Dr. King's teaching interests are largely about the Black Freedom Struggle, Urban and Social History, Gender and Women's History, carceral studies, and racial capitalism. His research interests lie mainly in Black politics outside the South, political economy and capitalism, social movements, and community politics.
334 Willard BuildingThis event also has a zoom option. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you will be attending in person or virtually. A zoom link will be sent out the day before the event to all those attending virtually. Thank you!
Dr. Thomas is an Associate Professor of African American Religious Studies at Harvard Divinity School. On June 22, 2015, the College-Hill Seventh-Day Adventist Church (CHSDAC), a predominately African American church in Knoxville, Tennessee, was burned. Bales of hay were left in front of the church and set ablaze. The church building sustained minor damages. A side door and surrounding wing of the church sustained fire and smoke damage. The church van was also ignited, its chassis and tires significantly damaged by fire making it inoperable. The local police classified the burning as an act of vandalism. No suspect was ever apprehended.
Dr. Thomas' talk will focus on her current ethnographic inquiry into this local arson and its aftermath, and is guided by a matrifocal methodology—an autoethnographic ethics that explores and informs her relationship to the research as a daughter, black feminist anthropologist, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and the gendered and institutional dynamics of her own relationship to place and black socio-religious life. She also investigates the complexities of studying black subjectivity, anti-black racism, and religious violence in Appalachia—a region that is not associated with a large African American population, the plantation complex, or the post-industrial city.
In addition to troubling racial, regional, and spatial narratives of exceptionalism that might obviate the quotidian character of anti-black religious violence in Knoxville, Dr. Thomas applies a matrifocal methodology to explore the gendered implications of black church arson (the burned blackmotherchurch) and its attempt to circumscribe black church therapeutic potentialities that are highly mediated by black women’s homosociality.
Dr. Simms-Burton is a retired university professor of American Literature and African American Studies, writer, and photographer. Her talk will examine her experience in the Academy, including the events that cemented her decision to leave, the work that she does now as a consultant and program manager, and the life she has crafted post-Academy that allows her to use many of her talents in cross-functional teams.
Dr. Wilson is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Health Care Ethics, Philosophy, and African American Studies at St. Louis University in Missouri. Her talk will include lessons learned from her own circuitous route through the academy, to encourage younger scholars to follow their own path, even if that path doesn’t conform to conventional wisdom.
The event will include a Q&A session.
Alicia is the founder of the New York City Latina Writers Group and is the 2018 recipient of the BRIO Award (Bronx Recognizes its Own) for fiction. She is a Cave Canem and VONA Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation alum. In 2011, she published her memoir, Finding Your Force: A Journey to Love and her one-woman show I WAS BORN was part of the ONE Festival in New York in 2010. In 2008 Anabel joined Creador Pictures, as the Writer & Producer for the documentary series Afrolatinos The Untaught Story. She is currently working on a historical fiction memoir where she merges prose, poetry and witchcraft, and is simultaneously working on “I.D.G.A.F: One Hundred Years of Rage”, a memoir. These days she can be found practicing brujería, reading tarot and facilitating writing workshops for senior citizens in the Bronx and Manhattan. She attended New York University and lives with her partner in the Bronx, New York.
Dr. Cobb earned a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania, as well as a graduate certificate in Africana Studies. Prior to her appointment at Duke, Cobb spent one year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Africana Research Center, Pennsylvania State University and four years on the faculty at Northwestern University. She is a recipient of the American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
Jasmine Nichole Cobb is the Bacca Foundation Associate Professor of African & African American Studies and of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University. She is the author of Picture Freedom: Remaking Black Visuality in the Early Nineteenth Century (NYUP 2015) and New Growth: The Art and Texture of Black Hair After Emancipation (forthcoming). She has written essays for MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, American Literary History and Public Culture and she is the editor for African American Literature in Transition, Vol. 2 (Cambridge, forthcoming).