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September 27-December 4, 2011 - A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art Exhibition

September 27-December 4, 2011 - A Complex Weave Women and Identity in Contemporary Art Exhibition.jpg 
The HUB-Robeson Galleries showcased the exhibition A Complex Weave in the Robeson Gallery from September 27 through December 4.

A Complex Weave revealed the richness and complexity of contemporary Feminist art, through its focus on issues of identity in all its many facets. This exhibition examined how sixteen contemporary women artists with varying backgrounds in terms of age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation and other aspects of individuality have woven threads of their own sense of self into their work, revealing surprising commonalities across apparent differences. A Complex Weave spans the media of drawing, painting, sculpture, fibers, video, installation and photography and can be understood as a multi-dimensional exploration of the concept of identity, that is not only central to individuals, but also plays a critical role in today's world.  A reception was held on November 4 from 5:00-7:00 pm. 

For more information about this and other exhibits, visit the HUB-Robeson Galleries website at  Contact: Jennifer Kunkel-Gill, Communications Assistant, HUB-Robeson Galleries, (814) 865-0775,

December 3, 2011 - 13th Annual Kwanzaa Extravaganza

December 3, 2011 - 13th Annual Kwanzaa Extravaganza.jpg
The Black Graduate Student Association held its 13th Annual Kwanzaa Extravaganza on Saturday, December 3rd at 7PM in Heritage Hall, HUB. Dinner and entertainment were provided throughout the evening. Our guest speaker this year was Mr. Roland Martin, CNN Correspondent. We were very excited to have this opportunity to welcome Mr. Martin to Penn State, as he provided us with a very insightful talk that touches on the importance of Kwanzaa, its principles, and its incorporation into everyday living. Tickets for the event were available in the BGSA office in Room 221D HUB, Tues-Fri from 9-4PM.

November 14, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Sarah Layton

Sarah Layton 
Sarah Layton, Undergraduate Student, Department of Geography

"Conflicting Understandings of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS among Namibian Women and Local Healthcare Providers".

In Katima, Mulilo, Namibia, a 39.4% prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS infection among pregnant mothers greatly impacts the region. During the summer of 2011, research was conducted to understand the societal, cultural, and infrastructural factors influencing maternal decision-making when reducing the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission from mother to child. Significant factors include varying levels of agency dependent on relationship status, stigma, and a fatalistic view of the virus. Furthermore, the perceived solutions of women highlight the changing nature of family dynamics as well as the need for increased male involvement and female economic opportunities.
217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

November 11, 2011 - Global Approaches to Intersectionality Lecture and Seminar with Antjie Krog, Ph.D.

November 11, 2011 - Global Approaches to Intersectionality Lecture and Seminar with Antjie Krog, Ph.D..jpg 
Antjie Krog, Extraordinary Professor in the Arts Faculty, University of the Western Cape

"Manifestations of Interconnectedness in (Southern) African Philosophy".

After exploring several manifestations of the concept of interconnectedness the paper will look at the implications for the interpretation of forgiveness, reconciliation, amnesty and justice in South Africa. Reconciling with wrongdoers—is that not the beginning of an immoral society? As a summary a few frames in a popular Belgian comic strip about Nelson Mandela will be explored to show visually how, by erasing interconnectedness, it becomes possible to admire Mandela, without taking what he stands for seriously.
124 Sparks
Noon-2:00 p.m.
Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, Memorial Lounge
3:30-5:00 p.m.

November 10, 2011 - ARC's 10th Anniversary Celebration

November 10, 2011 - ARC's 10th Anniversary Celebration.jpg

The Africana Research Center celebrated its 10th Anniversary this fall!

A short film illustrating the Center's transformation over the past ten years was screened during the celebration.

Nittany Lion Inn, Assembly Room

4:00-6:00 p.m.

November 9, 2011 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Jack Selzer, Ph.D.
"Art of the Deal"

217 Willard
1:00-2:30 p.m.

November 8, 2011 - Water, Soil, Fire: A Poetry Reading with Shailja Patel

November 8, 2011 - Water, Soil, Fire A Poetry Reading with Shailja Patel.jpg 
A reading by the Kenyan poet and sexuality rights activist, Shailja Patel, Nairobi and Berkeley,with Patricia Jabbeh Wesley and Gabeba Baderoon.  This lecture was part of the Sexualities Lecture Series.

Three internationally-acclaimed poets hailing from three corners of the African Continent–West, East, and South–merged their voices, telling of far-away homelands and life in the Diaspora in what promises to be an unforgettable evening.

Kenyan poet SHAILJA PATEL's performances have received standing ovations on four continents. Her U.S. publishing debut, Migritude, went to number one on Amazon's bestsellers in Asian Poetry, and was a Seattle Times bestseller. Patel has been African Guest Writer at Sweden's Nordic Africa Institute, and she has appeared on the BBC World Service, NPR and Al-Jazeera. Her work has been translated into sixteen languages. Honors include a Sundance Theatre Fellowship, a Creation Fund Award from the National Performance Network, the Fanny-Ann Eddy Poetry Award from IRN-Africa, the Voices of Our Nations Poetry Award, a Lambda Slam Championship, and the Outwrite Poetry Prize. Patel is a founding member of Kenyans for Peace, Truth, and Justice, a civil society coalition which works for an equitable democracy in Kenya.  Visit her at
Foster Auditorium
7:00 p.m.

November 7, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Adam Nye, Ph.D.

Adam Nye 
Adam Nye, Ph.D., Lecturer in Political Science

"Diffusion of Racially Restrictive Zoning Ordinances in Twentieth Century America"

This talk focused on the history, spread, and ultimate demise of racially restrictive zoning ordinances that segregated neighborhoods. The history of municipal ordinances segregating whites and African Americans began in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1910, and spread quickly to neighboring states until they were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1917. Yet this did not lead to their immediate demise. Although, the Court’s decision slowed the rate of diffusion, municipalities continued to enact these ordinances until the late-1940s.
In this talk, I will consider three central questions. First, what caused municipalities to initially adopt these ordinances? Second, why did municipalities continue to enact them after they had been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court? Finally, what does this tell us about the Court’s ability to effect social change?

217 Willard

Noon-1:00 p.m.

November 4-5, 2011 - Articulating Africana Philosophy

Africana Philosophy is now closer to the mainstream of professional philosophy than ever before.  The 'Articulating Africana Philosophy' conference will celebrate this development while also taking stock of the field's current status and future prospects.  We will consider questions like these:  What are the prospects for publishing Africana philosophical research?  Does this research take intersectionality seriously enough?  How far has the field really come since the struggles of its pioneers?  And, has the 'Africana' idea outlived its usefulness?

