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Presenters

Participants

Berhanu Abegaz

Berhanu Abegaz: William and Mary

BA, Princeton; PhD, U. Penn

Berhanu Abegaz (B.A., Princeton; Ph.D., U. Penn) is Professor of Economics and Director of Africana Studies at The College of William and Mary. His wide ranging research and teaching interests include post-socialist economies, African economic development, effectiveness of development aid, and patterns of late industrialization. Long involved in internationalizing the university's curriculum, he recently oversaw the merger of the Black Studies and African Studies programs into a more diaspora-oriented Africana Studies program.

Nikol Alexander-Floyd

Nikol Alexander-Floyd

Rutgers University Associate Professor of Women"s and Gender Studies

Nikol G. Alexander-Floyd is Assistant Professor of Women's & Gender Studies and an Associate Member of the Political Science Graduate Faculty at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. A lawyer and political scientist, Dr. Alexander-Floyd has been actively engaged in a wide range of political and legal issues. She has been a featured speaker at a number of colleges and universities, including Bryn Mawr, Northwestern, Prairie View A&M, Princeton, and Syracuse, among others. A strong advocate for minorities in general and women of color in particular, she co-founded the Association for the Study of Black Women in Politics (www.asbwp.org), an organization dedicated to promoting the development of Black women's and gender studies and supporting the professionalization of Black women political scientists. A legal theorist and activist, she has produced scholarship and provided commentary for various media outlets on some of the most controversial legal cases of our time, including the Hopwood case in Texas. An award-winning educator, Dr. Alexander-Floyd teaches a range of courses on Black feminist theory, Black women's political activism, and race, gender, media, and the law. The author of Gender, Race, and Nationalism in Contemporary Black Politics (Palgrave/Macmillan 2007), her articles have appeared or are forthcoming in such leading journals such as The International Journal of Africana Studies, Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies, Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, Politics & Gender, PS: Political Science & Politics, and the National Political Science Review. A member of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Council of Academic Advisors, she investigates gender and Black political ideology in political discourse, popular culture, and social policy. Her next book project will investigate the political implications of post-feminist, post-civil rights ideology.

Talk Title:

But, I Voted for Obama": Melodrama and the Media in the Era of the "Post"

Abstract:

Although scholars have analyzed "post-feminism" by examining the work of academic and/or political figures, more recent analyses have centered largely on popular culture, particularly on the manifestations of post-feminism in television and film. Most of this latter body of scholarship, however, pays scarce attention to questions of race. Nor does it attend to the growing insinuation of post-feminist, post-Civil Rights ideology into the realm of formal politics, such as elections. This paper examines the presence of post-feminist, post-Civil rights ideology in popular culture and formal elections, as well as the effects of such ideologies on Black women and Black feminist politics. More specifically, I explore the use of melodrama as a primary vehicle for disseminating post-feminist, post-Civil Rights ideologies. Using as narrative sites, Grey's Anatomy, Crash, and media coverage of the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign, I identify and trace the various racial and gendered meanings of three principal themes of melodrama: individualistic interpretations of inequality, rehabilitation of the family, of wounded masculinity, and racial and gender redemption centered in what Susan Courtney terms "fantasies of miscegenation."

Sandy Alexandre

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor Alexandre (B.A., Dartmouth College; Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Associate Professor of Literature at MIT. Her first book, The Lynching Diaspora: Strange Fruits of Violence, analyzes how what she calls "the ecology of lynching violence" necessarily informs the ways in which black-American artists reappraise the popularity of the pastoral idyll in American literature and culture. She is also at work on her second book, The Play's, the Thing: The Drama of Objects in Black Theater and Performance, which analyzes black theatrical deployments of props, objective correlatives, and other symbolic objects. Her research interests include African- American studies, visual studies, and southern studies.

Lawrie Balfour

University of Virginia

Lawrie Balfour is associate professor of politics at UVA and the author of Democracy's Reconstruction: Thinking Politically with W. E. B. Du Bois (Oxford University Press, 2011) and The Evidence of Things Not Said: James Baldwin and the Promise of American Democracy (Cornell University Press, 2001). Her articles on race and democratic theory have appeared in Political Theory, American Political Science Review, Hypatia, The Review of Politics, and edited collections Balfour has held fellowships from the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard Divinity School, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A recipient of multiple teaching awards, she was Laurence S. Rockefeller Visiting Associate Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University in 2008–2009. She is now working on a book project on reparations for slavery and Jim Crow.

Talk Title:

W. E. B. Du Bois and the Reconstruction of Democratic Theory

Abstract:

How can Americans realize, concretely, the promise of freedom and equality that emerged from the epic struggles against slavery and Jim Crow? What role should political theory play producing a vision of multiracial democracy? This essay engages the political thought of W. E. B. Du Bois to provoke a reexamination of democratic theory and practice in the "post-civil rights" era. Du Bois's reconstruction of history, I argue, undermines conceptions of democracy that are silent on questions of race and gender, that mistake formal for substantive equality, and that perpetuate a willful amnesia about the constitutive power of the past. Reading Du Bois both appreciatively and critically, I trouble disciplinary divisions that separate political theory from the study of black politics. My aim is not simply to position Du Bois within the political theory canon but to demonstrate how careful attention to his work transforms the axiomatic assumptions of the canon itself.

Herman Bennett

Jenifer Barclay

Michigan State University and (Woodson Fellow 2009–2011)

Jenifer Barclay is a current pre-doctoral fellow at the University of Virginia's Carter G. Woodson Institute and a doctoral candidate from Michigan State University's Department of History. She expects to earn her degree in May 2011 upon completion of her dissertation, "Cripples All! Or, the Mark of Slavery: Disability and Race in Antebellum America, 1820–1860." She received her Master's degree in history from The University of Akron and undergraduate degree from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

Talk Title:

Invalid History: Disability, Race and Slavery in Antebellum America

Abstract:

For far too long the lives of enslaved people with disabilities - sometimes referred to as "invalids" - have been dismissed as invalid to the production of historical knowledge, parallel to the ways in which slaveholders likewise deemed them "worthless" or "useless" in the past. This talk employs the innovative approach of the "new" disability history and places those with disabilities at the center of analysis to shed light on previously unconsidered aspects of enslaved life in antebellum America. Recognizing disability as a lived human experience with distinct social relations and considering the lives of disabled, enslaved people from their own and their community members' perspectives reveals that they often took on unique and deeply cherished social roles in communities of the enslaved. Because slaveholders utterly devalued them, bondpeople with disabilities often had unusual opportunities to provide valuable labor to their loved ones, friends, and acquaintances. Because they were less likely to be sold, they also frequently acted as figures of continuity and stability in the face of ever-present threats to the cohesion of their families and communities. Their conditions, however, were sometimes stigmatized or misunderstood and led to their social isolation and exclusion. Frankly addressing this reality adds greater nuance to scholarly discussions of divisions and conflicts among enslaved people by recognizing the existence of yet another axis of perceived difference. Relying primarily on ex-slave interviews and fugitive slave narratives, this brief talk demonstrates that viewing the past through the critical lens of disability uncovers previously untold stories and forgotten social dimensions of enslaved life.

Yarimar Bonilla

Craig Barton

University of Virginia

Craig Barton is an associate professor of architecture at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and is the editor of the anthology, Sites of Memory: Landscapes of Race and Ideology, published by Princeton Architectural Press (2000). He is principal at RBGC Associates, an architecture and urban design practice in Charlottesville, VA. The firm's clients include the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, Alabama.

Talk Title:

Constructing Memory: Landscapes of Race and Invisibility

Abstract:

Traditional monuments often do not speak to the lives of African Americans or other marginalized communities. As instruments of both public and private patronage these landscapes are all 10 Carter G. Woodson Institute too often mute about the presence and contributions of marginalized cultural communities. To understand the depth and complexity of African-American culture, a different type of commemorative artifact is required, one which engages the interstices of historical narrative through the agency of the vernacular landscape. For African Americans, the vernacular landscape, defined less by patronage than by cultural practice, is perhaps the most compelling tool with which to plug the "gaps" in the narratives of American history. This presentation will explore the construction of memory and the visibility of the all too often invisible black subject through the interpretative design of vernacular landscapes.

Juan Battle

Juan Battle

Graduate Center, City University of New York

Juan Battle is a Professor of Sociology, Public Health, and Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. With over 50 grants and publications - including articles, encyclopedia entries, book chapters, and books - his research focuses on race, sexuality, and social justice. He was a recent Fulbright Senior Specialist and the Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Gender Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. A recent president of the Association of Black Sociologists, he is also actively involved with the American Sociological Association (ASA). Professor Battle's research has taken him throughout North America, as well as South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Among other research projects, he is currently heading the Social Justice Sexuality initiative - a project exploring the lived experiences of Black, Latina/o, and Asian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the United States and Puerto Rico. He received his A.S. and B.S. from York College of Pennsylvania; his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Talk Title:

The Social Justice and Sexuality Initiative: the Makings of a National Survey

Abstract:

This presentation will present preliminary results from The Social Justice Sexuality Project - one of the largest ever national surveys of Black, Latina/o, and Asian and Pacific Islander, and multiracial lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. With over 5,000 respondents, the final sample includes respondents from all 50 states; Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. A knowledge-based study, the SJS Project is designed and dedicated to investigate the sociopolitical experiences of this population around four themes: civic and social engagement; family formations and dynamics; religious participation, experiences, and attitudes; and, accessing health and community-based services. For more information, visit ww.SocialJusticeSexuality.com.

Herman Bennett

Herman Bennett

Graduate Center, City University of New York

Herman L. Bennett, Professor of History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is the author of Africans in Colonial Mexico (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003) and Colonial Blackness: A History of Afro-Mexico (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009). Currently, he is working on a book-length study, "Africans into Slaves: Sovereignty and Politics in the Making of the African Diaspora," which examines the ceremonies, rituals and politics that shaped the interaction between Africans and Europeans in the course of the early modern slave trade.

