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December 5, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Christopher Long, Ph.D., and John Dolan, Ph.D.
"Technology, Teaching and Scholarship"

217 Willard
10:00-12:00 p.m.

December 3, 2012 - Achille Mbembe, Ph.D., and Sarah Nuttall, Ph.D., Joint Public Lecture

December 3, 2012 - Achille Mbembe, Ph.D., and Sarah Nuttall, Ph.D., Joint Public Lecture.jpg
Achille Mbembe, Ph.D., will present "On The Postcolony A Decade Later".  Achille Mbembe is a Research Professor in History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and  Economic Research (WISER) in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a convenor of the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC), and the author of many books, including On The Postcolony and Sortir De La Grande Nuit.

December 3, 2012 - Achille Mbembe, Ph.D., and Sarah Nuttall, Ph.D., Joint Public Lecture1.jpg

Sarah Nuttall, Ph.D., will present "Mandela's Mortality".  Sarah Nuttall is a Research Professor in English at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and Incoming Director of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) in Johannesburg. She is the author of Entanglement: Literary and Cultural Reflections on Postapartheid, editor of Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics, and co-editor of many books, including Johannesburg - The Elusive Metropolis.

Experience contemporary South Africa and major debates about race, justice, history and
the post-apartheid era through the eyes of its pre-eminent scholars and artists in:

CMLIT 197 J.M. Coetzee and South African Literature with Professors Gabeba Baderoon and Jonathan Eburne

Foster Auditorium
6:00-8:00 p.m.
(Co-sponsored by Rock Ethics Institute and Africana Research Center.)

November 28, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Chas Brua, Ph.D., and Larkin Hood, Ph.D.
"Teaching Tips: How to Survive and Thrive as a New Instructor"

217 Willard
10:00-11:30 a.m. (Individual sessions with fellows)

November 28, 2012 - Brown Bag with Sara Marzioli

Sara Marzioli, Graduate Student, Department of Comparative Literature

"Ralph Ellison’s Photographic Work as Social Criticism in Harlem and Rome”

The talk will discuss the perspective upon the Civil Rights Movement and anticolonialism that Ellison gained from his time overseas in the mid-1950s, focusing on Ellison’s interest in photography as a means of social criticism.  First displayed in his never-completed plan to accompany his 1948 essay “Harlem Is Nowhere” with photographs by Gordon Parks, this impetus to use the camera to capture the poverty and grittiness of working-class life inspired Ellison, when in Italy, to take many pictures of the residents of Trastevere, then a proletarian section of Rome.  Conjoined with Ellison’s many letters to Albert Murray commenting on the political movement developing in the United States, Marzioli argues, this photographic project reveals an abidingly radical Ellison, quite distinct from the mainstream intellectual familiar to readers of his essays and interviews from these years.

217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

November 27, 2012 - Imraan Coovadia, Ph.D., Public Lecture

Imraan Coovadia

Imraan Coovadia, Ph.D., is a writer and director of the creative writing program at the University of Cape Town. He is the author most recently of a novel, The Institute for Taxi Poetry (2012) and a collection of essays, Transformations (2012). In 2010 his novel High Low In-between won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the University of Johannesburg prize. He also has published a scholarly monograph, Authority and Authorship in V.S. Naipaul (2009), and two earlier novels. His fiction has been published in a number of countries, and he has written for many newspapers, journals, and magazines.

Experience contemporary South Africa and major debates about race, justice, history and
the post-apartheid era through the eyes of its pre-eminent scholars and artists in:

CMLIT 197 J.M. Coetzee and South African Literature with Professors Gabeba Baderoon and Jonathan Eburne

"Cities of South Africa" Lecture Series

"From Civil Rights to White Genocide:  Stories of the South African Story"

Nittany Lion Inn, Alumni Lounge
7:00 p.m.
(Co-sponsored by Institute for the Arts and Humanities and Africana Research Center.)

November 26, 2012 - Imraan Coovadia, Ph.D., Seminar

Imraan Coovadia

Imraan Coovadia, Ph.D., is a writer and director of the creative writing program at the University of Cape Town. He is the author most recently of a novel, The Institute for Taxi Poetry (2012) and a collection of essays, Transformations (2012). In 2010 his novel High Low In-between won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the University of Johannesburg prize. He also has published a scholarly monograph, Authority and Authorship in V.S. Naipaul (2009), and two earlier novels. His fiction has been published in a number of countries, and he has written for many newspapers, journals, and magazines.