Hosts:  Kathryn Gines, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Paul Taylor, Associate Professor of Philosophy

The Beaver Room, The Allen Street Grill

November 3, 2011 - Frantz Fanon's "The Wretched of the Earth:  50 Years Later" Symposium

The symposium will commemorate the publication of this text that has been so central to social and political movements and activism across the globe, as well as to colonial and post-colonial theory, Africana Studies, Africana philosophy, and Critical Philosophy of Race, Women’s and Gender Studies, among other areas of study. 

Speakers: Nigel Gibson, Rozeena Mart, Mickaella Perina, and Lou Turner

Nittany Lion Inn, Alumni Lounge
9:00-6:00 p.m.

November 2, 2011 - The Nelson Mandela Lecture with Sylvia Tamale, Ph.D.

November 2, 2011 - The Nelson Mandela Lecture with Sylvia Tamale, Ph.D..jpg 
Sylvia Tamale, Associate Professor of Law, Makerere University, Uganda

"Standing, Sitting and Sleeping:  Unveiling the Politics of Sexuality in Africa"

Nelson Mandela has often repeated the old maxim: “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”  This simple but poignant statement attests to the fact that the views and attitudes that people hold regarding sexuality, the powers that they wield in the name of culture, morality and religion and the control they exercise over the sexuality of others, all have a direct bearing on their social and political standing.  Indeed, as the last bastion of gender inequality and exclusion, sexuality has become a metaphor for dictatorship in Africa and elsewhere.  Against the backdrop of a critical surfacing of some of the key issues affecting the issue of sexuality, my lecture seeks to offer some reflections on the manner in which governance questions in Africa today are intricately related to sexuality.  In particular the intensive scrutiny, regulation and control of non-conforming sexualities and gender identities reflect both a deep historical connection to colonial structures of governance and marginalization, and to more contemporary attempts to control the body.  In this way, sexuality is deployed as a tool for perpetuating patriarchy, inequality, injustice and the process of othering.

Nittany Lion Inn, Board Room 1
6:00-7:30 p.m. 

November 2, 2011 - The Mary E. Rolling Reading Series with John Edgar Wideman

November 2, 2011 - The Mary E. Rolling Reading Series with John Edgar Wideman.jpg 
IAH Distinguished Visiting Artist, MFA Writer-in-Residence, and acclaimed author of two dozen books of fiction and nonfiction, Pittsburgh native John Edgar Wideman is the first author to have won the International PEN/Faulkner Award twice: for Sent for You Yesterday (1984) and for Philadelphia Fire (1990). He has won an O. Henry Award (2000) and has also received a MacArthur Prize and Lannan Literary Award. His nonfiction book Brothers and Keepers received a National Book Critics Circle nomination, and his memoir Fatheralong was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 1997 his novel The Cattle Killing won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction.

Public lecture:
November 1, 2011
3:00 p.m.
Foster Auditorium (inside Paterno/Pattee Library)

Reading from his work:
November 2, 2011
7:30 p.m.
Foster Auditorium (inside Paterno/Pattee Library)

October 31, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Tutaleni Asino

Tutaleni Asino 
Tutaleni Asino, Graduate Student, Instructional Systems

"mLearning in Namibia"

The growth in availability of mobile phones and wide diffusion of mobile devices have given rise to the field of Mobile learning (mLearning), which can be defined as learning involving the use of portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablet computing devices or personal media players such as iPods (Traxler, 2007). Although the field continues to evolve, the focus remains on how to “harness personal and portable technologies for effective education” and generating more research on the involvement of mobile technologies for learning across contexts and in an increasingly mobile society (Sharples and Roschelle 2010, pg.4).

The use of mobile devices and the promise they offer in impacting education are only starting to be realized, however, it is undeniable is that they are transforming societies and challenging “our ideas about identity, discourse, community, technology, knowledge, space and time” (Traxler, 2008, pg. 3). As Viswanathan & Blom (2010) noted, the potential and promise of mobile learning is apparent and the introduction and improvement of mobile pedagogies will cause an evolution from other methods in developed countries and will cause a revolution in the developing world.

While many studies have demonstrated the value of m-learning applications in educational environments, the limitations and variability of mobile devices may impair the accessibility of such applications (Motiwalla & Qin, 2007). This study investigates the experiences of Namibian adolescents when they interact an mLearning application. POPYA is a phone-based Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system which can be used to deliver learning content to the user.  POPYA allows a user with any mobile phone to dial a number to access content.  The use and integration of speech or voice recognition technologies into mlearning applications may reduce access barriers.

Data was collected by traveling to Namibia through funding support by the Africana Research Center and consisted of observation, interviews (group and individual) as well as collection of artifact. This study contributes to the research on mobile learning and offers up a concrete example of a mobile learning project involving mobile phones that can be used by populations that are of concern to the ARC that tend to be marginalized and have little access to technology.

217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

October 28, 2011 - Sexualities Series Lecture with M. Jacqui Alexander, Ph.D.

October 28, 2011 - Sexualities Series Lecture with M. Jacqui Alexander, Ph.D..jpg 
M. Jacqui Alexander, Research Professor of Women's Studies, Spelman College

"A Queer Agenda for 2012 and Beyond?"

What might a queer agenda for 2012 and beyond look like?  What kinds of communities and constituencies are summoned by it?  What are its transnational leanings and commitments?  Is there room for the metaphysic in queer?  This presentation took up these questions not
by being entirely prescriptive but by opening up a space for collective conversation that takes as its arbitrary starting point the erstwhile corporate consumption of queer suicide in the USA.  We engaged the limits and urgency of 'queer' deaths as a way to broaden and deepen the multiple itineraries of living queer at this moment in history.

Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library
5:30-7:30 p.m.

October 28, 2011 - Fellows' Mentoring Program with Rotimi Suberu, Ph.D.

October 28, 2011 - Fellows' Mentoring Program with Rotimi Suberu, Ph.D..jpg 
Rotimi Suberu is a professor of political science at the University of Ibadan, where he has taught since 1986. He is currently Senior Fellow, Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program at the United States Institute of Peace. Suberu has served as a consultant to the Nigerian government, and the EU delegation to Abuja as well as to the National Democratic Institute and National Endowment for Democracy.

