Scholars and Advisors

MARY BURKE, associate professor at the University of Connecticut in Irish studies, was awarded the 2009 College Liberal Arts and Sciences Research Excellence Award in Humanities.  She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast, and was the NEH Keogh-Haughton Institute Fellow for Irish Studies at University of Notre Dame 2003-4. Her book on the Irish playwright J.M. Synge and the cultural history of the Irish Traveller or “tinker” as they were known, is being published by the Oxford University Press.
CAROLYN COOPER is a Jamaican Native whose original work in Jamaican culture has generated a tremendous renewed interest in the fields of Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Caribbean Studies, Languages and Literature. She is the current Head of the Department of Literature in English at the University of the West Indies, where she also co–ordinates the University’s Reggae Studies Unit. She co-hosted with psychologist Leachim Semaj the popular television talk show “Man and Woman Story” on Television Jamaica, which focused on sexuality, gender politics and popular culture. Dr. Cooper is the author of Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender and the “Vulgar” Body of Jamaican Popular Culture (Duke University Press, 1995) and Sound Clash: Jamaican Dancehall Culture at Large (Palgrave Macmillan).
DR. DONNA HOPE-MARQUIS is Lecturer in Reggae Studies in the Institute of Caribbean Studies, at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and former host of the daytime radio talk show, Disclosure on Hot 102 FM. A Jamaican Fulbright Scholar for 2002-2004, Dr. Hope completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia in 2006. Her extensive research in Jamaican music and reggae and dancehall culture over the last fifteen (15) years has resulted in several publications, including her first book published by the University of the West Indies Press in 2006 titled, Inna di Dancehall: Popular Culture and the Politics of Identity in Jamaica. Her next single-authored book titled Man Vibes: Representations of Jamaican Masculinities in Dancehall Culture is forthcoming from Ian Randle Publishers in 2010.
DR. SONJAH STANLEY-NIAAH is a lecturer in cultural studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. She has written extensively on the history and philosophy of Jamaican dance hall culture.
KATHY PEISS, is a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She is the author of Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture and Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York. She has written widely on women’s history and culture and consulted on a Smithsonian Institutions show on costume and gender, as well as other exhibits and documentary film.
DR. NEIL PERSADSINGH is a dermatologist and author in Kingston Jamaica. He did his medical training at the University of the West Indies, Mona and his post graduate training at the University of London, St. John’s Hospital for Diseases of the Skin. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and a foundation member of the Dermatological Association. He has worked in Canada, Trinidad and Jamaica where he now has an extensive practice.
NORMAN STOLZOFF, PhD, cultural anthropologist focusing on the history, culture, and politics of Jamaica. Author of “Wake the Town and Tell the People: Dance Hall Culture in Jamaica, the first comprehensive look at Jamaican dance hall culture and music.

JANE HELLEINER, professor of sociology at Brock University of Toronto, received her BA, MA and Ph.D in Social/Cultural Anthropology from the University of Toronto. She has conducted research in Ireland and Canada. Her book Irish Travellers: Racism and the Politics of Culture (University of Toronto Press) was chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice magazine in 2001. Her most recent work is in the area of critical border studies. She is currently Graduate Program Director of the Interdisciplinary MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies.


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