end when a journal grade will be assigned.

2. Completion of a major research project based on a specific topic of interest and related to the course materials. The research project will be presented in two parts:

  1. Part One consists of a final group presentation in which each member is expected to participate in Trinidad at the end of the Study Abroad for the benefit of the host institution and UWI instructors. The format of this presentation will be guided with assistance from the Creative Arts Department at the University of the West Indies.
  2. Part Two consists of completion of the research paper. Consequently, students are expected to use the UWI library and other local sources of Information while in Trinidad to collect data necessary to complete their research projects.

Housing and Meals

Students will stay at the University of the West Indies campus dormitories.

Meals are not included in the program fee, but students will have a chance to buy groceries to keep at the dorm.Students can also choose to purchase meals at the campus dining facility. There will also be times where the class will go out to eat at restaurants, or from street vendors to try local foods such as: doubles and roti.

The exchange: six TT dollars equal one American dollar. Food prices are extremely reasonable.

For More Information contact

Graduate Teaching AsstShannon Spears

Pan-African Studies Department, 426B Strickler Hall