"Federalism in Africa: The Nigerian Experience in Comparative Perspective"

Although it is often portrayed in global terms as a dysfunctional and failed state, oil-rich Nigeria in the comparative African context has been relatively successful in overcoming and containing the syndrome of the state disintegration and large-scale internal disorder that has afflicted some of the continent’s other large multiethnic states, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. Nigeria’s relative stability derives significantly from its unique federal structure, which has been reconfigured since the 1967-1970 civil war from an unstable union of three unwieldy ethnic regions into a more integrated, 36-unit, multiethnic federation. This federal system has helped to cross-cut major ethnic identities, foster inter-regional integration, promote inter-group equilibrium and generally cauterize potentially destabilizing centrifugal challenges to Nigeria’s continuity and survival as a single political community. At the same time, however, the system’s rampant political corruption has perverted intergovernmental decentralization, fuelled local-level antagonisms, strained national unity and undermined socio-economic development, all of which tend to detract from the potential value of the Nigerian experience as a possible model for conflict management and the governance of diversity elsewhere in Africa and the developing world.
124 Sparks
10:00-11:30 a.m.
Fellows' Lunch Workshop:
217 Willard
Noon-2:00 p.m.

October 12, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Carla Mulford, Ph.D.
"Teaching Philosophies (Part 1)"

217 Willard

October 10, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Nicole Webster, Ph.D.

October 10, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Nicole Webster, Ph.D..jpg 
Nicole Webster, Associate Professor of Agriculture and Extension Education

"Interrogating Positive Youth Development through Leadership Development in South Africa"

This talk highlighted the critical aspects involved in trying to shift the perceptions of young South Africans – their potential to lead through public innovation and leadership. It is crucial to develop an alternative narrative of young people in South Africa – one where despite the very real challenges they face, and social dangers they pose, they flourish as active, innovative and catalytic agents to shape their future. The talk began with an outline of the current state of youth in South Africa, focusing primarily on their civic engagement; then to the field of leadership development and some key insights to an intervention program being developed that engages young people as active citizens.

217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

September 30-October 1, 2011 - Celebrating African American Literature:  Race, Sexual Identity, and African American Literature

Read The Chronicle article here:

September 29, 2011 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

September 29, 2011 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar.jpg
Charles Grench (Assistant Director and Senior Editor, UNC Press)

"Basic Elements of a Good Book Proposal"

217 Willard
10:00-12:00 p.m. (Individual 15-20 minute session with fellows)

September 23, 2011 - Global Approaches to Intersectionality Lecture and Seminar with Saul Dubow, Ph.D.

September 23, 2011 - Global Approaches to Intersectionality Lecture and Seminar with Saul Dubow, Ph.D..jpg
Saul Dubow, Professor of History, Sussex

"The Rise, Retreat and Revival of Human Rights in South Africa"

Post-apartheid South Africa foregrounds human rights in its aspirations to build a non-racial society, in its constitution, and its laws. Yet, a shared culture of human rights has yet to establish itself, and there are worrying portents for the future. This lecture examines the concept of human rights over two hundred years: through colonial agitation to secure equality for all indigenous peoples, in claims for non-racial citizenship, and in opposition to the segregationist and apartheid regimes. I shall argue that, while a a long tradition of human rights is clearly discernible, it is both fractured and inconsistent. The recent enthusiasm for human rights came out of a unique conjuncture in the 1980s, and it came to prominence as the African National Congress and the ruling National Party came to realise—rather against their own instincts—that the adoption of human rights was a cause which could further their own interests in the process of political transition.


Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, Memorial Lounge
3:30-5:00 p.m.

Noon-2:00 p.m.
124 Sparks

September 20, 2011 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Jonathan Eburne, Ph.D.
"Writing for Publication - The Tenure Monograph"

217 Willard

10:00-11:30 a.m.

September 17, 2011 - Undergraduate Research Exhibition

The Africana Research Center hosted an Undergraduate Research Exhibition in recognition of undergraduate students who have conducted outstanding research on issues affecting the African Diaspora.

Nittany Lion Inn - Faculty Staff Club Room
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Convenor:  Dr. Clemente Abrokwaa
Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Rhonda BeLue
Judges:  Charlene Chester, Dr. Crystal Sanders, Dr. Michael Kehinde

2011 ARC Scholars:

Carey Bell, Rachel Dzombak, Tara Sulewski
“Preparing and Complying with Institutional Review Board Protocols for Integrated Research and Entrepreneurship Ventures in Developing Countries”

Catherine Brown
“Janis Joplin’s Impact on Women in the Music Industry”

Alecia DeCuollo
“Ideology, Race and Education: A Study of the Impact of Apartheid on the Education of Black South Africans – 1948-94”

Kiauhna Haynes
“Western Feminism and the African American Woman”

Hee Joo Kang
“Gender Inequalities in Korea”

Michelle Kulla
“From the South African Mine to the American Bride: How Diamonds Inform Gender Roles Throughout the Supply Chain”

Coralie McEachron
“Skin Bleaching Usage Among People of African Descent”

Donna O’Rourke
“The Black Panther Party for Self Defense: History, Goals, and Speculation of Success”

Jake Plevelich
“The Prison Industrial Complex in the United States: African Americans

September 14, 2011 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Kathryn (Kit) Hume, Ph.D.
"Writing for Publication - The Peer-Reviewed Essay"

217 Willard
10:00-11:30 a.m.

September 7, 2011 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Matt Ishler (Assistant Director, Career Counseling and Planning)
"Introduction to Career Services, Curriculum Vita, and Interviewing"

Room 103A Bank of America Career Services Center

10:00-11:30 a.m.

September 1, 2011 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Former ARC fellows Gabeba Baderoon, Shirley Moody and Kathryn Gines met with new ARC fellows
"Networking and Teaching at Penn State"

217 Willard
12:00-1:30 p.m.

September 2011 - ARC 10th Anniversary Video Retrospective

August 31, 2011 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Kendra Boileau (Editor in Chief at Penn State University Press)
"What Academic Editors Want:  An Insider's View on How to Submit a Book Proposal"

217 Willard

10:00-11:30 a.m.

August 24, 2011 - ARC Post-Doctoral and Dissertation Fellow Orientation and Luncheon

The ARC welcomed 2011-2012 post-doctoral fellows, Michael Kehinde, Crystal Sanders and Eugene Walton, and dissertation fellows, Charlene Chester and Michelle Decker.

217 Willard
11:00-noon Orientation
Noon-1:00 p.m. Lunch with mentors

July 29-31, 2011 - MOJAH-Fusion Dance Festival:  Innovating, Creating and Pioneering Dance featuring Terrie Ajile Axam

Penn State School of Theatre

The Mojah Dance Festival is an annual event that has taken place at Total Dance/Dancical Productions, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia, for the past eight years.  This summer, the Penn State Dance Department is proud to host the annual festival for the first time at University Park campus.  Mojah, a modern African dance form that blends modern, West African, and jazz dance into one form, was created by dance pioneer, Terrie Ajile Axam, and is currently taught here through the School of Theatre's Dance Department by Assistant Professor A. Kikora Franklin.

