Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Africana Research Center

Events

Events
ARC Professional Development Power Hour
Dec 1, 2021,
1:00pm
– 2:00pm
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.
In-Person
ARC Professional Development Power Hour
Nov 3, 2021,
1:00pm
– 2:00pm
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.
Remote Event
ARC Professional Development Power Hour
Oct 6, 2021,
1:00pm
– 2:00pm
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.
Remote Event

Via Zoom: Register in advance

 

ARC Radical Wellness Workshop
Apr 20, 2021,
1:00pm
– 2:30pm
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.
Remote Event
ARC Professional Development Workshop
Mar 30, 2021,
1:00pm
– 2:30pm
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).
Remote Event
ARC Radical Wellness Workshop
Mar 3, 2021,
1:00pm
– 2:30pm
Dr. Contreras-Byrd is a New Jersey state licensed psychologist with over 35 years of clinical practice. She specializes in meeting the psychological, and spiritual needs of all women, and both men and women of color. Dr. Contreras-Byrd’s general areas of expertise involve issues of class, gender, ethnicity and faith; while her clinical areas of expertise are Major Depression and Anxiety Disorders. She has worked as a school psychologist in urban and suburban districts; a clinical psychologist for juvenile offenders, homeless men, and adult substance abusers. Dr. Contreras-Byrd has directed programs for bilingual preschoolers and the intellectually gifted. She has been a professor of Psychology, Christian and Pastoral Counseling, Black Studies, and Multicultural Counseling.
Remote Event