Talk Title:

Articulations: Nationalist Narratives, the African Diaspora & the Formation of Afro- Latin America

Abstract:

What are the implications of work forged under the sign of 'diaspora'? In posing this question, this paper ponders the discursive and material importance of scholarship that identifies itself as working through the framework of the African diaspora. How has this scholarship challenged the normative (and hegemonic) national order of things, which has operated historically at the expense of the colonial, national, and/or modern black experience? While some scholars are comfortable with questioning hegemonic projects, most of us are yet to grapple with the discursive effects of our work - which in the case of Mexico and Latin America - has engendered a black subjectivity in a normative order that has long devalued and configured being black as a problem. This paper intervenes in such devaluation by naming and therefore valuing and validating black in Latin America

Yarimar Bonilla

Yarimar Bonilla

University of Virginia, (Woodson Fellow 2006–2008)

A former Carter G. Woodson fellow and graduate of the University of Chicago, Yarimar Bonilla is currently Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Virginia. She teaches and writes about historical memory, colonial legacies, and post-colonial politics in the non-sovereign Caribbean.

Talk Title: Non-Sovereign Futures? Caribbean Politics in the wake of Disenchantment
Abstract:

This paper will offer a comparative analysis of current forms of political mobilization in the non-sovereign Caribbean. Such societies (which did not experience decolonization through independence) are often cast as political aberrations in a world of nation-states. At best they are Carter G. Woodson Institute 11 disregarded as unexplained accidents of history; at worst they are pathologized as failed sites of political emancipation. In this paper I seek to challenge these representations and to question the exceptionality of non-sovereignty. Rather than dismissing these societies as states of exception, I examine their political and economic entanglements as intrinsically connected to the contemporary challenges of self determination and governance in our wider postcolonial world.

Vicki Brennan

Vicki Brennan

University of Vermont (Woodson Fellow 2004–2006)

A former pre-doctoral fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute, Vicki L. Brennan is an assistant professor of Religion at the University of Vermont. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2007. She taught in the Programs of Studies in Women and Gender and African and African American Studies at the University of Virginia from 2006–2007. Her research focuses on the relationships between music, religion, and politics in contemporary Nigeria. She is currently at work on a book project that details how Yoruba Christians use music to produce forms of community and identity that work to articulate and mediate religious values in relation to political-economic changes in Nigeria since 1999. She has also begun to research the relationships between commercially recorded gospel music, new media technologies, and religious publics in Nigeria.

Talk Title: The Politics of 'Praise and Worship' in Contemporary Nigeria
Abstract:

In this presentation I explore the relationships between religion and politics in contemporary Nigeria through an ethnographic examination of Christian practices of singing "Praise and Worship" songs. I ask what kinds of social and political work these songs do for Nigerian Christians as they use them in their everyday worship practices. I argue that the performance of Praise and Worship songs is a form of critical agency that allows Nigerian Christians to both assess and comment on political legitimacy at the same time as singing itself constitutes a form of political action. My analysis brings insights developed by Africanist scholars concerning agency, performance, and ritual to bear on current anthropological scholarship on global Pentecostalism. In doing so, I hope to make sense of how tensions between change and continuity in the global circulation of Christianity are worked out in performance and how this impacts contemporary African political-economies.

Victor Cabas:

Victor Cabas

Hampden-Sydney College

Victor Cabas is currently professor of Rhetoric at Hampden-Sydney College, where he has taught since 1981. He is a professional guitarist, known throughout the region for his legendary performances and for his encyclopedic knowledge of the blues.

Todne Thomas Chipumuro

Todne Thomas Chipumuro

University of Virginia

Todne Thomas Chipumuro is a doctoral candidate in socio-cultural anthropology at the University of Virginia. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University where she graduated cum laude and with Phi Beta Kappa distinctions after completing a double major in anthropology and African American studies in 2004. Her interests include religions and kinship of the African Diaspora, evangelical Christianity, and migration. Her dissertation project, Coming Alongside: Relatedness and Transcendence in a (Black) Atlantic Church Community, explores the spiritual kinship ties mediating the lived religious experiences and imaginaries of a West Indian and African American evangelical faith community in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to providing a closer look into how black evangelicals understand their connections to the sacred and one another, her work compels a reconsideration of kinship as a primarily biological phenomenon and provides a dynamic portrait of the changing geographies of the U.S. South in a globalizing world.

Todne is the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Jefferson Doctoral Fellowship, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities South Atlantic Studies Fellowship, the UVA Dissertation Acceleration Fellowship for interdisciplinary scholarship, and the UVA Anthropology Dissertation Year Fellowship. She is also an active participant in the Magnitude Collective (a graduate educational association), the Tomorrow's Professor Today Program, and the Graduate Diversity Advisory Committee.

Talk Title: "Of Evangelicals and Eddie Long: The Sacred and Scandalous Dimensions of Spiritual Kinship"
Abstract:

Todne Thomas Chipumuro is a doctoral candidate in socio-cultural anthropology at the University of Virginia. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University where she graduated cum laude and with Phi Beta Kappa distinctions after completing a double major in anthropology and African American studies in 2004. Her interests include religions and kinship of the African Diaspora, evangelical Christianity, and migration. Her dissertation project, Coming Alongside: Relatedness and Transcendence in a (Black) Atlantic Church Community, explores the spiritual kinship ties mediating the lived religious experiences and imaginaries of a West Indian and African American evangelical faith community in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to providing a closer look into how black evangelicals understand their connections to the sacred and one another, her work compels a reconsideration of kinship as a primarily biological phenomenon and provides a dynamic portrait of the changing geographies of the U.S. South in a globalizing world. Todne is the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Jefferson Doctoral Fellowship, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities South Atlantic Studies Fellowship, the UVA Dissertation Acceleration Fellowship for interdisciplinary scholarship, and the UVA Anthropology Dissertation Year Fellowship. She is also an active participant in the Magnitude Collective (a graduate educational association), the Tomorrow's Professor Today Program, and the Graduate Diversity Advisory Committee.

Todne Thomas Chipumuro

Katherine Clay-Bassard

Virginia Commonwealth University

Katherine Clay-Bassard (Ph.D. Rutgers University) is associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the author of Spiritual Interrogations: Culture, Gender, and Community in Early African American Women's Writing (Princeton, 1999), Transforming Scriptures: African American Women Writers and the Bible (University of Georgia, 2010) as well as numerous essays on African American literature and religion.

Talk Title: "Signs and Wonders: Sacred Texts, Sacred Selves in African American Literature"
Abstract:

This paper argues that African American appropriations of the Bible in English stemmed from a dual perspective that viewed the Bible as a book of both "signs" - a field of language and signification, and "wonders" - a field for the miraculous and supernatural which promised radical social change. In order to use the representations of the Bible as sacred text to construct African American "sacred selves," Sojourner Truth, Toni Morrison and Edward P. Jones, countered the effects of the biblical defense of slavery by (re)imagining the supernatural in order to envision alternative social and cultural spaces.

Bettye Collier-Thomas

Bettye Collier-Thomas

Temple University

A professor in the Department of History and the former director of the Temple University Center for African American History and Culture, Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She is the founder and served as the first executive director of the Bethune Museum and Archives in Washington, D.C., the nation’s first museum and archives for African American women’s history. Now a unit of the National Park Service, this National Historic Site honors Mary McLeod Bethune, a noted African American educator who headed a division of the National Youth Administration under President Franklin Roosevelt. Her books include Jesus, Jobs, and Justice: The History of African American Women and Religion, Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons, 1850-1979, and Sisters in the Struggle: African American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement. My Soul Is a Witness: A Chronology of the Civil Rights Era, 1954-1964.

Professor Collier-Thomas is the recipient of numerous book prizes, awards and honors, including the Organization of American Historians 2011 Darlene Clark Hine Book Award, the National Women's Political Caucus's 2010 EMMA Book Award, and the 2010 Association of Black Women's Historians 2010 Letitia Woods Brown Book Award for Jesus, Jobs, and Justice. In 2001 the Association for the Study of African American Life and History awarded her the Carter Godwin Woodson Distinguished Scholars Medallion. She has received multiple research grants from the Lilly Endowment, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., the National Humanities Center, and Princeton University. Collier-Thomas is currently working on a book-length history of African American women and politics.

Talk Title: "Make Us a Power": Religious Masculinity and Black Feminist Resistance"
Abstract:

Since emancipation, indeed well into the twenty-first century, the resistance of black American women to sexism has been evident in religious institutions and public culture. In response to the increased emphasis on the masculinization of all aspects of black religious and community life, and the escalating violence and racism in the United States after the Civil War, African American women crafted internal and external agendas of resistance to address the dual issues of race and sex. This presentation will examine the impact of religious masculinity in the black community and how black women navigated the difficult terrains of sexism and racism during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Risa Goluboff

Ellen Contini-Morava

University of Virginia Department of Anthopology

Ellen Contini-Morava is a professor and former chair of the University of Virginia's Department of Anthropology. Her general area of interest is the relationship between the meanings of grammatical forms and discourse: what kinds of meanings do grammatical forms signal, and what kinds of messages do they convey? In the categories of traditional linguistics, this question falls somewhere between syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Her theoretical orientation is both semiotic and "functionalist." This means that one explains the use of linguistic forms as a relation between their conventionalized meanings and the "pragmatic" context: socio-cultural rules of interpretation, general human psychological characteristics, etc.

Most of her work has focused on Swahili, a Bantu language originally spoken along the East African coast, but now used as a second language in East and central Africa. Swahili reflects the cosmopolitan, maritime, syncretistic culture of its speakers. It has retained its Bantu grammatical structure while absorbing large numbers of loan words from genetically unrelated languages (Omani Arabic, Persian, various Indian languages, and more recently English). Her current work examines the impact of words (and the concepts they represent) on the indigenous system of noun classification.