Friday, July 29
7:30 pm Mojah Fusion Dance Concert
Esber Recital Hall Festival Pass or $4.50 at door

Saturday, July 30
7:30 pm Fusion Works Dance Concert
Esber Recital Hall Festival Pass or $4.50 at door

Sunday, July 31
12:15 pm Closing Celebration & Ceremony
Esber Recital Hall

July 10-12, 2011 - 22nd Penn State Rhetoric and Composition Conference

“Rhetoric and Writing across Language Boundaries"
Developments in globalization, new media literacies, and postcolonial perspectives have called attention to the transnational flow of people and texts and to the hybridity of language itself. These developments have made scholars in rhetoric and composition aware of the monolingual assumptions informing their disciplinary discourses and pedagogical practices. With scholars considering such issues, there are calls now to understand the cross-language relations of writers and writing in an effort to reconfigure the discourses and practices of our discipline.
In light of these disciplinary trends, the 22nd Penn State Conference on Rhetoric and Composition focused on defining a multilingual rhetoric and writing practice. Featured speakers included leading scholars who address multilingualism in their research and scholarship.
Nittany Lion Inn

April 29, 2011 - ARC Annual Fellows' Recognition & Awards Program

April 29, 2011 - ARC Annual Fellows' Recognition & Awards Program.jpg
The Africana Research Center and The College of the Liberal Arts' annual ARC Awards Ceremony in recognition of our 2010-2011 ARC Fellows: Ikuko Asaka, Jasmine Cobb, and Ariane Cruz.

NLI Alumni Lounge
3:30-5:00 p.m.

April 27, 2011 - Strong Women In Music: MC Lyte’s Up Penn State

April 27, 2011 - Strong Women In Music MC Lyte’s Up Penn State.jpg
PRLog (Press Release)Apr 19, 2011 – University Park, Pa. -- The Penn State Jazz Club is hosting an unforgettable performance by Grammy nominated lyricist MC Lyte on April 27, 2011 at 10pm in Alumni Hall.

Multifaceted entertainer, entrepreneur, and Hip-Hop pioneer, MC Lyte will deliver her highly anticipated performance at Alumni Hall, showcasing her phenomenal talent. She will be accompanied by live musicians directed by PSU Arts Instructor and renowned jazz artist Ronnie Burrage.  

"Ronnie Burrage has been a wonderful help to the Jazz Club, lining up multicultural collaborations with top artists of many genres that influence and are influenced by jazz. We are incredibly excited to have the groundbreaking Hip-Hop artist MC Lyte coming to do a one of a kind show for the Penn State students and community," says Eli Byrne, faculty advisor to the Penn State Jazz Club.

Opening the evening will be soul songstress, songwriter, and former Penn State professor Dr. E. Jazzy, bluesy and undeniably soulful, Dr. E will be performing songs from her well-received debut solo project Elevated released last July on her independent "Give Us Free" Records label. Joyous in her return to University Park, Dr. E is deeply honored to open for the legendary MC Lyte!

For additional information on Dr. E visit

Event Details
WHAT: Strong Women In Music: MC Lyte in Concert w/ Special Guest Dr. E
WHERE: PSU Alumni Hall
201 Woodland St.
University Park, PA 16801
WHEN: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 // Doors 10:00pm

COST: FREE ADMISSION with photo i.d.

Making her mark at the age of 17, MC Lyte hit the scene with her 1988! album L yte as Rock. The 1993 anthem, "Ruffneck," was an instant classic and landed her the first ever female solo Hip-Hop artist Grammy nomination.

MC Lyte was also the first female Hip-Hop artist to sell over 500,000 albums, earning her a Gold Record. In addition to being a trailblazer in the Hip-Hop music world, MC Lyte is a DJ, Actress, Motivational Speaker, and Philanthropist. Bringing history to universities; Lyte tours college campuses across the country utilizing her success story to motivate students and young adults to reach their full potential. The Penn State Jazz Club is proud to present an evening with MC Lyte April 27th in Alumni Hall.

More of MC Lyte's discography can be discovered by visiting the official website:

April 25, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Jens-Uwe Guettel, Ph.D.

Jens-Uwe Guettel
Jens-Uwe Guettel, Ph.D., Lecturer in History and Religious Studies

"Exporting and Importing Racism: German Perceptions of Africans, 1848-1933"

The talk traced images of Africans (and African-Americans) in Germany from the failed 1848 revolution to the 1920s. During these 80 years, German colonialists partook in transnational and transatlantic debates about the so-called "colonial workers' question." After the abolition of, first, U.S., and eventually Brazilian slavery, colonialists in Europe, and particularly in Germany, which only began to acquire colonies in 1884, began to reconfigure their views of the native populations in their colonies. How could these men and women be brought to work for the colonizers without a system of forced labor? From 1884 until 1918, German conceptions of blackness and the assumed racial qualities of Africans were shaped by this question. Social hierarchies based on race were pondered by social scientists in Germany, and implemented by German colonizers "on the ground" in Africa and elsewhere in the German colonial empire.  However, in 1918, the situation abruptly changed. With the German defeat in WWI came the loss of Germany's colonies, and Germany's settlers came home, bringing with them their ideas of a society based on racial differences.

217 Willard

April 22, 2011 - Fellow's Mentoring Program with Mireille Miller-Young, Ph.D.

April 22, 2011 - Fellow's Mentoring Program with Mireille Miller-Young, Ph.D..jpg
Brown Sugar: Illicit Eroticism and Complex Personhood in Pornography"

217 Willard
10:00-11:30 a.m.

April 21, 2011 - AAASD Mountains That Take Wing—Angela Davis & Yuri Kochity Ama; A Conversation of Life, Struggles & Liberation

Drs. C. A. Griffith & H.L.T. Quan

MOUNTAINS THAT TAKE WING – ANGELA DAVIS & YURI KOCHIYAMA is an inspiring, historically rich and unique documentary featuring conversations that span thirteen years between two formidable women who share a profound passion for justice. Through conversations that are intimate and profound, we learn about Davis, an internationally renowned scholar-activist and 88-year-old Kochiyama, a revered grassroots community activist and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Illustrated with rarely-seen photographs and footage of extraordinary speeches and events from the early 1900s to the 1960s and through the present, the topics of this rich conversation range from critical, but often forgotten role of women in 20th century social movements to the importance of cross-cultural/crossracial alliances; from America’s WWII internment camps to Japan’s Comfort Women; from Malcolm X to the prison industrial complex; and from war to cultural arts. Davis and Kochiyama's comments offer critical lessons for understanding our nation's most important social movements while providing tremendous hope for its youth and the future.

4:00 p.m.
373 Willard

April 21, 2011 - Fellow's Mentoring Program with Matthew Guterl, Ph.D.

