Gina Ulysse: Using Her Total Person

There are a number of events on campus this week and next that will help to bring into focus what is going on in Haiti right now.  We are so fortunate to have faculty who can share their personal and scholarly understanding of this magnificent country with us as we try to grapple with the present-day horror and the necessities of the future.

If you have never seen Professor Gina Ulysse (Anthropology, African-American Studies and FGSS) perform before, you must.   I can guarantee that those who have will be flocking to see her again, so I suggest that you plan to arrive early this Thursday night when she performs her dramatic monologue Because When God Is Too Busy:  Haiti, me and THE WORLD.    We have moved the event from the CFA Hall to Memorial Chapel so that we can accommodate a larger audience.  According to the description in the Facebook event page, the monologue “considers how the past occupies the present.  Ulysse weaves spokenword and Vodou chants to reflect on childhood memories, social (in)justice, spirituality, and the dehumanization of Haitians.”  What Gina does that few other solo performers I have seen can do is to weave her scholarly critical analysis of her country with deeply personal experience and use the tools of the artist to integrate them and make them come alive for an audience.   The quality of the knowledge that we gain from her journey is not the same knowledge we would receive from having her read from a memoir or a scholarly article.  It is not the same knowledge we would receive from a spoken word or vocal music performance.  It is all of these multiple ways of knowing in one.  Gina uses her total person, her mind and body, to take us on a journey of words and music, and we feel lucky to have had the chance to take that journey with her.

Because When God Is Too Busy:  Haiti, me and THE WORLD
Thursday, February 4, 6:30-8:30pm
Memorial Chapel, Wesleyan University

The performance will be followed by a faculty panel that will include Alex Dupuy (Sociology) and Liza McAlister (Religion, American Studies) & Gina Ulysse to discuss earthquake.  Haitian Relief Action Team will be collecting a suggested donation of $3 and food and refreshments will be served after the performance.