Experience contemporary South Africa and major debates about race, justice, history and
the post-apartheid era through the eyes of its pre-eminent scholars and artists in:

CMLIT 197 J.M. Coetzee and South African Literature with Professors Gabeba Baderoon and Jonathan Eburne

"How to Read 'Lolita'"
102 Kern Building
12:30 p.m.
(Co-sponsored by Institute for the Arts and Humanities and Africana Research Center.)

November 15, 2012 - Fellow's Professional Development Seminar

Kit Hume, Ph.D.
"Writing for Publication:  The Peer-Reviewed Essay"

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

November 14, 2012 - Brown Bag with Michael New

Michael New, Lecturer, Department of English

"A Mirror / A Soul: Sarah Webster Fabio and the Black Arts Movement"

In the 1960s and 70s Sarah Webster Fabio was a prominent poet, critic, teacher, and activist. She was well respected by literary scholars and cultural theorists as an architect of the Black Student, Black Power, and Black Arts Movements for her instrumental role in developing Black Studies at Merritt College. There, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and Ron Karenga took her courses; soon she became known as “Panther Teacher.” Sarah Webster Fabio outlined a poetics of music and explored jazz as a literary concept for print, performance, theater, and film. My talk emphasizes her influence as a poet-critic and considers her multimedia works’ contribution to the Black Aesthetic.
217 Willard
12:30-1:30 p.m.

November 12, 2012 - Brown Bag with Rhonda Belue, Ph.D.

Rhonda BeLue 
Rhonda Belue, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Administration

"Developing a Pilot Stress Reduction Intervention for African Americans with Type 2 Diabetes"

Black Americans are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and incur more frequent complications and worse clinical outcomes. Chronic, low-grade tissue inflammation related to obesity contributes to insulin resistance, the major cause of T2DM and increases its macro- and microvascular complications. Physiologic and potentially psychological stressors may exacerbate inflammation as well as inhibit self-management behaviors. The current study seeks to identify psychological stressors and coping mechanisms among African Americans (AA) with T2DM in order to inform stress reduction intervention strategies.

217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

November 7, 2012 - Brown Bag with Jonathan Eburne, Ph.D.

Rhonda BeLue 

Jonathan Eburne, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English and Director of Graduate Studies

"“I Gather the Limbs of Osiris”: Modernity's Living Dead"

This presentation examines the notions of transhistorical persistence that
constitute one of the zombie concepts of literary and ethnographic modernism.
It looks at theories of transhistorical continuity and residual ancientness
that often undergird or haunt the production and reception of modern literature
and thought. Rather than simply reflecting a recourse to “myth” or a poetic
longing for historical and cultural totalization, this body of work staggers on
obstinately through the 20th century and into the 21st. Modernist mysticism—
whether archetypes, sweeping historical generalizations, or the romance of Ancient Mysteries— persist as what Ulrich Beck calls “zombie categories” of industrial modernity.  With a focus on work by Signmund Freud and Ishmael Reed, this presentation examines what such zombie concepts can both reveal and— perhaps more redemptively— also remind us about the exhausted, post-sustainable systems of knowledge-production they have come to terrorize.

217 Willard
11:30-12:30 p.m.

November 7, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

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

217 Willard
1:15-2:45 p.m.

November 1, 2012 - Miss Africa PSU

The African Students Association crowned the 2nd Miss Africa PSU.

Heritage Hall
6:00 p.m.
(Co-sponsored by African Students Association and Africana Research Center.)

October 23, 2012 - The Nelson Mandela Lecture with Crain Soudien, Ph.D.

