The Unexpected Caribbean Symposium

Painting of a red bird in a jungle.

Festival and Symposium

Thank you for your interest in The Unexpected Caribbean Symposium, celebrating the surprising interplay between Caribbean cultures and people and the rest of the world. The symposium will offer Kansans the opportunity to explore the diversity of the Caribbean through a variety of lenses, including through the eyes of Lawrence’s acclaimed native son, Langston Hughes. It will also allow visitors from around the nation to learn about and access the University of Kansas’ Caribbean resources, particularly the significant art holdings and library collections on Haiti and its diasporas.

The symposium will be held October 18-20, 2018 with events and activities held at various venues across the University of Kansas campus and Lawrence, KS. In addition to KU faculty, staff, and students, we welcome members of the Lawrence, Kansas City, and Topeka communities to attend all programs. The entire symposium is free and open to the public. 


The Unexpected Caribbean Symposium is a collaborative venture between the Association of Caribbean Women Writers & Scholars (ACWWS), Humanities Kansas, KU’s Institute of Haitian Studies, the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, the Department of African and African American Studies, and the Department of English. The symposium benefits from wide institutional and community support. View a full list of our generous sponsors.