Carol Boyce Davies

Carol Boyce Davies

Professor of English and Africana-Studies at Cornell University

Carole Boyce Davies,an African Diaspora Studies scholar, is Professor of Africana Studies and English at Cornell University. She is author of Left of Karl Marx. The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (Duke University Press, 2008) and Black Women, Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject (Routledge, 1994) which is considered a theoretical base for many studies in the field of black feminist literary theory and the writing of migration. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, Dr. Boyce Davies has also published the following critical editions: Ngambika. Studies of Women in African Literature (Africa World Press, 1986); Out of the Kumbla. Caribbean Women and Literature (Africa World Press, 1990); a two-volume collection of critical and creative writing entitled Moving Beyond Boundaries (New York University Press, 1995): International Dimensions of Black Women's Writing (volume 1), and Black Women's Diasporas (volume 2). She is co-editor with Ali Mazrui and Isidore Okpewho of The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities (Indiana University Press, 1999) and Decolonizing the Academy. African Diaspora Studies (Africa World Press, 2003). She is general editor of the 3-volume The Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora (Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 2008). Her forthcoming work is a collection of the writings of Claudia Jones titled Beyond Containment: Claudia Jones: Autobiographical Reflections and Essays (Banbury: Ayebia, 2011).

Talk Title: Revisiting the Radical Black Intellectual Tradition in Africana Studies
Abstract:

This presentation will address the legacy of the black radical intellectual tradition African diaspora in orientation, in which scholar-activists like Carter G. Woodson have been consciously identified. It will critique the erasure of black women who were also very present in that generation of scholars and move from there to look at the ways that the current institutionalizing of Africana Studies effected a movement away from that earlier intellectual approach. A few key themes will be addressed: 1) The History and Politics of the Radical Intellectual Tradition; 2) African Diaspora Studies and Creolization, Hybridity Discourses; 3) Challenges Which Indicate The Directions For Future Study . The presentation will close with some thoughts on re-claiming activism and scholarship in Africana Studies.

Angela Davis

Angela Davis

University of Virginia

Angela M. Davis has been a member of the University faculty in the English Department since 1975. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, in 1978 she joined the Office of the Dean of Students as an assistant dean, working primarily with Resident Staff and the Residence Life Program. For several years, Ms. Davis chaired the Parents' Weekend Committee (now known as Family Weekend). Under her leadership, Parents' Weekend became a University-wide event with an academic focus and showcases the annual Culturefest event. In addressing the increasing diversification of the student body, she has designed workshops and conducted panel discussions on race, gender and diversity issues at the University. In 1996 Ms. Davis was promoted to Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life with oversight responsibility for the Residence Life Program. Over the years she has served on key University-wide committees such as the President's Task Force on the Status of Women at UVa, the Charting Diversity Task Force, the Fine Arts Commission and the Women's Center Advisory Council. She recently co-chaired the President's Commission on Diversity and Equity and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award Committee. For more than three decades Ms. Davis has promoted the Jeffersonian ideals of holding students accountable for their self-governance while educating them, both in and out of the classroom, to be critical thinkers in a global society. In her current role as Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs Ms. Davis is leading implementation of the diversity and public service related initiatives recommended by the Commissions on Diversity and Equity and the Future of the University.

Sarajanee Davis

Sarajanee Davis

University of Virginia (College 2012)

Sarajanee Davis is a third year student at the University of Virginia studying Political and Social Thought and African American Studies. A native of Charlottesville, since matriculating to UVa she has sought to use her voice to encourage her fellow students to explore their surroundings while also using their voices for advocacy. Over the last three years, Sarajanee has worked on the executive boards of the Black Student Alliance, Office of African American Affairs Peer Advisor program, and Ralph Bunche Society, while also serving as the chair of the Social Action and International Awareness committee for the Kappa Rho chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. Now President of the Black Student Alliance, she seeks to empower her peers to become involved and insist that the university give high priority to issues pertaining to the Black community, in particular the future of Africana studies. Post graduation, Sarajanee intends to pursue a joint masters in public policy and law with the hope of working on education curriculum policy reform.

Stephanie de Wolfe

Stephanie de Wolfe

University of Virginia (College 2010)

Stephanie de Wolfe graduated from the University of Virginia in May 2010, with a dual degree in African American and African Studies and Political and Social Thought. During her time at UVa she was part of the Organization of African Students, heading the African Studies Initiative. She currently works at the Global Fund for Children, a grant-making foundation in Washington DC.

Talk Title: African Studies at UVa: Progress and Possibilities
Abstract:

In the years leading up to 2006, concerned members of the Organization of African Students began voicing their desire for an African-focused academic program in the undergraduate curriculum at UVa. These students felt that, despite the importance of Africa in the world system, the continent and its people were rarely mentioned, much less discussed, at major university events and forums. While Africa-centered classes were scattered through the course offerings, no regional study focus was available. Garnering support from professors and administrators, the African Studies Initiative formed with the purpose of establishing an African Studies Major at UVA. This goal remains. Obstacles such as an insufficient number of tenured Africanist faculty, and a lack of African language courses persist, but students have worked creatively around these significant limitations. Continuing to call for curricular expansion, the ASI advocated for the creation of an accredited Minor program. The student organization also sought "outlets for learning about Africa outside of the curriculum" by organizing public events that challenged mainstream conceptions of Africa. The Minor was formally approved in March of 2007 and in October 2009, the ASI established the African Studies Forum. Dedicated to informal as well as scholarly discussion about Africa, the forum engages students and faculty alike. Meanwhile, the ASI continues to advocate for greater institutional support for African Studies.

Rita Kiki (Nkkiru) Edozie

Rita Kiki (Nkkiru) Edozie

Michigan State University

Rita Kiki Edozie is an Associate Professor of International Relations and the Director of African American and African Studies at Michigan State University, East Lansing. Kiki's research interests include African affairs, comparative politics, democratization; and international political economy with a focus on development. Dr. Edozie is the author of three books, including Reconstructing the Third Wave of Democracy and Reframing Contemporary Africa (with Peyi Soyinka-Airwele), and has also contributed scholarly articles and book chapters to several edited volumes and journals. She is currently working on a book manuscript that will excavate the deep contours and wide scope of "African globality". Professor Edozie is also a Lilly Teaching Fellow (MSU-SOTL, 2007-2008) and describes her teaching mission as that of an "interdisciplinary political science facilitator of critical thinking and constructivist learning".

Ishraga Eltahir

Ishraga Eltahir

University of Virginia (College 2011)

Ishraga Eltahir is a fourth year Echols and Ridley Scholar, double majoring in Political & Social Thought and African-American & African Studies. She is also part of an effort to memorialize the enslaved laborers who helped in the construction and maintenance of the University of Virginia in its early history. She wrote her Distinguished Majors thesis on the propensity for migration in South African medical students. Another thesis, written for her second major, examines the potential of the African Union to effectively promote good governance. She is an intern at the Carter G. Woodson Institute, as well as the University and Community Action for Racial Equity (UCARE).

Kevin Jerome Everson

Kevin Jerome Everson

University of Virginia

Kevin Everson was born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio. He has a MFA from Ohio University and a BFA from the University of Akron. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Virginia. Everson has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, NEA, NEH, Ohio Arts Council and the Virginia Museum, an American Academy Rome Prize, grants from Creative Capital and the Mid-Atlantic, residencies at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Yaddo and MacDowell Colony, and numerous university fellowships. Everson's films have screened at numerous international film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah; International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands; AFI Film Festival, Los Angeles, California; Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Peter Wilde Award for Technical Innovation, Eleven Eighty Two), Athens International Film Festival, Ohio (Experimental Film Award Second Shift), and many other festivals and venues. His films will be on exhibition at The Whitney Museum of American Art from April 28–September 11, 2011.

Roquinaldo Ferreira

Roquinaldo Ferreira

University of Virginia

Roquinaldo Ferreira is assistant professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Virginia. He received a Ph.D. in African History from UCLA in 2003. His research concentrates on Central Africa (Angola and Kongo) and the History of the Slave Trade.

Talk Title: A Comparative Approach to the Rise of African Studies in Brazil and the United States (1960s to the Present)
Abstract:

This presentation surveys the academic, political and geopolitical contexts that led to the institutionalization of African studies in Brazil and the United States beginning in the 1960s. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between area studies and African studies, as well as the production of academic knowledge in the context of the Cold War. The Brazilian case will be analyzed in light of State-sponsored legislation that has mandated the teaching the African History in all levels of the Brazilian educational system.

Rita Edozie

William Fletcher, Jr.

Labor, Racial Justice, and International Solidarity Activist

William "Bill" Fletcher, Jr. is a long-time racial justice, labor and international activist and writer. He is an editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com, Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum, and the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of "Solidarity Divided."

With a history of activism extending back to his high school years, Fletcher has been involved with the labor movement since graduating from college, having been a rank and file activist as well as a staff person in several unions as well as the national AFL-CIO (where he was the Education Director and later Assistant to then President John Sweeney). Fletcher is a syndicated writer who also frequently appears as a commentator on radio, television and the Web.

Talk Title: Black Workers, Labor Unions, and the Question of the Cities
Abstract:

This presentation examines the factors leading to the entrenchment of metropolitan segregation. It will focus specifically on the reorganization of the economy beginning in the 1970s, which had a tremendous impact on northern and western cities, and demographically on African American and Latino populations. Manufacturing began to decline and relocate (in some cases overseas; in other cases within the USA). This crisis overlapped with and affected organized labor, which saw its power declining as its percentage of the workforce shrunk due to several key reasons. The changes in the economy resulted in a struggle for control over cities and their direction, particularly with the introduction of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) as key economic players. A rebirth of the cities was accompanied by an effort to "cleanse" them along the planes of race and class. As a result of these intersecting forces, there is a moment for setting a new agenda and of building strategic alliances between the African American movement and organized labor at the metropolitan level. A worker-centered agenda would serve to expand democracy and construct an alternative economic strategy for the cities and metropolitan area that might include development and sharing the wealth.

Gertrude Fraser

Gertrude Fraser

University of Virginia (Woodson Fellow, 1985)

Gertrude Fraser is Vice Provost for Faculty Recruitment & Retention at the University of Virginia. She was a Program Officer in higher education at the Ford Foundation from 2000–2003 where she spearheaded initiatives on diversity in higher education and interdisciplinary programming in women's and African American studies. From 1998–2000, she was Director of the Undergraduate Program in Anthropology and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Carter G. Woodson Institute of African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. Ms. Fraser earned degrees from Bryn Mawr College and Johns Hopkins University, where she completed her Doctorate in Anthropology.