October 23, 2012 - The Nelson Mandela Lecture with Crain Soudien, Ph.D..jpeg

Crain Soudien, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Transformation and Social Responsiveness, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

"Nelson Mandela, Robben Island and the Imagination of a New South Africa"

Eighteen of the 27 years that Nelson Mandela spent in prison were on Robben Island (June 1964 to April 1982). Most narratives of this period correctly focus on the hardship through which Mr. Mandela and his fellow-prisoners went. In these narratives one sees the lengths to which the apartheid government goes to break the liberation movement, to isolate its leaders and to break their spirit. One also sees, by way of response, the extraordinary largeness of spirit of the prisoners, their capacity to hold on to a sense of their dignity and their creativeness in attempting to construct lives for themselves on the Island. In this talk I emphasize how significantly intellectual this creative dimension of prison life was and how it contributes to alternative imaginings of a future South Africa. I show how, from the moment the Commissioner of Prisons on a visit to the Island makes the mistake of asking Nelson Mandela in the presence of the other prisoners the question: “‘Now what is it you want about things like studies, what is it you want?’, and hearing Mandela’s reply: ‘You should let the atmosphere of a university prevail here on the Island,’” the prison evolves into a space of intense, often uncomfortable, but generative learning. In this space prisoners explore, in ways and on a scale that had not taken place in the country before, or possibly even since, the limits of their identities as South Africans. I show how, through the process of formal study and the informal flowering of seminars, debates and engagements that take place, Mr. Mandela and his fellow prisoners work through, often with great personal difficulty, the questions of their individual and collective pasts, their subjectivities and begin to delineate alternative visions of what a new South Africa could look like. This ‘working through’ for Mandela, I attempt to show, involved difficult questions around race, nation and the political economy of South Africa.

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

October 22, 2012 - Crain Soudien, Ph.D., GAI Seminar

October 22, 2012 - Crain Soudien, Ph.D., GAI Seminar.jpeg

Crain Soudien, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Transformation and Social Responsiveness, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Experience contemporary South Africa and major debates about race, justice, history and
the post-apartheid era through the eyes of its pre-eminent scholars and artists in:

CMLIT 197 J.M. Coetzee and South African Literature with Professors Gabeba Baderoon and Jonathan Eburne

"The Debate Around 'Race' in South Africa"

124 Sparks
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
(Co-sponsored by Department of African American Studies and Rock Ethics Institute.)

October 20, 2012 - Undergraduate Research Exhibition

Paul Taylor 
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.

Keynote Speaker:  Paul C. Taylor, Ph.D. (Head, Department of African-American Studies and Associate Professor of Philosophy)
Judges: William Sturkey, Ph.D. (ARC Post-doctoral Fellow), Jessica Marie Johnson, Ph.D. (ARC Post-doctoral Fellow), and Sabrina Strings (ARC Post-doctoral Fellow)

Nittany Lion Inn, Faculty Staff Club Room
10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

2012 ARC Scholars:

Melissa Guarno - Coltan in the Democratic Republic of Congo - SECOND PLACE
Sarah Higgins - The Effects of Levirate Marriage on Men and Women in Nigeria
Amy Horrigan - Portugal’s Influence on Ancient Benin Art
Nicole Mapp - A Rhetorical Analysis of King’s “Love, Law, and Civil Disobedience"
Matt Robida - "Twenty-Two Days on a Chain Gang”: The Killer of American Chain Gangs - FIRST PLACE
Kelsey Rogalewicz - Crossing a Line: The Use of African American Vernacular in Kathryn Stockett’s The Help
Erin Ryan - Telling it from the Mountain
Jordan Talmadge - A Study of the Struggles of Upward Mobility for Black Women in American Business
Katie Wawrzonek - Malaria and the Sickle-Cell Trait
Carolyn Whiteman - African Griots: A Legacy of Rich Oral Tradition - THIRD PLACE

October 18, 2012 - Dorothy Driver, Ph.D., Public Lecture

October 18, 2012 - Dorothy Driver, Ph.D., Public Lecture.jpg

Dorothy Driver, Professor of English at the University of Adelaide, Australia

Experience contemporary South Africa and major debates about race, justice, history and
the post-apartheid era through the eyes of its pre-eminent scholars and artists in:

CMLIT 197 J.M. Coetzee and South African Literature with Professors Gabeba Baderoon and Jonathan Eburne

"The Work of Dreaming:  Race, Feminism and New South African Nationhood"

Palmer Lipcon Auditorium in the Palmer Museum of Art
Noon-2:00 pm
(Co-sponsored by Institute for Arts and Humanities and Africana Research Center.)

October 18, 2012 - J. M. Coetzee Public Lecture and Award Ceremony

J. M. Coetzee 

John Maxwell "J.M." Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature, will receive the IAH medal.

