COB's Violence Symposium

Yesterday, the College of The Bahamas put on a one-day symposium highlighting current faculty research, which from 2009 focussed on the topic of violence in the nation.The studies were varied. They ranged from a study of the language used in Bahamian media reports about violent incidents to a study of the (failed) proposed amendment of the Sexual Offences Act to criminalize marital rape to a bibliography of Bahamian sources about violence, to a mathematical analysis and prediction of the causes of violence in The Bahamas. There were in-depth studies of inmates at the prison, of child abuse, and of gun ownership in The Bahamas. Some of these made the news, not unnaturally. But what was most remarkable to me was that in this society where such little emphasis is placed on intellectual activity that we still have leaders who quibble about, who even actively oppose, the creation of a university out of the College of The Bahamas (and all are equally guilty of this to my mind, as we are still using the phrase, almost 20 years after we began the process, "transitions to university status"—for how many more generations will this transition extend?), we are engaging in the kind of intellectual activity, the kind of research, that universities provide for their nations.But more on that later. Just an update on the stuff that's been keeping me quiet. This Violence Symposium was one of them—I had a small presentation in it, near the beginning, sharing the findings of the students involved with me on our study of the economics of Junkanoo about the perceptions of security on the Junkanoo parade. Not earth-shattering by any means, especially given the company in which I found myself, but interesting nevertheless—and time-consuming to boot.I'll be back.