April 21, 2011 - Fellow's Mentoring Program with Matthew Guterl, Ph.D..jpg
"Writing/Researching/Thinking Transnationally"

124 Sparks
10:00-11:30 a.m.

April 18, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Kartikeya Bajpai

Kartikeya Bajpai
Kartikeya Bajpai,  Graduate Student, College of Information Sciences and Technology

"Restorying Development:  Narratives of Slum, Street and Ghetto Youth in Nairobi"

This talk focused on a narrative study of the slum, street and ghetto youth of Nairobi. The stories of developmental subjects have increasingly found themselves relegated in favor of stories of the developmental efforts themselves. The overarching aim of this study is to transpose the stories of a transient, marginalized and disenfranchised population from the background of developmental surveys onto a foreground of narrativity based description. Based on a fixed-question, open-response survey methodology, we present an exploration of the developmental subject in terms of his/her own storytelling. The content of the surveys is informational, except when it is not. Storytelling finds itself expressed within the confines of the survey form.

217 Willard

April 11, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Shanhai Heywood

Shanhai Heywood
Shanhai Heywood,  Graduate Student, School of International Affairs

"Caribbean Drift: Exploring Brain Circulation as a means to Sustainable Growth"

The discourse on globalization and its catalytic effect on the movement of people from centers of low productivity to those of higher productivity is a dominant theme in migration studies. Evaluating the effects of human capital migratory flows from developing countries to OECD member receiving countries is a sensitive topic within the field that has generated several different terms such as brain drain, brain gain and/or brain circulation. Theories ranging from macro neo-classical economic theory to world system theory all attempt to address specific push and pull factors relevant to the phenomenon. Within the context of the Caribbean, effects on small island systems of the outflow of highly skilled persons are more noticeable because of the limited number of individuals that actually attain tertiary education and contribute economically, socially, and politically to the home state. The accumulation of human capital is regarded as an essential factor in spurring economic growth. Highly skilled people, that the state may or may not have a role in creating, hypothetically serve as facilitators for technological knowledge, social capital, and perform other nation building services. Latin America and the Caribbean region represent the third largest exporter of human capital, with Guyana and Jamaica topping the list of countries within the region losing over 60% of their tertiary educated nationals. Jamaica has had several periods of heavy outward migration of highly skilled persons beginning in the 1970s due mainly to political and economic factors. Qualitatively, there has not been an attempt to profile and catalog primary accounts of migratory factors in this country. This study seeks to create a profile of Jamaican transnational “human capital” or highly skilled expatriates. The study explored specific push and pull factors as well as the question of repatriation and expatriate engagement in development issues within the Island-Nation of Jamaica.

217 Willard

April 11, 2011 - Post-Doctoral Fellow's Public Lecture with Ariane Cruz, Ph.D.

Ariane Cruz
Ariane Cruz, ARC Post-Doc for Department of Women's Studies

"Interrogating Interracial Pornography:  Reciting and Resuscitating the Miscegenation Taboo"

Following the salient heed of historian Kevin Mumford that sex across the color line is always more than just sex and “always extraordinary,” this paper argues that contemporary American interracial pornography is a critical site from which to consider not just questions of national racial intimacy (sexual and otherwise), and/or socio-historical conditions of black/white racial groups, but the shifting, referential, and mutually constitutive constructions of blackness and whiteness.  Beginning in the stag genre in the 1930s and moving chronologically throughout the history and media of pornography, this paper interrogates hardcore, heterosexual, black/white interracial (IR) American pornography.  Black/white IR porn carries with it more than mere symbolic baggage born from the ambivalent, complex history of American miscegenation, but an ongoing, evolving socio-political commentary of the construction, boundaries and maintenance of the racial categories and national identities of black and white.  Interracial pornography elicits vital questions of racial hybridity and their fixity, the authenticity of race, the desires, fears, and anxieties surrounding black and white sexuality and their crossings, as well as the gendered politics of all of this.  Eroticizing of the taboo of miscegenation, performances of black/white sex in contemporary American pornography often become recitals of hyper-racialized identities—hyper white and hyper black—firmly rooted within the language of stereotypes.  These highly stereotypical, over-excessive, and amplified racialized performances of sex across the color line speak to national hierarchies of desire and power.  This essay first provides a brief socio historical contextualization of American miscegenation and its tenaciously enduring progeny, the miscegenation taboo.  This background serves to map the landscape of sexual vice that ambiguously transgressed this taboo and grounded early black/white interracial pornography, as coetaneous forms of commercial interracial sexual intimacy.  I reveal how performances of black/white sex are always coded by gender as much as by the constructions of the fixed, hyper-racialized, polar identities of black and white that interracial pornography is deeply invested in.  Sections of this essay may include: Miscegenation: A Socio-Historical Glimpse, Mapping the Racialized Landscape of Black/White Commercialized Sex: The Rhetoric of White Slavery and Vice Interzones, Blends: Racial Amalgamation in The Stag Genre, The Darkside of Video: Let me Tell Ya Bout Black Chicks, Reciting and Resuscitating the Miscegenation Taboo: Hyperracialized, Gendered Identities in Today’s Interracial Internet Pornography.

217 Willard
12:00-1:00 p.m.

April 8, 2011 - Fellow's Mentoring Program with Daphne Brooks, Ph.D.

April 8, 2011 - Fellow's Mentoring Program with Daphne Brooks, Ph.D..jpg
"A Woman's Only Human:  Body and Soul in the Work of Aretha Franklin"

217 Willard
10:00-11:30 a.m.

April 7, 2011 - NAACP Penn State Chapter Environmental Justice Committee presents "The Gauntlet:  Seeking to Redress Environmental Injustices Through Hip-Hop"

April 7, 2011 - NAACP Penn State Chapter Environmental Justice Committee presents The Gauntlet  Seeking to Redress Environmental Injustices Through Hip-Hop.jpg
Guest Speaker Bakari Kitwana is a journalist, activist and political analyst whose commentary on politics and youth culture have been seen on CNN, FOX News, C-Span, PBS and heard on NPR.  He is the former Executive Editor of "The Source" magazine.  he is currently Senior Media Fellow at the Harvard Law Jamestown Project, and the CEO of Rap Sessions, which conducts townhall meetings around the country on difficult dialogues facing the hip-hop generation.

112 Kern
7:00-9:00 p.m.

April 6, 2011 - Fellow's Professional Development Seminar

Carolyn Sachs, Ph.D.
"Promotion & Tenure"

217 Willard
10:00-11:30 a.m.

April 6, 2011 - Commanders of the Cool:  Afro-Atlantic Art and Philosophy

April 6, 2011 - Commanders of the Cool  Afro-Atlantic Art and Philosophy.jpg
Robert Farris Thompson, Colonel John Trumbull Professor of the History of Art, Yale University

Professor Thompson, a prolific scholar on the visual and performing arts of Africa and Afro-America, is one of the most creative thinkers in the field. He has devoted his life to the study of the art history of the Afro-Atlantic world, and his exciting lectures incorporate music, film, and dance from Africa and the African Diaspora.