Experience contemporary South Africa and major debates about race, justice, history and
the post-apartheid era through the eyes of its pre-eminent scholars and artists in:

CMLIT 197 and 596 J.M. Coetzee and South American Literature with Professors Gabeba Baderoon and Jonathan Eburne

The State Theatre
7:00 p.m.
(Co-sponsored by Institute for Arts and Humanities and Africana Research Center.)

October 10, 2012 - Fellow's Professional Development Seminar

Carla Mulford, Ph.D.
"Teaching Philosophies"

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

October 9, 2012 - Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Ph.D., Reading, Discussion and Book Signing

October 9, 2012 - Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Ph.D., Reading, Discussion and Book Signing.jpg 

Charlotte Pierce-Baker, is a professor of Women's and Gender Studies and English at Vanderbilt University and the author of Surviving the Silence:  Black Women’s Stories of Rape (Norton, 1998).  At this event, she will discuss the topic of mental illness/bipolar disorder and do a reading from her newest book "This Fragile Life:  A Mother's Story of a Bipolar Son".

"This Fragile Life:  A Family Journey"

Charlotte Pierce-Baker did everything right when raising her son, Mark. She and her husband were always there for him, providing not only emotional support but the best education possible, the freedom to choose his own path, and every opportunity to ensure he would succeed at whatever he wanted in life. And that seemed to be just what he was doing. A popular former high school athlete, at age twenty-five, he was pursuing a postgraduate degree in film, living with his fiancée, and seemingly in control of his life. But then she received a phone call. Mark was having his first psychotic episode, and Pierce-Baker’s real education began. She never could have imagined her high-achieving son would wind up handcuffed, barely clothed, dirty, mad, and in jail.  This Fragile Life is the story of an African American family facing the challenges of their son's bipolar disorder, which didn't manifest itself until he was twenty-five years old. Pierce-Baker traces the evolution of his illness, providing insight into mental disorders as well as family dynamics. In looking back, she realizes she mistook warning signs for typical teen behavior.  Hospitalizations, calls in the night, pleas for money and more money, jail, lawyers, prescriptions, doctors, alcohol and drug relapses, and continuous disputes about how to live--and not live--her son's journey was long, arduous, and almost fatal. This Fragile Life weaves a fascinating story of mental illness, race, family, the drive of African Americans to succeed, and a mother's love for her son.

Nittany Lion Inn, Penn State Room
4:00-5:00 p.m., followed by book signing

October 5, 2012 - Robin D. G. Kelley, Ph.D., Seminar

October 5, 2012 - Robin D. G. Kelley, Ph.D., Seminar.jpg 

Robin D. G. Kelley, Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA

"The New Civil Rights Movement"

Rejecting the idea that the Civil Rights movement is history, I suggest that it was never completed.  What is emerging now is a resurgent Civil Rights movement centering on multiple issues: education, incarceration, voter suppression, immigrant rights, reproductive rights, and a host of struggles around sexuality.   In this talk, I focus specifically on youth of color--the so-called "demographic" political pundits ignore when they speak about the importance of  the "youth vote" for President Obama's re-election.  Rather, I am speaking of the DREAMERs fighting deportation, defending Ethnic Studies, and demanding a path to citizenship; the thousands black and brown kids and young adults who took to the streets holding signs declaring, “I am Trayvon Martin”; the organizers of “Occupy the Justice Department” resisting the criminalization of youth of color—movements, in other words, on the frontlines of neoliberalism’s racist war on young people of color; and most importantly, the youth-led, L.A.-based Community Rights campaign against the New Jim Crow, the struggle to resist criminalization of black and brown kids, break the school-to-prison pipeline, and to demilitarize schools.

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

October 4, 2012 - Robin D. G. Kelley, Ph.D., Public Lecture and Fellows' Workshop

October 4, 2012 - Robin D. G. Kelley, Ph.D., Public Lecture and Fellows' Workshop.jpg 

Robin D. G. Kelley, Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA

Fellows' Workshop:
"Navigating the Academy without Compromising Politics"