Her scholarship focuses on African American culture, community, and identity in the diaspora; race, gender and science; comparative body politics; genetics, ethics, and minority populations; and ethnohistory. She is committed to scholarship which emphasizes action on behalf of creating and strengthening opportunities for historically underrepresented groups in higher education. She is the author of African American Midwifery in the South: Dialogues of Birth, Race, and Memory (Harvard University Press).

Rita Edozie

Scot French

University of Virginia (Woodson Fellow 1994–1996)

Scot French (Ph.D., History, University of Virginia) is an historian of race, slavery, and collective memory in 19th and 20th century America. A 1994–96 Woodson pre-doctoral fellowship supported the completion of his dissertation, revised and published as The Rebellious Slave: Nat Turner in American Memory (Houghton Mifflin, 2004). He has served as assistant/associate/ interim director of the Woodson Institute (1997–2006) and director of the Virginia Center for Digital History (2006–2010). The Vinegar Hill website and film projects he is presenting at this symposium grew out of a series of Ford Foundation-funded collaborative research grants that he and Woodson director emeritus Reginald D. Butler administered through the Institute's Center for the Study of Local Knowledge/Race and Place Project (2000–2006). Through a mix of internships, independent study projects, and digital public history/community engagement courses, French has promoted student research and encouraged university-community dialogue on the history and legacy of the Vinegar Hill, from its 19th century origins to the present.

Talk Title:

That World Is Gone: Race and Displacement in a Southern Town

Abstract:

In the 1960s, Charlottesville's Vinegar Hill neighborhood - an African American residentialbusiness district that served as a vital community center under Jim Crow - was declared "blighted" by local authorities and demolished under the federally funded urban renewal program. Civic leaders and project boosters hailed the demolition/redevelopment project, coupled with the opening of modern public housing complexes for those displaced, as a much-needed facelift for the downtown area. Yet, for Charlottesville's African American citizens, many with personal ties to the Vinegar Hill neighborhood, the project left a gaping hole in the cultural landscape and produced a profound sense of loss that lingers to this day. Vinegar Hill, as a site of memory, has come to symbolize the displacement of the African American working and business classes; the destructive impact of urban renewal/gentrification on African American community life; and the erasure of African American history from Charlottesville's commemorative landscape.

This 20-minute film, produced by Scot French and directed by Lance Warren and Hannah Brown Ayers, explores the history and memory of Vinegar Hill through interviews with local residents and civic leaders. The film premiered at the Virginia Film Festival in mid-November and won the Audience Favorite Award for Best Short Documentary. Panel discussion to follow.

Alisha Gaines

Alisha Gaines

(Woodson Fellow 2009–2011)

Alisha Gaines is a Carter G. Woodson postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia. She earned her PhD in English and African American Studies from Duke University. She is currently working on her book manuscript, Black Like We Imagine Ourselves: Spectacular Fantasies of Race and Nation, which rethinks the political consequences of empathy by examining mid-to-late twentieth and twenty-first century narratives of racial impersonation enabled by the spurious alibi of racial reconciliation. She is a life-long fan of Michael Jackson.

Talk Title:

"Cosmopolitan Girlhood: Post-Race and Globalization on America's Next Top Model."

Abstract:

Created and hosted by diva mogul Tyra Banks, the competitive reality America's Next Top Model sparked controversy in its 13th cycle when each of the six remaining contestants had their skin darkened in order to become "biracial" and more specifically "hapa." Standing in a Hawaiian sugarcane field, Tyra excitedly explains: "What happens when men and women from different places come together? Babies! Lots of babies that are from different cultures. A mix. Hapa. Hapa means half in Hawaiian." Each woman is then assigned to perform a blending of two different ethnicities and/or nationalities as Tyra insists that Barack Obama is the "most famous hapa in the world." This paper argues that this grotesque oversimplification of the cultural specificity of Hawaiian labor history and vernacular is enabled by a hopeful investment in post-race discourse. It also contends that America's Next Top Model works via the endless supply of perpetually adolescent "girls" groomed to enable a consumerist fantasy of globalization and capital.

Rita Edozie

Paul Gaston

University of Virginia

Paul Gaston, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Virginia, was born and reared in Fairhope, Alabama, about which he has written two books. He is also the author of The New South Creed and Coming of Age in Utopia: The Odyssey of an Idea (November, 2010). A cofounder of the Woodson Institute he has received numerous awards and honors for both his professional work and civil rights leadership, including the outstanding professor award from the Commonwealth of Virginia; bridge builder recognition from the city of Charlottesville; legendary civil rights activist from the NAACP; and community leader, from his alma mater, Swarthmore College. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife of fifty-seven years, Mary Wilkinson Gaston.

Adom Getachew

Adom Getachew

Yale University (College 2009)

Adom Getachew is a second-year Ph.D. student in the departments of African-American Studies and Political Science at Yale University. Her interests include 20th century black political thought, critical theory and feminist theory. Most recently, she has written on the ways in which black women's experiences of sexual violence can help scholars rethink contemporary feminist responses to rape and sexual violence. She is also engaged in a project that looks at mid-20th century black intellectuals as resources for thinking through the "ends" of empire and the emerging human rights regime. Adom received her B.A. - with higher honors - from the University of Virginia in African-American Studies and Politics..

Talk Title:

A Detour in the (Recent) History of Student Activism at the Carter G. Woodson Institute: Reflections on Audacious Faith II

Abstract:

This paper examines the events leading up to and following the release of a 2008 student report entitled Audacious Faith II. The report appeared 20 years after a 1987 report by the same name, which was compiled by a task force of the Office of African-American Affairs. Acknowledging this historical precedent, students who produced "Audacious Faith II" in 2008 sought to intervene in the discussions around the University's Commission on the Future. They specifically sought to critically analyze the disjuncture between professed principles and institutional practices. Here, I assess students' analyses of black student life and their key recommendations, particularly their call for departmental status for African-American and African studies. In this detour through the recent history of student activism, I hope to illustrate the possibilities and limits of student-led initiatives.

Risa Goluboff

Risa Goluboff

University of Virginia

Risa Goluboff is Professor of Law and History and the Caddell & Chapman Research Professor. She teaches constitutional law, civil rights litigation, and legal and constitutional history. Her scholarship focuses on the history of civil rights, labor and constitutional law in the 20th century. Goluboff is a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in Constitutional Studies. She is using the fellowship to explore the demise of vagrancy law as part of the social transformations of the 1960s. Goluboff’s first book, The Lost Promise of Civil Rights (Harvard University Press, 2007), won the 2010 Order of the Coif Biennial Book Award and the 2008 James Willard Hurst Prize. Goluboff is also co-editor (with Myriam Gilles) of Civil Rights Stories (Foundation Press, 2008).

Goluboff earned her J.D. from Yale Law School, and her Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. She clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then for Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court. She joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 2002. Goluboff has also taught at the University of Cape Town as a Fulbright Scholar, and has served as a visiting professor at New York University Law School and Columbia Law School.

Talk Title:

Social Movements, the Supreme Court, and the Downfall of Vagrancy Laws

Abstract:

Around the same time that the University of Virginia was creating the Carter G. Woodson Institute thirty years ago, lawyers, judges, legal scholars, politicians, and activists were also engaging in a process of destruction. They were challenging, ultimately successfully, the longstanding regime of vagrancy laws that had been used to keep a variety of marginalized groups of people in their places for centuries. Though the impetus for these challenges came from a host of different people and organizations - from Vietnam War protestors and hippies to alcoholics and Skid Row "bums" to Communists and gays and lesbians - African Americans were key to these efforts and key to the courts' determination that vagrancy laws were unconstitutional. This paper will discuss the gradual process by which vagrancy laws were transformed from legitimate tools of law enforcement to illegitimate abuses of governmental power, and the role that everyday African Americans, civil rights protestors and organizations, and civil rights lawyers played in their demise.

Sharon Harley

Sharon Harley

University of Maryland

Professor Sharon Harley, Associate Professor and Chair of the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland, College Park, researches and teaches black women's labor history and racial and gender politics. A leading scholar in the field of black women's history, she is the editor and a contributor to the noted anthologies Sister Circle: Black Women and Work (Rutgers, 2002) and Women's Labor in the Global Economy: Speaking in Multiple Voices (Rutgers, 2008). Both of these publications resulted from two major Ford Foundation grants Dr. Harley received. Her most recent essay appears in Telling Histories: Black Women Historians in the Ivory Tower (UNC Press, 2008), edited by historian Deborah Gray White. Her Timetables of African American History was selected as a Book of the Month as well as History Book of the Month. Currently a fellow at the National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, she is at work on a book titled Imagine Reality: Black Women's Gender, Labor, and Citizenship, 1861–1920.

Claudrena Harold

Claudrena Harold

University of Virginia

Claudrena Harold is an Associate Professor in the Carter G. Woodson Institute of African- American and African Studies and the Corcoran Department of History, where she teaches Black Studies, African American history, and U.S. Labor history. She is the author of The Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South, 1918–1942, which chronicles the history of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) from the perspective of black women and men living below the Mason-Dixon Line. She is currently at work on No Ordinary Sacrifice: New Negro Politics in the Jim Crow South, 1917–1929, a book-length project that examines the critical role of the southern black majority in the making of New Negro modernity.

Talk Title:

Of the Wings of Atalanta: The Struggle for African American Studies at the University of Virginia, 1969-1995

Abstract:

Anything but peripheral to the institutional and political struggles of African American Studies in the post-Black Power era, the University of Virginia occupies an important place in the discipline’s history. Combined with its role as a major funding source for graduate students and advanced scholars with research interests in the history, culture, and politics of the African diaspora, UVA has been the site of passionate debates over African American Studies’ transformative potential in both the academy and the larger world.   It has also been an institution with a rather complex relationship to various schools of thought within African American Studies, due in no small part to internal divisions over the best way to advance the discipline’s pedagogical goals, research agenda, and political objectives.  Thus, the ways in which African American Studies has been conceptualized, practiced, and funded within the University must be held up to critical scrutiny. Especially in this current moment of fiscal retrenchment in which questions surrounding the fate of the humanities loom large in academic discourse, scholars housed in Black Studies units across the nation must speak honestly and critically about the institutions that influence the intellectual integrity and trajectory of the field. However, if such conversations are to produce meaningful change, they must be grounded in a firm understanding of the contested history of African American Studies. 