Starting with a 1958 article on Afro-Cuban dance and music, he went on to write Black Gods and Kings, a close iconographic reading of the art history of the forty million Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria. He has published texts on the structure and meaning of African dance, African Art in Motion, and a reader on the art history of the Black Americas, Flash of the Spirit, which has remained in print since its publication in 1983. Thompson has published two books on the bark cloth art of the pygmies of the Ituri Forest, plus the first international study of a! ltars of the Black Atlantic world, Face of the Gods and most recently Tango: The Art History of Love.
Forthcoming is an anthology of many seminal essays that have shaped the field, An Aesthetic of the Cool that is being published by Periscope Ltd., located in Pittsburgh, and distributed worldwide by Prestel.

Heritage Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center
6:00 p.m.

April 4, 2011 - Emerging Scholar Speaker Series (ESSS)

Maha Marouan, Ph.D.
University of Alabama, Department of Gender & Race Studies, Director of African American Studies
"Rethinking Islam through Moroccan Women’s Oral Narratives"
Rethinking Islam through Moroccan Women’s Oral Narratives is a historiographic project that explores religious and cultural identities of Muslim women through the use of oral narratives collected from women in Morocco and the Diaspora. Moroccan women’s stories of their own lives provide counter-narratives to a historical discourse that has been traditionally male and middle-class and that has constructed Moroccan identity as strictly Muslim and Arab. These stories are told by women whose voices are marginalized and systematically excluded from public accounts. Although these women carry a wealth of history, because the majority of them are non-literate their versions of history are often dismissed. Yet, the stories they tell articulate realities that often challenge public records and national constructions of Moroccan identity. Moroccan women engage in religious practices that are diverse and syncretic in nature: Berber, Jewish, and Africanist, encompassing a religious mosaic that is reflective of the diversity of the culture and the legacy of a multifaceted – and sometimes complex—history. This presentation will explore Moroccan women’s cultural identity beyond a superficial construction of Muslim women as passive and subdued, as these women’s stories offer narratives of resistance that defy both national narratives of history as well as exoticized notions of Muslim womanhood in political rhetoric and media.
216 Willard
12:00-1:00 p.m.

April 5, 2011 - Emerging Scholar Speaker Series (ESSS)

April 5, 2011 - Emerging Scholar Speaker Series (ESSS) Borders, Transborder Ethnic Groups and Regional Integration in West Africa.jpg

"Borders, Transborder Ethnic Groups and Regional Integration in West Africa"

Michael Kehinde, Ph.D, Durham University, United Kingdom, Politics

International boundaries in West Africa are colonial creations. They were arbitrarily determined by the colonialists with little or no African influence. Hence, the emergent boundary regime partitioned many homogeneous ethnic groups into different spheres of colonial influence. These boundaries were therefore fraught with many problems. Independence and the subsequent adoption of these ex-colonial boundaries as the basis of territoriality and interstate relations reified the colonial mapping of Africa, together with associated issues and concerns. Given the problems of these boundaries however, regional integration became a major plank of regional development in the post-independence period, culminating in the formation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975. The major objective of ECOWAS is the creation of a Community where free movement of the factors of production is guaranteed for nationals of Member States, as well as the creation of a common market in order to overcome the limitations of differential colonial experiences and territoriality. However, over thirty years after ECOWAS and several protocols and agreements, these objectives are far from being realized.

This project is proposing the transformation of the ‘dismemberment’ of the several ethnic groups by boundaries from a disadvantage into an advantage – a tool for promoting cross border cooperation and integration. Boundaries have dual qualities: divide or unite. West African states have always projected the divisive character of boundaries in strong borders, neglecting the bridge-building qualities of these boundaries provided by overlapping ethnicity across many of them. The purpose of this project is to identify and analyze the significance of exploiting the cultural spaces which run across many boundaries in this region for greater regional integration.
216 Willard
10:00-11:00 a.m.

March 28, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Samuel N. Duo

Sam Duo
Samuel N. Duo, Doctoral Research, AEE Department, Penn State University

"Civil Society Organizations in Post-War Liberia: The Role of Education and Training in Strengthening Organizational Capacity"

The purpose of this study was to understand the role of non-formal education and training in the organizational change process of civil society organizations (CSOs) in post-war Liberia. CSOs are the local foundation for democracy and development in Liberia, and serve a wide range of roles in local communities. For example, they engage youth in community projects and build the younger generation’s civic capacities.
The study was a descriptive research. Using survey instruments, the data were collected from 74 staff of the 15 CSOs that the researcher had worked with for over three years. The study adopted two instruments (general knowledge and organizational capacity). The two instruments contained seven domains (Governance, Management, Human Resources, Financial Resources, External Relations, Service Delivery, and Sustainability). A rating scale of (0 = Capacity not existing; 1 = Nascent stage; 2 = Emerging stage; 3 = Expanding stage; and 4 = Mature stage); general knowledge related to job competence ranged from 1 (Not very knowledgeable) through 5 (Very knowledgeable).

The results of this study show that they have rated governance and management knowledge and organizational capacity domains consistently highest, implying that their skills and organizational capacity in governance and management have improved. However, CSOs are in expanding stage of organizational development, meaning that a significant capacity is present, but there remain areas requiring further strengthening and development.

The 15 CSOs are organized into clusters or thematic areas. The cluster approach captures the participatory involvement of cluster members, their thoughts and aspirations. The cluster approach was meant to create non-formal educational tools (training workshop, experience sharing, meeting, group discussion, field visit and replication of best practices) that build upon indigenous modes of knowledge, education and action for collective problem solving, thereby viewing learning as a process that is not limited only to outside experts.

217 Willard

March 25-26, 2011 - Model Southern African Development Community Parliament Forum Simulation Game (MSADC_PF)

The Annual Meeting of the New York African Studies Association meeting
SUNY Oneonta

March 25, 2011 - Friday Tea with The Center for Diverse Families and Communities

March 25, 2011 - Friday Tea with The Center for Diverse Families and Communities.jpg
"Coming of Age: Acculturation, Discrimination, and Identity Formation among Adolescent Children of Immigrants"

Dr. Rubén Rumbaut

University of California-Irvine

12:00pm – 1:15pm

Robb Hall, Hintz Family Alumni Center

Discussant: Victor Romero, J.D. and The Maureen B. Cavanaugh Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law at Penn State University Dickinson School of Law

March 23, 2011 - Fellow's Professional Development Seminar

Carla Mulford, Ph.D.
"Teaching, Part 3"

217E Willard Conference Room
11:00-12:30 p.m.