217 Willard
Noon-2:00 p.m.

Public Lecture:
"Obama's Socialist Plot?:  Democracy in the Age of Neoliberalism"
All of the ridiculous claims that President Obama is a secret socialist, an anti-colonial radical bent on subjugating white America have masked what has been the greatest crisis facing democracy since the overthrow of Reconstruction.  Today, racism has become a taboo subject, black progressive movements have faded to the background, a new round of culture wars has erupted in attacks on reproductive rights and education, and both major political parties embrace neoliberalism as the new common sense -- that is to say, privatization, austerity, displacement, layoffs, union-busting are readily accepted as necessary evils to “stimulate the economy”; suspending basic civil liberties, incarcerating record numbers of people, resisting gun control laws are supposedly necessary for security; undermining democratic institutions through voter suppression, surveillance of social movements, detention of activists under anti-terrorism statutes.  I will discuss the impact of racism and neoliberalism on democracy in the U.S., but also examine the global uprisings of 2011-12, and interrogate how the concept of "socialism" could virtually disappear from popular political discourse (except as an anti-Obama epithet) at the very moment when we need to think about alternatives to capitalism.
Foster Auditorium
5:30-7:30 p.m.
(Co-sponsored by the Department of African American Studies, Africana Research Center and University Libraries.)

September 28, 2012 - Justice for All: Examining Privilege and Subordination in the U.S. Legal System

This event examined privilege and discrimination through the lens of various critical legal theories.

Speakers included:

  • Paul Butler, Georgetown Law School, author of the award-winning book Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice. Professor Butler will present "A Hip Hop Theory of Justice."
  • Carla Pratt, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, Penn State Law. She will present "A Response to a Hip Hop Theory of Justice."
  • Victor Romero, Maureen B. Cavanaugh Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law, Penn State Law
  • Dean Spade, Assistant Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law. Professor Spade will present "The Limits of Legal Equality."

This event was hosted by the Law School’s Diversity Committee and Penn State’s Africana Research Center in collaboration with Penn State's Center for Women Students, the Dickinson College Women's Center, Penn State's Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Equity, and Penn State's Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity.

Apfelbaum Family Courtroom, Lewis Katz Hall, Carlisle, PA (Live)
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA (simulcast)
9:00 a.m.
(Co-sponsored by the Law School’s Diversity Committee, Africana Research Center, Center for Women Students, the Dickinson College Women's Center, Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Equity, and Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity.)

September 26, 2012 - 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 26, 2012 - Brown Bag with Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Ph.D.

September 26, 2012 - Brown Bag with Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Ph.D..jpg 

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Associate Professor of English

"When Women Tell: Liberian Women’s Trauma Stories from the Civil War"

While African women have made strides in political representation over the years since independence, the new violent wars in the last three decades across the continent introduced a different kind of inequality and violence against women more than ever. Wars in all regions of the continent have put African women and their children in the forefront of battle. One of such wars was the Liberian civil war. The Liberian civil war, which began in 1989 and ended in 2003, traumatized women in the most brutal ways by introducing newer forms of torture. During the fourteen year series of many wars, Liberian women were systematically captured and kept as sex slaves across all regions of the conflict. Widespread Rape and torture of women became a weapon of war, and in hundreds of cases, these women were never reunited with their families. Thousands of Liberian women were also forced by rebel commandos and warlords to fight alongside ruthless male warriors who used these women as human shields in battle or and as killer machines. As a poet and survivor of that war, I became interested in our untold stories when I realized that many of the original survivors of the earlier wars of the 1990s were dying out faster than ever without telling their stories. This presentation will give you a small slice of an ongoing research project I call: “When Women Tell: Liberian Women’s Trauma Stories from the Civil War.”

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

September 24, 2012 - Brown Bag with Jessica Heckert

Jessica Heckert 
Jessica Heckert, Graduate Student, Dual-degree program in Human Development and Family Studies and Demography

"Negotiating Youth Migration: The Haitian Experience"

The transition to adulthood in developing countries is undergoing dramatic transformations. Many rural Haitian youth have revised their expectations beyond traditional roles and delay long-established markers of adulthood, such as marriage and family formation, in favor of the anticipated returns to education, and they view migration as the most promising option for a productive future. Despite the high prevalence of youth migration, both in Haiti and worldwide, little is known about how migration decisions unfold and how youth transform as they experience a dramatic shift in both structural and ideological contexts. Whereas imbalanced opportunities motivate migration, a more threatening urban environment, including a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, has transformed both the opportunities and risks that young people encounter in the primary destination locations for potential youth migrants in southeastern Haiti. To examine these issues, I draw on an innovative mixed-methods research design that combines qualitative and quantitative data collected both before and after rural-to-urban migration. This presentation describes how Haitian youth and their families negotiate migration decisions, particularly during periods of dramatic social and economic change. It also examines if families are making more conservative migration decisions following the January 2010 earthquake.

