Harcourt Fuller, Ph.D.
Dr. Fuller was Principal Investigator for French actor Jacques Martial’s theatrical adaption of Aimé Césaire’s “Notebook of a Return to the Native Land/Cahier d’un Retour au Pays Natal” at the Rialto Center for the Arts, at GSU. Aimé Césaire was a Martiniquan poet, writer, intellectual and politician. One of the founders of the négritude movement in Francophone literature, he is one of the greatest French-speaking writers of the 20th Century.
Professor Fuller also moderated Martial's public lecture, entitled, “"La Villette: Culture and Urban Territory," which focused on his presidency of Paris’s Parc de la Villette, one of the largest public cultural institutions in France. The lecture addressed French cultural politics and the links between culture and place. David Kibler, Cultural Attaché for the Consulate General of France in Atlanta gave the welcome address. Valérie Loichot, Professor of French and English at Emory University, and Karen L. Paty, Director of Georgia Council for the Arts also gave talks at the event. There was also a joint dance presentation by the Toulouse (France)-based contemporary dance company, Association Manifeste and the Atlanta-based CORE Performance Company.
This project was supported by a research grant from the Center for Collaborative and International Arts (CENCIA) at GSU, with additional sponsorship, support and coproduction from the Rialto Center for the Arts, and the Departments of History and Philoshopy at GSU; France-Atlanta 2013; l'ARTCHIPEL, Scène National de Guadeloupe; the Regional Government of Guadeloupe; Air France; the French Ministry of Culture; the French Ministry of Overseas Departments, Institut français (AFAA); and 10 days on the Island Festival, Tasmania.
In August of 2001, in collaboration with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Dr. Fuller brought Maroon poet/spoken word artist Shirley Massey to New York City to recite her unique brand of Patois poetry at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Out of Doors and La Casita Project. Shirley shared the stage with other poets and artists from Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain and the United States.
She also recited her poetry at the Langston Hughes Library and on WHCR 90.3FM - Harlem Community Radio and other venues in New York City.
Jenneth S. Webster, Producer of the program, said that the event was “one of the most exciting projects which Lincoln Center Out of Doors has ever undertaken.” Webster also said that Shirley Massey’s performance was “unique and inspiring.” Furthermore, the Weekly Star (N.A.) wrote that “Shirley’s dramatic and charismatic delivery of poems on stage” captivates audiences wherever she performs.
Dr. Fuller edited and wrote the introduction for Shirley Massey's first book and audio CD/MP3 album, Country Labrish: A Collection of Jamaican Patois Poems, which is now under consideration for publication.
Dr. Fuller convened and organized an educational/cultural symposium to commemorate the 50th Independence Anniversary of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, at the Rialto Center for the Arts, GSU, in October 2012. The symposium was attatched to the Rialto's Opening Night concert by the legendary "Reggae Ambassadors" - Third World Band - one of the world’s longest-running reggae bands, with 10 GRAMMY nominations and the 1986 United Nations Peace Medal Award. The Caribbean Students Association (CARIBSA) at GSU also performed.
Lectures were delivered by Dr. Noel Leo Erskine, Professor of Theology and Ethics at Emory University, on “Rasta, Reggae & Jamaica’s Independence;” the Honorable Dr. Anil Ramnanan, Consul General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Miami, on “T&T’s Melting Pot and its Independence, Culture & Commerce;” and Lowell Hawthorne, CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill and author of The Baker’s Son: My Life in Business, on “The Caribbean Roots of my American Business Enterprise.”
The program was sponsored by the Department of History, Program in World History & Cultures, Rialto Center for the Arts, and the College of Arts & Sciences at GSU; the Jamaica Tourist Board; the Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company; Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill; Calypso Café & Grill; and Tropic Products International, Inc.
Dr. Fuller was a member of GSU’s Celebrating Africans in Atlanta organizing committee, part of Africa Atlanta 2014, a yearlong, citywide series of events highlighting Atlanta as a nexus for reinventing the cultural and economic bonds among Africa, Europe and the Americas.