Toward that end, this essay traces the history of Black Studies at the University of Virginia, from the founding of the University’s Afro-American Studies program in the fall of 1970 to the institutionalization and maturation of the Carter G. Woodson Institute under the directorship of Armstead L. Robinson.

 

Claudrena Harold

Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton

University of Virginia (Woodson Fellow 1991–1993)

Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. She is also the Associate Director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, where she directs the Institute's undergraduate program. She is the author of Women of Fire and Spirit: History, Faith and Gender in Roho Religion in Western Kenya as well as a number of articles and book chapters on religious movements in East Africa.

Brandi Hughes

Brandi Hughes

University of Michigan (Woodson Fellow 2007–2009)

Brandi Hughes is an Assistant Professor of History and American Culture at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her research and teaching examine the role of religion in the reconstruction of the post-emancipation U.S and the significance of Christianity in the cultural and political development of the African diaspora in the 19th and early 20th centuries. An alum of the Woodson pre-doctoral fellowship program (2007-2009), Hughes is currently completing a manuscript that studies the entanglements of evangelical nationalism and diaspora in African American missions to colonial Africa.

Tera Hunter

Tera Hunter

Princeton University (Woodson Fellow 1987–1989)

Tera W. Hunter is a scholar of U. S. history, with specializations in African-American, gender, labor, and the South. Particularly interested in the history of slavery and freedom, she is currently writing a book on African-American marriages in the nineteenth century. Her first book To 'Joy my Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors after the Civil War (Harvard), received several prizes, including the H. L. Mitchell Award from the Southern Historical Association, the Letitia Brown Memorial Book Prize from the Association of Black Women's Historians, and the Book of the Year Award from the International Labor History Association. She was a Mary I. Bunting Institute Fellow, at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, 2005–2006. She received her B. A. from Duke University and Ph.D. from Yale University.

Talk Title:

The Making of a People's History: the Promises and Challenges of Writing a Narrative History of African Americans

Abstract:

In 1922, Carter G. Woodson wrote The Negro in Our History, which was a treatment of African- American history starting with African history and going up through the early twentieth century for "the average reader." Writing synthetic histories thus has a long legacy among scholars in the field. My co-authors (Robin D. G. Kelley, Earl Lewis) and I are writing such a book designed for a general audience and can also be used as a college text. The book is tentatively called The Making of a People: A History of African Americans and is under contract with a major publisher. The book will look at African American history within a global context; synthesize the latest research; and incorporate race, class, gender, and sexuality among categories of analyses. My presentation will discuss some of the promises and challenges of this project.

Z’etoile Imma

Z’etoile Imma

University of Virginia (Woodson Fellow 2010–2012)

Z"étoile Imma is a pre-doctoral fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. Her dissertation project examines African masculinities and spatial politics in contemporary African feminist fiction and film. She has published essays on gender, the body, sexual violence, and representation in African texts including a recent article entitled "Troubling the "Venus Hottentot" and Scientific Racism in Bessie Head's Maru and Ama Ata Aidoo's Our Sister Killjoy" which is forthcoming in the edited collection: Representation and Black Womanhood: The Legacy of Sara Baartman. She is the technical editor of Ìrìnkèrindò: Journal of African Migration.

Brandi Hughes

Petrina Jackson

University of Virginia

Petrina Jackson joined the staff of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library as Head of Instruction and Outreach in June 2008. Her responsibilities center on developing and delivering a broad range of instructional programs using the library's holdings of rare books, manuscripts, and cultural artifacts to enrich the teaching and learning experiences of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students according to their curricular needs. She also coordinates library outreach to the general public.

From 2002 to 2008, Petrina worked at the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University Library, where she served as senior assistant archivist. In this capacity, she fulfilled various outreach roles. She previously taught English at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois, for 7 years. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Iowa State University and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Talk Title:

From SNCC to Pop Icon: Exploring Student Use of the Julian Bond Papers

Abstract:

During the University of Virginia's Fall Semester 2010, Julian Bond taught the course HIUS 3671: History of the Civil Rights Movement, which focused on the southern Civil Rights movement, mostly from 1955 to 1968. Students in the class had an option to write a paper, using research from the Julian Bond papers, held at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. This talk explores some of their work.

Waldo Johnson

Waldo Johnson

University of Chicago

Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D., MSWis Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration, faculty affiliate and immediate past director, Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago. He is also Research Associate, Program for Research on Black Americans, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. He teaches social welfare policy, human behavior in the social environment and research methods in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs. A family scholar, his research focuses on father involvement among low-income, unwed African American fathers and the relationship between African American males’ physical and mental health statuses on their family and societal role assumptions and performance across the life course. Most recently, he has been a consultant to the Chicago Community Trust as well as the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago in the development of their respective African American Male Initiatives. His book, Social Work with African American Males: Health, Mental Health and Social Policy (Oxford Press, 2010) examines on the developmental and social challenges and barriers experienced African American males across the life course. He is also interested in the use of qualitative research methods for guiding social policy. He is a member of the Ford Foundation Scholars Network on Masculinity and the Wellbeing of African American Males; a member of the National Steering Committee and Fatherhood Subcommittee chair, 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys; and serves as the inaugural chair of the Commission on Research for the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). During the Winter 2011, he will be a visiting scholar at Clare Hall, Cambridge University and the University of Cape Town. Johnson holds a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Chicago, MSW from the University of Michigan and B.A. from Mercer University. He was a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Poverty Research and Training Center and the Program for Research on Black Americans at the University of Michigan.

Talk Title:

Male Roles within the African American Family and Kinship Network: Historical Perspectives, Contemporary Challenges and Future Opportunities

Abstract:

The African American family, as an American institution, has demonstrated incredible strength and resilience from its evolution on American shores to its current status. However, its historical presence has also been characterized by numerous structural, political and social challenges.

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the African American family's historical context, how its adaptability has sustained its survival over time, and contemporary challenges which continue to threaten its existence as an institution bulwark. Particular attention will be wgiven to male roles in African American family and kinship networks and the developmental, economic, and social implications of their roles and engagement for the African American family's survival and future.

Brenda Marie Osbey

Michelle Kisliuk

University of Virginia

Michelle Kisliuk, Associate Professor, received the doctorate in Performance Studies from New York University in 1991. Integrating theory and practice, she specializes in a performance approach to ethnographic writing and research, and in an ethnographic and critical approach to performing. Since 1986 she has researched the music, dance, daily life, socioesthetics, and cultural politics of forest people (BaAka) in the Central African Republic, and has also written about urban music/dance and modernity in Bangui (the capital city). In addition, her work extends to the socioesthetics of jam sessions at bluegrass festivals in the United States. Her published essays have appeared in collections including Shadows in the Field (Oxford University Press), Teaching Performance Studies (University of Southern Illinois Press), Performing Ethnomusicology (University of California Press) and Music and Gender (University of Illinois Press). Her book, Seize the Dance! BaAka Musical Life and the Ethnography of Performance (Oxford University Press) won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award. She has been a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and a Laura Boulton Senior Fellow in Ethnomusicology. Her current research/writing project is a collection of theoretical essays and case studies that address the ongoing project of performance ethnography, focusing in particular on her recent research with the House of Israel community in Western Ghana. Along with her academic teaching in Music in Everyday Life and Field Research and Ethnography of Performance, she directs the UVA African Music and Dance Ensemble.

Brenda Marie Osbey

Frederick Knight

(Woodson Fellow 2001–2002)

Frederick Knight is an associate professor at Colorado State University, where he specializes in African-American and African-Diaspora History. After graduating summa cum laude from Morehouse College, he pursued his doctoral studies at the University of California, Riverside. While working on his dissertation, he spent a year of research at the University of Ghana. Formerly a postdoctoral fellow at the Woodson Institute, he has also held fellowships at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of California, Riverside. Before taking his current academic position at Colorado State, he was on the faculty of the University of Memphis. He has authored numerous articles and book chapters, and recently published a book-length study titled Working the Diaspora: The Impact of African Labor on the Anglo-American World, 1650–1850 (NYU Press, 2010).

Herbert Timothy Lovelace

Herbert Timothy Lovelace (Armstead Robinson Fellow, 2010–2012)

University of Virginia

Herbert "Tim" Lovelace received his B.A. with Distinction in American Politics from the University of Virginia in 2003 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2006. From 2006 through 2010, he served as the Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. He is currently the Armstead L. Robinson fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies and a doctoral student in History at the University. His research examines how civil rights activism in the U.S. South informed the development of international human rights law.

Deborah E. McDowell

Deborah E. McDowell

University of Virginia

Deborah McDowell is Director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute and Alice Griffin Professor of English. She is the founding editor of the Beacon Black Women Writers Series, co-editor with Arnold Rampersad of Slavery and the Literary Imagination, and period editor of the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature. She is also the author of "The Changing Same": Studies in Fiction by Black American Women (Indiana University Press), Leaving Pipe Shop: Memories of Kin (Charles Scribner's and W. W. Norton) and the editor of various scholarly editions - including Nella Larsen's Quicksand and Passing and Frederick Douglass's 1845 Narrative of the Life. She has published numerous essays and review essays on African American literature, culture, photography and film.

Kelly Miller

Susan McKinnon

University of Virginia

Susan McKinnon is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the Unversity of Virginia. Her books include From a Shattered Sun: Hierarchy, Gender, and Alliance in the Tanimbar Islands (1991) and Neo-liberal Genetics: The Myths and Moral Tales of Evolutionary Psychology (2005) as well as the edited volumes, Relative Values: Reconfiguring Kinship Studies (with Sarah Franklin, 2001) and Complexities: Beyond Nature and Nurture (with Sydel Silverman, 2005). She is currently writing a book on cousin marriage in the US and is in the final stages of preparing a co-edited volume (with Fenella Cannell) entitled Vital Relations: Kinship as a Critique of the Concept of Modernity.