217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

September 17, 2012 - Comparative Literature Luncheon with Susan Z. Andrade, Ph.D.

September 17, 2012 - Comparative Literature Luncheon with Susan Z. Andrade, Ph.D..jpg 
Susan Z. Andrade, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

"After Midnight: Realism and the Indian Emergency"

102 Kern
12:15 p.m.
(Co-sponsored by Department of Comparative Literature and Africana Research Center.)

September 14, 2012 - Allison Blakely, Ph.D., Seminar and Fellows' Workshop

Allison Blakely 
Allison Blakely, George and Joyce Wein Chair of African American Studies at Boston University

"The Perils and Pleasures of Pioneering in Black Diaspora Studies"

Black Diaspora studies in the past generation has undergone a transition from a field that was pursued almost exclusively by dedicated, passionate amateurs [e.g., J.A. Rogers] into an area gaining increasing respectability in scholarly academic circles. However, scholars engaged in this enterprise, black scholars in particular, have encountered daunting challenges represented by the establishment’s traditional racist mindset, as well as by divided perspectives within the Black world concerning questions of identity, historical agency, and interpretation. Practical negative consequences of this have included adverse impact on employment and promotion within institutions, as well as on publication and recognition. At the same time, those who have persisted have at times derived benefit from the novelty of their projects, and from therefore standing out in an area of study that has growing saliency in a world witnessing growing cultural diversity in all major societies.

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

Fellows' Workshop:
217 Willard
Noon-2:00 p.m.

September 10, 2012 - Brown Bag with Brendaly Drayton, Ph.D.

September 10, 2012 - Brown Bag with Brendaly Drayton, Ph.D..jpg

Brendaly Drayton, Ph.D, Adult Education

"Literacy and Identity: The Reflections of Six African American Males in an Adult Literacy Program"

This multiple case study explores how the literacy experiences of six African American males informed their perceptions of and engagement with an adult literacy program. Their narratives highlight the factors they considered influential in K-12 low academic achievement and dropout and their pursuant engagement with adult literacy programs. The study draws attention to the significant roles identity and the social environment played in the men’s literacy experiences and the choices they made about literacy development and education.

217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

September 5, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

September 5, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar.jpg 
Charles Grench, Assistant Director and Senior Editor at UNC Press
"Basic Elements of a Good Book Proposal"

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
10:00-12:00 p.m. (Individual 15-20 minute session with fellows followed by Q&A)

August 29, 2012 - ARC Post-Doctoral and Dissertation Fellow Orientation and Luncheon

The ARC welcomes 2012-2013 post-doctoral fellows, Sabrina Strings, William Sturkey, Jessica Johnson and Jessie Dunbar, and dissertation fellow, Shaeeda Mensah.

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

July 8-28, 2012 - NEH Summer Institute on Contemporary African-American Literature

For more information:

April 27, 2012 - ARC Annual Fellows' Recognition & Awards Program

April 27, 2012 - 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 2011-2012 ARC Fellows: Crystal Sanders, Michael Kehinde, Charlene Chester and Michelle Decker.

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

April 25, 2012 - Post-doctoral Fellow Public Lecture with Michael Kehinde, Ph.D.

Michael Kehinde 
Michael Kehinde, ARC Post-doctoral Fellow for the African Studies Program

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

International boundaries of West African states emerged from the partition of its territories by European colonizers following the Scramble. The boundaries, on the one hand, dismembered homogenous culture areas and groups and, on the other, forced disparate groups together in the emergent state system. Partly to overcome the divisive impacts of boundaries, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was formed in 1975. The primary objectives of ECOWAS include, among others, the establishment of a West African Community characterized by free movement and the right of settlement and establishment of Community citizens anywhere within the Community. 

However, almost 40 years after the establishment of the organization, empirical realities suggest that ECOWAS is making very negligible progress towards the attainment of these objectives, partly because of the overly statist approach to integration. This paper, drawing on extant theories of ethnic relations and fieldwork evidence from four countries in the region, concludes that transborder (border-partitioned) ethnic groups (previously neglected in the integration project) hold significant potentials for subregional integration in West Africa.

216 Willard

Noon-1:00 p.m.