March 21, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Shaun Gabbidon, Ph.D.

Shaun Gabbidon
Shaun Gabbidon, Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice, Penn State Harrisburg, Danielle Boisvert, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Penn State Harrisburg, and Matthew Nelson, MA student in Criminal Justice at Penn State Harrisburg

"Public Opinion on the Disproportionate Representation of Blacks and Hispanics in the Criminal Justice System"

Two areas within the field of criminology that have received a large amount of empirical attention are the relationship between race/ethnicity and crime and public opinion regarding various aspects of the criminal justice system.  One area that has still been largely unexplored is public opinion regarding the causes of the disproportionate representation of Blacks and Hispanics in the criminal justice system.  In order to fill this gap in the literature, this study examined public opinion on the causes of the disproportionate representation of Blacks and Hispanics in the criminal justice system using public opinion data collected from 400 randomly selected Philadelphia area residents.

217 Willard

March 21, 2011 - The Barbara Jordan Lecture with Victor Romero, Ph.D.

Victor Romero
Victor C. Romero, Maureen B. Cavanaugh Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law at the Penn State University Dickinson School of Law

In honor of the late Barbara Jordan's service as chair of the 1994-95 U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, Victor Romero presented his talk entitled, "Decriminalizing Border Crossings" as the 2011 Barbara Jordan Lecture.  Placing recent state and local anti-immigrant laws in the broader context of the federal government's regulation of our borders, Professor Romero argued that an international border crosser should only be deemed a criminal if the U.S. government can prove that, with requisite criminal intent, she engaged in an act aside from crossing the border that would constitute a crime; no longer should crossing the border be a strict liability criminal offense.  He believes such a change will restore balance to the civil immigration system, conserve scarce enforcement resources in order to target truly criminal behavior, enhance our standing abroad, and help heal our racially-polarized discourse on immigration policy.

Nittany Lion Inn, Assembly Room
6:00-7:30 p.m.

February 24-27, 2011 - National Model African Union Conference

Washington, D.C.
For more information:

February 18, 2011 - Global Approaches to Intersectionality

February 18, 2011 - Global Approaches to Intersectionality.jpg
This seminar, which was being extended by invitation only, is based on a registration of a first sign up basis.

Michele Tracy Berger sent us three readings for her Friday seminar, which she used as the focus of the seminar.  She explained that her "goal is to have a conversation about how different scholars are using intersectional analysis in their work and the messiness of that endeavor."

The readings for her seminar are listed below. PDF's were provided upon registration.

* Elizabeth Cole's "Coalitions as a Model for Intersectionality: From Practice to Theory" Sex Roles 2008
*Yiu Fai Chow's "Moving, Sensing Intersectionality: A Case Study of Miss China Europe" Signs 2011
*A chapter from Berger's book Workable Sisterhood: "The Politics of Intersectional Stigma for Women with HIV/AIDS" (2006).

Noon-2:00 p.m.
124 Sparks 

February 18, 2011 - The Intersectional Approach Across Disciplines:  Transforming Teaching, Scholarship, and Public Policy

February 18, 2011 - The Intersectional Approach Across Disciplines  Transforming Teaching, Scholarship, and Public Policy.jpg
Michele Tracy Berger, Associate Professor of Women's Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Michele Tracy Berger discussed how the intersectional paradigm has been utilized in Women’s and Gender Studies over the last twenty years, the transformation of this approach in the academy and the pivotal role that Women’s Studies has played in developing and shaping this new research paradigm. She drew on her experiences as a scholar utilizing intersectional analyses in her work with stigmatized politically active women with HIV/AIDS and co-editing the newly published The Intersectional Approach: Transforming the Academy through Race, Class, & Gender (UNC Press, 2010).

3:30-5:30 p.m.
Foster Auditorium, Pattee Library

February 18, 2011 - Research & Pizza with Alyssa Garcia, Ph.D.

Alyssa Garcia
Alyssa Garcia, Assistant Professor in Women’s Studies

"The Medicalization of Morality:  Debates around Reglamentacion in late Colonial Cuba (1868-1901)"

In Cuba, racialized and gendered concepts of honor, which were utilized by the church and state, played a critical role in construing and reproducing legal/social categories during the early colonial era. As Cuba transitioned from an established colony, with the instability of war and US intervention, to an independent republic, moral values such as honor, undergirded with the same racial and gendered meanings, continued to retain a central place in political and social relations in the late colony. These ideas continued to be reflected through and policed via women’s bodies, by way of new emerging medicalized discourses and state practices. With Spain’s losing its grip on the island and the declining significance of the church, public space and gender/race need to be regulated beyond the Casas de Recogidas established in the early colony. The “naturally” and “innate” promiscuous bodies of women were taken up by the State and its institutions but now under an emerging discourse of medicalization. Discussions of morality expanded to the realm of public health with explicit racialized connotations.

Given Cuba’s precarious position on the global scene and transitionary status, institutionalizing the policing of women’s bodies with the system of Reglamentacion, enabled the island to invoke policies to accelerate “progress” and resemble white industrialized European countries. The discourses and categories surrounding Reglamentacion and sex-work also revealed the complexity of regulatory regimes in State agencies and civil society. This presentation will discuss how women’s bodies, especially those of women of color, were at center stage in national debates during this transitionary period. The continued policing of women’s bodies, through a systemic control of prostitution via Reglamentacion, allowed the state to keep in tact early colonial racial and gendered hierarchies while simultaneously invoking its commitment to modernity.

217 Willard

February 14, 2011 - Emerging Scholar Speaker Series (ESSS)

Helen Crump, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Feminist Studies
“Bodied Knowledges: ‘Matrilineal Diaspora’ and Articulations of Black Women’s Diaspora Identity in Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Dionne Brand, Mayrse Conde”
Dr. Crump will focus on motherhood / mothering to analyze specific maternal narratives as sites through which to delineate and interrogate the intersection of identity and Diaspora.
Jonathan Fenderson, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Massachusetts, Afro American Studies
“Black Arts Metropolis: OBAC and Chicago as the Epicenter of the Black Aesthetic”
Mr. Fenderson focuses on the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC), a leading group in the Black Arts Movement which Hoyt Fuller led for almost a decade. By grounding Fuller and OBAC in the local Chicago experience, he identifies the social and intellectual influences that gave rise to “the black aesthetic"--a concept and term that marks an epoch in African American literary and cultural history.
Cavin Robinson, Ph.D. Candidate, DePaul University, Philosophy
“Social Contract Theory, African American Slave Narratives, and the Reconstruction of an Early Modern Conception of Political Freedom”
Dr. Robinson advances the argument that political philosophic claims in African American slave narratives concerning freedom and its just application, when mixed with the notion of freedom as it is traditionally presented, can render the early modern conception of the term useful to philosophers concerned with fairness, inclusion, and equal rights.
Nittany Lion Inn, Penn State Room
9:00-11:00 a.m.