Kelly Miller

Kelly Miller

University of Virginia

Kelly Miller is the Head of Programs and Public Outreach at the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture at the University of Virginia.

Kelly Miller

Dei Ashilei Nikoi

University of Virginia (College 2011)

Dei Ashilei Nikoi is a 4th year music major at the University. Originally from Gretna, Louisiana, she was raised in Virginia for most of her life. Ms. Nikoi transferred to the University from the University of North Carolina-at Chapel Hill in 2008. Since then, she has been heavily involved in the University Singers, Opera Viva, and the Kappa Rho chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Although she dreamt of becoming a lawyer, her first love has always been music. On March 26, 2011 she gave her Distinguished Major voice recital, the first in university history given by an African-American. Post graduation, she will take the 2011–2012 year off from school to continue work with the Environmental Protection Agency and prepare for graduate school auditions. Ms. Nikoi plans to pursue a full-time professional opera career.

Brenda Marie Osbey

Brenda Marie Osbey

Poet Laureate of Louisiana and Professor of English, Louisiana State University

Brenda Marie Osbey is the author of All Saints: New and Selected Poems (LSU Press, 1997, 1999, 2005), which received the 1998 American Book Award. She is the author also of Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman (Story Line Press, 1991), In These Houses (Wesleyan University Press, 1988) and Ceremony for Minneconjoux (Callaloo Poetry Series, 1983; University Press of Virginia, 1985).

Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, anthologies and collections including Atlantic Studies, Illuminations, Callaloo,Obsidian,Essence, Renaissance Noire, Southern Review, Early Ripening: American Women's Poetry Now, The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry, 2PLUS2: A Collection of International Writing, Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, Epoch, The American Voice, and The American Poetry Review. Her essays on New Orleans appear in The American Voice,Georgia Review,BrightLeaf,Southern Literary Journal and Creative Nonfiction.

Osbey appears as a commentator on New Orleans Black culture and history in Faubourg Tremé: the Untold Story of Black New Orleans (Serendipity Films, 2007) and Claiming Open Spaces (Urban Garden Films/ PBS, 1996). A public television short feature on her work, entitled "Native Daughter" aired in 1999, and an independent film of Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman has been undertaken by Urban Garden Films.

Brenda Marie Osbey received the B.A. from Dillard University, the M.A. from the University of Kentucky, and also attended the Université Paul Valéry at Montpellier, France. She has taught French, English and African World literatures at Dillard University; African American and Third World literatures at the University of California at Los Angeles; African American literature and creative writing at Loyola University; and has twice been appointed Visiting Writer-in-residence at Tulane University and Scholar-in-residence at Southern University. She currently teaches at Louisiana State University.

In 2005 – 07 she was appointed the first peer-selected Poet Laureate of the State of Louisiana. Brenda Marie Osbey is a native of New Orleans.

Cheryl Oestreicher

Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History

Cheryl Oestreicher received her MLIS from Dominican University in 2004 and an M.Phil. in Modern History and Literature from Drew University in 2007. Prior to this project, Cheryl was a project archivist at the University of Chicago for the Chicago Jazz Archive and contemporary poetry collections; managed the Drew University Archives; and was a John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fellow at Princeton University. Cheryl is pursuing a Ph.D. in Modern History and Literature at Drew University and is a Part-Time Instructor at Georgia State University.

Jemima Pierre

Jemima Pierre

Vanderbilt University (Woodson Fellow 2000–2002)

Jemima Pierre earned her PhD in Anthropology with a specialization in the African Diaspora from The University of Texas at Austin.  She is currently a professor in the Program in African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University.  Her research focus is on ideologies and practices of race and its relationship to global structures of power in Africa and the African diaspora.  She has extensive ethnographic research experience in Ghana (West Africa), Haiti, and among Black immigrant communities in the U.S.  Her upcoming book, Race Across the Atlantic: Postcolonial Africa and the Predicaments of Blackness, is an ethnographic study of race-making in urban Ghana.  She is also completing a second book manuscript, “Racial Americanization: Conceptualizing Black Immigrants in the U.S.”  Dr. Pierre’s many articles have appeared in journals such as: American Anthropologist, Identities, Social Text, Feminist Review, Transforming Anthropology, Cultural Dynamics, and Philosophia Africana

Dr. Pierre was last year’s William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, Vanderbilt University.  She has also been the recipient of a number of fellowships from major organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, The Smithsonian Institution, the Social Science Research Council, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the David  C. Driskell Center for African Diaspora Studies.  She is a proud alumna of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies (Pre-Doctoral Fellow, 2000-2002).

Talk Title:

Writing Ghana, Imagining Africa, and Interrogating Diaspora

Abstract:

In this paper, I will use my research work in Ghana to make two interlinked central propositions. First, I make the case both for recognizing postcolonial African societies (beyond southern Africa) as structured through and by global white supremacy, and for addressing such societies - particularly those outside of Southern Africa - within current discussions of race and Blackness. Second, I argue that racialization processes in postcolonial Africa are such that they render analogous the experiences and relationships of continental Africans and those of African descent in the diaspora. These are not new ideas; but they are a contemporary response to what has become, in prominent circles, a clear divide between studies that deal with Africa on the one hand, and those that address race and transnational Blackness on the other. This is part of a larger project that seeks to make the case for a re-theorization of the relationship between the African diaspora and the African continent with specific reference to the place of race in history, identity, and politics on both sides of the transatlantic social formation. I am attempting to provoke a rethinking of the contours of Black identity formations by calling for the mutual interrogation of the practices and experiences of modern Black continental African and diaspora communities.

Dorothy Roberts

Hermine Pinson

College of William and Mary

Associate professor of English, Hermine Pinson is an author, poet and singer. Her latest work in progress, Promises to Keep: A Memoir of Healing, explores writing as therapy. Pinson began the work after recovering from serious illness, a brain tumor diagnosed in 2004. On the William and Mary faculty since 1992, she teaches courses in Modern African American literature, literature of the African Diaspora, and creative writing. She has also published a collection of poems, Dolores is blue/Dolorez is Blues (2007) and co-authored, Critical Voicings of Black Liberation: Resistance and Representations in the Americas. (2003) Pinson also recorded a CD, "Changing the Changes," in 2006.

Dorothy Roberts

Andrea Press

University of Virginia

Andrea Press is Chair of the Media Studies Department and Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, and is the Executive Director of the Virginia Film Festival. She came to the University of Virginia in 2006 to shepherd the Media Studies Program to departmental status and to begin its graduate program. Her last appointment was at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, where she directed the Media Studies Program for nine years, was one of the producers of the Roger Ebert Festival of Overlooked Films, received the Arnold O. Beckman award for excellence in research, and was the recipient of a faculty fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the year before she left. Her M.A. and PhD are in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley and her B.A is in sociology and anthropology from Bryn Mawr College.

She has a wide range of interdisciplinary interests spanning the social sciences and the humanities which comprise Media Studies. Prior to coming to the University of Virginia, Professor Press has held faculty positions at the University of California at Davis, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, and the London School of Economics in departments as diverse as communications, sociology, writing studies, social psychology, and women’s studies. She held an NEH Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Medical College of the University of Kentucky, was scholar-in-residence at the Stanhope Center for Communications Policy Research, and is the recipient of several grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Danforth Foundation, and Soroptimist International.

Dorothy Roberts

Sarah Quigley

Emory University

Sarah Quigley is currently a Project Archivist in the Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library at Emory University. Sarah works on the records of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Her position is part of a grant project funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) for Cataloging Hidden Special Collections.

Sarah Quigley received her MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin School of Information in 2007. Before joining the team at Emory to process the SCLC records, she worked for two years processing the congressional papers of former Senator Jesse Helms. Sarah also has a B.A. in History, and became a Certified Archivist in 2008.

James

James "J.T." Roane

Former Woodson Student and Columbia University Graduate Student

J.T. Roane is a 2008 alumnus of both the Carter G. Woodson Institute and the Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) hosted by the Center for Third World Organizing based in Oakland, CA. He was born and raised in rural Tappahannock, Virginia. He is currently a second year PhD student in the History Department at Columbia University in New York City and he is working on a project that is a historical examination of what today is called the "obesityepidemic."

Talk Title:

The "Obesity Epidemic": Fleshing out Black Studies

Abstract:

In this paper James "J.T" Roane will explore his proposed dissertation project on the "obesity epidemic" in relation to his own intellectual development as a student at the Carter G. Woodson Institute. Mr. Roane will use his own rearing and current intellectual questions to explore possibly productive paths for future projects within Black Studies, particularly centered on the intersections of racial formation, science, medicine, and public health.

Dorothy Roberts

Dorothy Roberts

Northwestern University

Dorothy Roberts is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Northwestern University School of Law, with joint appointments in the Departments of African American Studies and Sociology (by courtesy) and as faculty fellow of the Institute for Policy Research. She has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues concerning reproduction, bioethics, and child welfare. She is the author of the award-winning Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (1997) and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (2002) and more than 70 articles in scholarly journals, including Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, and Stanford Law Review, as well as co-editor of six casebooks and anthologies on gender and constitutional law. Professor Roberts has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Fordham; a fellow at Harvard University's Program in Ethics and the Professions and Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity; and a Fulbright scholar at the Centre for Gender and Development Studies in Trinidad-Tobago. She serves on the boards of directors of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, and Generations Ahead. Her latest book, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century, will be published by The New Press in July 2011.

Talk Title:

Race, Gender, and Biopolitics in the Genomic Age

Abstract:

For centuries there has been a reproductive caste system in the United States that stratifies reproduction by race and class, illustrated by policies that penalize poor nonwhite women's child childbearing while the high tech fertility industry promoted childbearing among more affluent white women. In recent years, however, companies that market race-based biotechnologies promise to extend the benefits of genetic research to people of color, and media that promote reprogenetic technologies routinely feature their images. At the same time, the expanding role of genetic screening may support the wider incorporation of genetic technologies into the neoliberal and racialized health care system. I will argue that we need a new analysis of race, gender, and reproduction that accounts for the changing biopolitics in America.

Samuel Roberts

Samuel Roberts

Columbia University (College 1995)

Samuel Roberts is Associate Professor of History (Columbia University) and a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences in the Mailman School of Public Health (Columbia University). He writes, teaches, and lectures widely on historical perspectives in African-American health history, urban history, and the history of social movements. His book, titled Infectious Fear: Politics and the Health Effects of Segregation in the Jim Crow Urban South (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) is an exploration of the political economy of health and tuberculosis control between the late nineteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, a periodization which encompasses both the Jim Crow era and the period from the bacteriological revolution to the advent of antimicrobial therapies. Contrary to conventional interpretations, Roberts argues that the local politics of race and labor greatly influenced the evolution of antituberculosis measures and the development of the early public health state. He has held several fellowships, including the Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellowship (Dartmouth College, 2000-2001); the Schomburg Center for Black History and Culture (New York Public Library) Scholar in Residence Fellowship (2001-2002); a fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars (New York Public Library, 2005-2006); and a Career Development Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (also 2005-06). Roberts received his AB in History and African-American Studies at the University of Virginia, his MA in History at Princeton University, and his Ph.D. in History at Princeton University.

Along with his faculty membership in Columbia University’s Department of History, Dr. Roberts has affiliations with the University’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS), Columbia University’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy’s (ISERP), and the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program (H&SS), where he served as Coordinator of the RWJ’s Working Group in African-American History and the Health and Social Sciences (AAHHSS).

Talk Title:

Historical Thinking, Mixed Methodologies, and the "Heroin Epidemic" of 1960–1973

Abstract:

At various points in history, journalists and pundits, politicians, cultural critics, and even public health professionals have talked about so-called "epidemics" of drug use. What many of them (and many of us) haven't realized is that drug use behavior often follows a classical "epidemic" pattern, thus metaphors of "predisposition," "contagion," and "transmission" might all be wrong

Mildred Robinson

Mildred Robinson

University of Virginia

Mildred Robinson is Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation Professor of Law and E. James Kelly, Jr. Class of 1965 Research Professor of Law.A member of the faculty since 1985, she teaches federal, state and local tax law, as well as trusts and estates. She has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Board of Trustees of the Law School Admission Council, the inaugural Board of Directors for Law Access, Inc. (currently The Access Group), and the Board of Visitors for the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.

She was a Commissioner from Virginia to the National Conference on Uniform State Laws from 1990-94 and served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools from 2000-03. She is a member of the American Law Institute. Here at home, she has chaired the Boards of Trustees of Piedmont Court Appointed Special Advocates (PCASA) (2004 thru 2006) and the Martha Jefferson Hospital (2008).She is the editor, with Richard Bonnie, of Law Touched Our Hearts: A Generation Remembers Brown v. Board of Education, (Vanderbilt Press, 2009).

Talk Title:

The Current Economic Crisis: The Legacy of Race and Gender and Employment

Abstract:

In this paper, I examine the impact of the recession of 2007 by gender and by race. I also examine its impact on the American middle class. In so doing, I present an overview of the economic history of the black middle class in an effort to identify those factors that render that group particularly vulnerable to economic stress. I conclude that the recession will likely adversely affect the size and economic strength of the middle class in general and the black middle class is particular.

Rhonda Sharpe

Rhonda Sharpe

Bennett College

Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe currently serves as an Association Professor of Economics at Bennett College for Women, the Director of Financial Literacy at Bennett College for Women and the Associate Director for the Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics at the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke University. She was the 2008-09 Institute of Higher Education Law & Governance Fellow at the University of Houston Law Center. From 2000 – 2004, she served as a Carolina Minority Postdoctoral Fellow in the economics department at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has served on the faculty at Barnard College, Columbia University, and the University of Vermont. Her research focuses on three primary areas: affirmative action policies and their impact on faculty diversity; the impact of disparate treatment in education policy; and discrimination in labor and sports markets. She earned her Ph.D. in economics and mathematics from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from North Carolina Wesleyan College.

Talk Title:

Disappearing Acts: Trends in Tenure Track Positions

Abstract:

Bowen and Sosa (1989) suggested that 85 percent of projected demand for faculty for the interval 1987 – 2012 will be due to replacement rather than net growth in the number of positions. Bowen and Sosa did not consider the structural changes in composition of faculty, i.e., distribution of faculty in tenure and non-tenure track positions. Using the Survey of Doctorate Recipients this paper examines trends in tenure and non-tenure track for positions with a focus on the social sciences. Initial findings suggest a decrease in the number of tenure track positions, but that white women have the largest percentage increase in both tenure track and non-tenure track positions.

Parker Shipton

Parker Shipton

Boston University Professor of Anthropology (Woodson Fellow 1989)

Parker Shipton is Professor of Anthropology and Research Fellow in African Studies at Boston University. He is Series Editor of the Blackwell Anthologies in Social and Cultural Anthropology and Co-editor of On the Human, an interdisciplinary online forum of the National Humanities Center. His past research has concentrated in economic, legal, and symbolic anthropology and the history of social studies. Topics of his research, teaching, and writing have included agriculture, food, and hunger; credit and debt; land rights, attachment, and belonging; kinship and fictive kinship; ritual and sequencing; human rights; and the human classification and treatment of other animals. He has conducted most of his field research in tropical Africa, especially western Kenya and The Gambia.

He has taught at Harvard University and held visiting appointments at the University of Virginia and Yale University, as well as the University of Nairobi, Kenya; University of Padua, Italy; and Waseda University, Japan. A former Marshall Scholar, Shipton has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from scholarly organizations including the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Social Science Research Council, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, among others. He has also served as a researcher for various international aid organizations. He is a former president of the Association for Africanist Anthropology, a section of the American Anthropological Association.

His first monograph was Bitter Money: Cultural Economy and some African Meanings of Forbidden Commodities. His recent trilogy includes The Nature of Entrustment: Intimacy, Exchange, and the Sacred in Africa (2007); Mortgaging the Ancestors: Ideologies of Attachment in Africa (2009), and Credit Between Cultures: Farmers, Financiers, and Misunderstanding in Africa (2010), all from Yale University Press. His research and writing have been awarded distinctions including the Curl Prize of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Melville J. Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association. His current writing projects include works on concepts of savagery, human-animal gaps and overlaps, interlinked ritual sequencing, and the outer reach of kinship.

Talk Title:

The Kin and the Kind: A Reflection on Intimacy, Animality, and Civility in Africa

Abstract:

Humans have varying ways to assess likeness and intimacy. Most also have strong feelings about where to delimit family, race, or species, however defined. Does extending our imagination about sentience and consciousness to other sorts of animated beings risk diluting our loyalty, robbing attention from our nearer kin or kind -- or instead stretch our capacity to empathize and accommodate? Drawing on experience from Africa's eastern equatorial lake region and western Sahel (with brief comparisons from native America), this paper reflects on ways history, language, and idiom can affect how people delimit belonging and responsibility and allocate efforts at empathy. We seldom do so consistently. Histories of personal exposure to animals, sequenced origin stories, and idioms of rule and enslavement may all contribute to whether we seek to hierarchize races and species, and whether we define mind, culture, and society as leaving animals in or out. How we draw the lines and zigzags affects how we interpret research suggesting human animality, exploring animal thought, and prompting advocacy about universal rights of differently enabled living things. Rather than setting up humans (or certain humans) as extra-evolved, speaking of "missing links" between human and animal (as slavers, colonizers, and scholars have done in times of imperial expansion), or carving disciplines in ways that leave sentience unstudied, ought we more humbly to recognize what links and likenesses already connect us all?

Z.S. Strother

Columbia University (Woodson Fellow 1990–1992)

Professor Strother, Riggio Professor of African Art at Columbia, is a specialist in Central and West African art history, with a special focus on the twentieth century (both colonial and postcolonial). She has conducted research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mali, and Senegal. Her book, Inventing Masks: Agency and History in the Art of the Central Pende, was awarded the Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award by the Arts Council of the African Studies Association for works published, 1998–2000. Her current research focuses on the history of iconoclasm in Africa.

Talk Title:

African Iconoclasts: the Massa Movement of Côte d’Ivoire, 1946-56

Abstract:

Beginning in the 1910s, iconoclastic movements of significant scale have moved across West Africa, crossing international borders and stimulating debates in numerous cultural communities about the role of sculpture. This talk will analyze the impact of one such movement, which has a documented relationship to museum collections around the world. In particular, the creation of a new temple form provides critical evidence for interpreting the passions fueling massive destruction.

Deborah Thomas

Deborah Thomas

University of Pennsylvania

Deborah A. Thomas received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from New York University 2000, and is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Group in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her appointment at Penn, she spent two years as a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for the Americas at Wesleyan University, and four years as a Professor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke. Her first book, Modern Blackness: Nationalism, Globalization, and The Politics of Culture in Jamaica (Duke University Press, 2004), focused on the changing relationships among the political and cultural dimensions of nationalism, globalization, and popular culture. Thomas has also co-edited the volume Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness (Duke University Press, 2006) with Kamari Clarke, a special issue of the journal Identities titled "Caribbeanist Anthropologies at the Crossroads" (2007) with Karla Slocum, and a special issue of Feminist Review called "Gendering Diaspora" (2008) with Tina M. Campt. Her new book, Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica, will be published by Duke University Press in fall 2011. Prior to her life as an academic, Thomas was a professional dancer with the New York-based Urban Bush Women. She was also a Program Director with the National Council for Research on Women, an international working alliance of women's research and policy centers whose mission is to enhance the connections among research, policy analysis, advocacy, and innovative programming on behalf of women and girls. She currently sits on the Editorial Committee of the Caribbean-based journal Social and Economic Studies, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Studies Association.