February 11-12, 2011 - 2011 Achievement Conference

The 2011 Achievement Conference: "Accepting the Torch: Connecting with the Past to Gain Insight on the Future" was presented by the Black Graduate Student Association and co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, the Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs, the Office of Undergraduate Education, the Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity, the Forum on Black Affairs, the Africana Research Center, and the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence.
The purpose of the conference was to foster relationships among juniors, seniors, and graduate students of color, along with faculty and administrators. While faculty, administrators, graduate students, and prospective graduate students of color were encouraged to attend, this conference was open to anyone who was interested in networking with people of color. This was an excellent opportunity for faculty to share their knowledge and experiences with tomorrow's research scholars and professionals.
The conference agenda included professional development workshops, a buffet luncheon (for students attending at least one workshop), and keynote speakers. The conference also featured a research exhibition for interested conference participants to showcase their work.
Sincere thanks from the 2011 Achievement Conference Committee:
W. Terrell Jones
Vice Provost for Educational Equity
Robert N. Pangborn
Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education
Suzanne Adair
Senior Director, Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs
R. Neill Johnson
Director, Instructional Development and Research
Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence
Olivia Lewis
Chair, Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity
Jamie Campbell
President, Forum on Black Affairs
Lovalerie King
Director, Africana Research Center
Alexis M. Barbarin
Co-chair, 2011 Achievement Conference, Black Graduate Student Association
Maurice Washington
Co-chair, 2011 Achievement Conference, Black Graduate Student Association

Co-sponsored by:
Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity
Office of the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education
Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs
Forum on Black Affairs
Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity
Africana Research Center
Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence

February 11-12, 2011 - 2011 Achievement Conference.JPG

February 12, 2011 - Touch of Africa

Bryce Jordan Center

Doors opened at 5:30 p.m., Show began at 6:30 p.m.

February 7, 2011 - Emerging Scholar Speaker Series (ESSS)

Kwame Essien, Ph.D.
The University of Texas at Austin, African and African Diaspora History
"The Successes and Challenges of the ‘Tabom’ people in Ghana from 1820s: Three Generations of Brazilian-African Returnees”
Dr. Essien will focus on Afro-Brazilians who returned to Accra and the significant contributions they made to Ghanaian society during the colonial period despite their difficulty assimilating into it. He considers how the ‘Tabom’ people’s memory of Brazil has influenced both their “Brazilian” and Ghanaian heritage and shaped their history over time.
Crystal Sanders, Ph.D. Candidate
Northwestern University, 20th Century United States History, African American History, Women’s History, History of Black Education
“To Be Free of Fear: Mississippi Black Women and Head Start”
Crystal Sanders focuses on the employment of black working class women in the Head Start program in Mississippi between 1965 and 1968, program successes, and its influence on the women’s lives. She argues that for a significant number of black women in rural Mississippi, Head Start offered the only viable employment in a state that systematically denied most of them education and held many of them hostage in menial labor positions. The white power structure led a pitched political attack on the Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM) that would lead to the program’s defunding in 1968.
LaKisha Simmons, Ph.D.
University of Michigan, History and Women’s Studies
"'Defending Her Honor': Black Girlhood and Interracial Sexual Violence in the Jim Crow South"
Dr. Simmons' presentation considers the attempted rape and then murder of a black teenager in segregated New Orleans. Through an investigation of  discourses about the crime in the white and black press, Simmons shows how black girls during Jim Crow faced a double bind. On the one side was the reality of gendered Jim Crow violence, and on the other expectations for virtue and purity in the black community.

Nittany Lion Inn, Penn State Room
9:00-11:00 a.m.

February 1, 2011 - Fellow's Professional Development Seminar

Terrell Jones, Ph.D.
"Educational Equity"

217 Willard
10:00-11:30 a.m.

January 24, 2011 - Post-Doctoral Fellow's Public Lecture with Ikuko Asaka, Ph.D.

Ikuko Asaka
Ikuko Asaka, ARC Post-Doc for Department of History and Religious Studies

"Tropicality and Transnational Racial Geographies: Black Freedom Struggle in the U.S. and British Empire in the 1850s"

Focusing on the 1850s, this talk examined a transnational racial order that spatially regulated free black populations in North America at national, imperial, and Atlantic levels.  It illustrates how centuries-old notions of tropical geography undergirded two distinct racial projects in the U.S. and the British Empire and how each in its own way intervened in black freedom in both the U.S. and Canada.   Paying special attention to free blacks’ struggles on both sides of the U.S.–Canada border, the talk highlighted hierarchical Atlantic geographies that made Canada and the U.S. contested sites of freedom.

217 Willard

January 19, 2011 - Fellow's Professional Development Seminar

Chas Brua, Ph.D., and Larkin Hood, Ph.D.

217 Willard
10:00-11:30 a.m.

January 15, 2011 - The 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Banquet

January 15, 2011 - The 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Banquet.jpg
The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. President's Hall

Doors opened at 5:45 p.m., Banquet began at 6:30 p.m.

January 12, 2011 - Fellow's Professional Development Seminar

Grace Hampton, Ph.D.
"Diversity at Penn State"

217 Willard
10:00-11:30 a.m.

January 12, 2011 - Post-Doctoral Fellow's Public Lecture with Jasmine Cobb, Ph.D.

Jasmine Cobb 
Jasmine Cobb, ARC Post-Doc for Department of Communication Arts & Sciences

"The Politics of Visibility:  A Cultural History of Black Women’s Spectatorship"

In pictures, poems, and essays, the album provides a glimpse into the semi-private development of new visibilities among free Black women performing to the dictates of their elite social networks.  Simultaneous to the public encounters on the streets of Philadelphia that disrupted visual interactions across race, spectatorship as practiced within the parlor of the home underwent a transformation that informed new performances of racial identity as well.  While White parlor audiences hostile to emancipation interpreted free people’s new visibilities as unconscious, uncontrolled bodies infringing on the public, literatures of the Black middle class parlor relayed the contrary.  In album contributions, African American women intimated shared “ways of seeing” with one another that included a keen awareness about the vast perceptions of Black womanhood.  Albums “pictured” theories of visuality that accounted for the stares of Whites who were often unreceptive to free Black communities, and for the critical perspectives of Black men at home.  Out of this “double bind” of social obligations, Black women practiced a conscious sense of spectacle or a “third eye”  of minority spectatorship.  This essay explored another way of seeing for Black women who knowingly organized a hyper awareness about being looked at, and used the spaces of their friendships to construct practices of visuality that resisted the gaze.

217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.