Talk Title:

Deviant Black Bodies:Violence in Transnational Discourses of Cultural Dysfunction

Abstract:

This paper addresses the proliferation of violence in the postcolonial Caribbean, and specifically the way it has shaped popular discourse regarding working-class Jamaicans. It examines the discourses which traffic in the popular perception that Jamaicans exhibit a "culture of violence," arguing that the roots of this discourse lie in the earlier mobilization of the "culture of poverty" trope. Both discourses - "culture of violence" and "culture of poverty" - emerged from culturalist approaches to understanding inequality. Accelerating noticeably after World War II, such discourses identified black working-class "dysfunction" as having its roots in a "deviant" family structure. This approach to understanding black families , transnational in scope, has had specific but related effects among different diasporic (in the sense of worldwide black community) populations. While these populations move and create diasporas (in the sense of transnational migrant communities), the discourse of dysfunction moves with them. The paper ultimately argues that the movement from a mid-twentieth century emphasis on state-centered industrial modernization to the global neo-liberalism of the late-twentieth/early twenty-first century has the potential to generate new ideas about the relationships among black masculinity, black family formation, and modern development.

Gregory Thomas

Gregory Thomas

Syracuse University

Greg Thomas is an Associate Professor of Black Studies in English at Syracuse University. The founding editor of PROUD FLESH, an electronic journal, he is the author of The Sexual Demon of Colonial Power: Pan-African Embodiment and Erotic Schemes of Empire (Indiana UP, 2007) as well as Hip-Hop Revolution in the Flesh: Power, Knowledge and Pleasure in Lil' Kim's Lyricism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). He is also a co-editor with L.H. Stallings of Word Hustle: Critical Essays and Reflections on the Works of Donald Goines (Forthcoming, Black Classic Press, March 2011). Currently, he is at work on a critical study of the intellectual politics of George L. Jackson.

Laura Thomson

Amistad Research Center

Laura J. Thomson is the Director of Processing at the Amistad Research Center. She began her studies in history at the State University of New York at Brockport, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1991. From there she enrolled in the University of South Carolina's Masters of Library and Information Science program, completing her studies in 1994 with a specialization in archival management. Laura has been an archivist for over eight years both in the United States and Australia. During her time in Australia she had the opportunity to study bookbinding and book restoration at the Central Metropolitan College of TAFE in Perth. She was awarded an NEH Scholarship to Rutgers University's Preservation Management Institute 2004-2005, where she completed a certificate in preservation management. In 2005, Laura decided to continue her studies in bookbinding full-time in the Masters of Fine Arts in the Book Arts program at the University of Alabama under the instruction of master printer Steve Miller and bookbinder/conservator Anna Embree.

Gregory Thomas

Dennis Tyler

University of Virginia (Woodson Fellow, 2010–2012)

Dennis Tyler is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia's Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies. He received his B.A. in English at Stanford University and his Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. He specializes in African-American literature, disability studies, critical race studies, and cultural studies. Currently, Tyler is working on a book-length project titled Disability of Color: Figuring the Black Body in American Law, Literature, and Culture, which examines how disability as experience and as discourse has shaped racial subjecthood for African Americans.

Gregory Thomas

Brian Wagner

University of California-Berkeley (Woodson Fellow 2001–2003)

Bryan Wagner is associate professor in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Disturbing the Peace: Black Culture and the Police Power after Slavery (Harvard University Press, 2009). He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia.

Jonathan Walton

Jonathan Walton

Harvard University

Social ethicist and African American religious studies scholar Jonathan L. Walton joined the faculty of Harvard Divinity School in July 2010. Formerly an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of California, Riverside, Walton earned his PhD in religion and society from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also holds a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary as well as a BA in political science from Morehouse College in Atlanta. His research addresses the intersections of religion, politics, and media culture. Drawing on British cultural studies, Walton explores the interrelationship between the media used by African American evangelists and the theologies thereby conveyed. He argues for forms of theological innovation within the productions of black religious broadcasting that are enabled - perhaps even generated - by the media that evangelists use, and he asks what the implications are for the study of African American religions when one attends to these particular forms of religious and theological expression. His first book, Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism (NYU Press, 2009), is an important intervention into the study of American religion. As he explains, those working on Christian religious broadcasting have given little attention to the phenomenon outside of white, conservative, evangelical communities, while black liberation theologians have yet to give careful attention to televisual representation as a site of theological production.

Talk Title:

Black Gods of the Mediasphere

Abstract:

It is difficult to deny the prominence or prevalence of the mass media on Protestant evangelical practices. There is indeed an undeniable correlation between media visibility and religious viability. Colossal congregations, mammoth ministries and popular preachers utilize television, cyber-technologies and other forms of media publishing as a means of social authority and political influence. Thus, it's important to wrestle with the following questions: What are the prevailing theological and political discourses of the evangelical mediasphere? What cultural symbols, explicit and implicit, do these preachers commonly reference? And what are the ideological implications of their cultural significations?

Jonathan Walton

Dorian Warren

Columbia University

Dorian T. Warren is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He is also a faculty affiliate at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies. Warren specializes in the study of inequality and American politics, focusing on the political organization of marginalized groups. His research and teaching interests include race and ethnic politics, labor politics, urban politics, American political development, social movements and social science methodology.

His work has been published in several journals and edited volumes including the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law,New Labor Forum,Du Bois Review, National Political Science Review, and Social Service Review.

Warren received his B.A. from the University of Illinois and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He has been a Post-Doctoral Scholar and Visiting Faculty at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and has received research fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies and the University of Notre Dame.

Jonathan Walton

Karen Waters

Quality Community Council

Karen Waters began her work in the non-profit arena as a board member for the Elementary Institute of Science and Volunteer Spokesperson for READ San Diego. In 2001 she graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelors and masters degrees. Prior to being hired by the City Manager as Director of the Quality Community Council, Karen served on the staff of the late Senator Emily Couric, and worked for the Carter G. Woodson Institute as well as a number of non-profits including MACAA, Planned Parenthood, Jaunt and the Under Fives Study Center. Karen currently is Chair of the City of Charlottesville Housing Advisory Committee, a member of the School Health Advisory Board, City Market Task force, and has sat on a number of boards and commissions including the Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, AHIP Board of Directors, Piedmont Housing Alliance Board of Directors, Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, and the Governor’s Task Force on Crime in the Minority Community.

Meredith Jung-En Woo

Meredith Jung-En Woo

University of Virginia

Meredith Jung-En Woo has served as the Buckner W. Clay Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences since June 2008. She came to the University of Virginia from the University of Michigan, where she served most recently as professor of political science and associate dean for the social sciences in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Prior to her eight years on the Michigan faculty, she taught for 12 years at Northwestern University, where she helped rebuild the department of political science and co-founded the Center for International and Comparative Studies.

An expert on international political economy and East Asian politics, she has written and edited seven books, and was the executive producer of an award-winning documentary film about Stalin’s ethnic cleansing of Koreans living in Russia during the Great Terror.

A native of Seoul who was educated in Seoul and Tokyo through high school, she came to the United States to study at Bowdoin College in Maine. She completed her master’s and doctoral degrees in international affairs, Latin American studies, and political science at Columbia University.

Deva Woodly

Deva Woodly

The New School for Social Research (College 2001)

Deva Woodly is an Assistant Professor of Politics jointly appointed at the New School for Social Research and Lang College. Her chief area of interest is exploring the affect of mediated political discourse on the political choices of ordinary citizens, candidates, and as well as the scope and content of American political landscape as a whole. Her work has been particularly focused on ways to conceive of and measure the impact of rhetoric as a legitimate tool in the clockwork of mass democracy, with special interest in persuasive speech as a site of action that has the potential to generate influence and power not only from the top down, but also from the bottom-up. Other research and teaching interests include, but are not limited to critical theory, public opinion, communicative ethics, and social movements.

Talk Title:

New Competencies in Democratic Communication? Blogs, Agenda Setting and Political Participation

Abstract:

Contrary to initial predictions Internet-mediated forms of communication have not become mediums of mass communication. Traditional media still reach far more people than even the most popular websites. Still, there is evidence that blogs in particular help mobilize opinions and set the agenda for political elites such as journalists and politicians, while providing interested citizens with a new technology of knowledge as well as a surprisingly effective way to participate in politics. This study focuses on how the presence of blogs has altered the structure of political communication.

Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

Loyola Marymount University

Paul T. Zeleza was previously head of the Department of African American Studies and the Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Director of the Center for African Studies and Professor of History and African Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has taught at universities in the United States, Canada, Kenya, Jamaica, and Malawi, and currently holds the title of Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He has also worked as a consultant for the Ford and MacArthur foundations and as an adviser to the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. Past president of the African Studies Association (2008–2009), Professor Zeleza's academic work has crossed traditional boundaries, ranging from history and economics to human rights and gender studies. He has published scores of articles and authored or edited more than two dozen books, several of which have won international awards including Africa's Carter G. Woodson Institute 29 most prestigious book prize, the Noma Award for his books A Modern Economic History of Africa and Manufacturing African Studies and Crises. He also edits The Zeleza Post, an online source of news and commentary on the Pan-African world (www.zeleza.com). His most recent book is titled Barack Obama and African Diasporas: Dialogues and Dissensions (Ohio University Press, 2009). Professor Zeleza earned his B.A. from the University of Malawi and an M.A from the University of London, where he studied African history and international relations. He holds his Ph.D. in economic history from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Talk Title: The Ties That Bind: From African and African American Studies to Africana Studies
Abstract: This presentation seeks to examine the complex, divergent and interwoven histories of African studies and African American studies since the Second World War. It traces the various phases in the development of the two fields and their growing reconstitution and convergence into Africana Studies in the 1980s and 1990s. It is argued that this process was facilitated by the rise of diaspora studies, itself a project spawned by complex intellectual and institutional developments within the academy. Also crucial were rapid demographic movements especially the growth of African migrations to the United States and formation of new African diasporas. The presentation will conclude with brief reflections on the Obama era, which reinforces the possibilities of Africana studies as engagements between Africa and the diaspora, as well as within the diaspora. Professor Zeleza argues that for Africana studies to realize its potential as a project of Pan-African enlightenment, empowerment, engagement and emancipation, it needs to become truly transcultural and transnational, as well as multimethodological and multidisciplinary.