April 18, 2012 - Post-doctoral Fellow Public Lecture with Crystal Sanders, Ph.D.

Crystal Sanders 
Crystal Sanders, ARC Post-doctoral Fellow for the Department of History

"The 'Real Housewives' of Jackson, Mississippi: A Look at Elite Black Women’s Civil Rights Activism"

Over the past thirty years, there has been an explosion of scholarship in black women’s history.  Scholars have considered African American women’s resistance during slavery, clubwomen’s efforts to uplift the race throughout the nadir period and beyond, and black women’s behind-the-scenes leadership during the 1950s and 1960s civil rights movement.  Much of the latter work, particularly that on activism in Mississippi, focuses almost exclusively on the grassroots organizing of working-class black women such as Fannie Lou Hamer and Unita Blackwell in the rural Delta region.  The literature is largely silent about professional black women’s race work during this time.  Some narratives point out that black public school teachers sued their states  during the civil rights era for equalization of teacher salaries, but those examples are usually included as an explanation for why most black teachers chose not to participate in later movement activities.

This lecture is a case study of elite black women’s activism during the 1960s through an examination of the lives and work of Jackson, Mississippi, businesswomen Clarie Collins Harvey and Thelma Sanders (no relation to presenter).  Harvey operated one of the oldest black funeral homes in the capital city and Sanders owned a clothing store that catered to black women.  In the lecture, Crystal Sanders will argue that these women’s seemingly innocuous entrepreneurship facilitated important organizing activity that undermined white supremacy in the Magnolia State.  Their work compels scholars to consider the untraditional, yet important ways in which affluent black women challenged and undermined black subjugation.

216 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

April 16, 2012 - Research & Pizza with Yewande Sofolahan

Yewande Sofolahan 
Yewande A. Sofolahan, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Biobehavioral Health

"Understanding Childbearing Decisions within the context of the Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (SRH) Needs of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA) in Nigeria"

According to UNAIDS, Nigeria ranks among the top African countries having the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS, estimated at 3.1 million. (prevalence rate of 3.6%). Compared to men, women are mostly affected with an estimate of 1.6 million (58%) women ages 15 and up living with HIV/AIDS. Given the disproportionate prevalence of HIV as the leading cause of disease and death among women in their reproductive years, there's a need to explore the complex socio-cultural factors an HIV positive diagnosis brings to the fore, and how this impacts on childbearing decisions.

This talk will focus on the three main research questions that guided the study. First, how do the perceptions of WLHA SRH needs influence and/ or affect their childbearing decisions? Second, how are the childbearing decisions of WLHA influenced by their partner's desire for children? Finally, how does a supportive healthcare system influence the childbearing decisions of WLHA?

217 Willard

Noon-1:00 p.m.

April 12, 2012 - Collegium of Black Women Philosophers Conference - Patricia McFadden, Ph.D.

April 12, 2012 - Collegium of Black Women Philosophers Conference - Patricia McFadden, Ph.D..jpg 
“Contemporary African Feminism: At the Intersection of Neocolonialism and Postcoloniality”

Contemporary African Feminism is emerging from struggles within the African women's movement (in its diverse forms) and out of the crisis of Nationalism in the context of Neo-colonial plunder and ruling class consolidation/entrenchment, as well as in response to the impacts of neo-liberalism and the crisis of global capitalism on working women and their communities across the African continent.  More specifically, the conceptual and activist challenges that have been posed by the moment of transition to post-coloniality (as an expression of radical political consciousness on the one hand, and a re-entrenchment of capitalist hegemony on the other)necessitate a revisiting of the politics of African women's movements in order to better understand the limitations of Nationalism as an ideology that profoundly influenced the African women's politics for the past half century.

This "Janus-like stance" will, I think, enable feminists to better understand how neo-colonialism (as a political and economic moment) represents a unique class opportunity for the emergence of black ruling elites in all the societies of the continent.  The importance of scrutinizing the ideological, structural and relational features of the neo-colonial state and how it serves the interests of both black and white exploiting classes, thus eclipsing particular racial discourses while serving to further entrench others, is critical to the re-positioning of African women's politics as a "radical politics", a politics which helps explain how exclusion operates against the majority of people in our societies, particularly against women in relation to entitlements that span a wide spectrum of issues, and which provides a vehicle of resistance, through the generation of new discourses, new critiques, and new solidarities, to enable women to engage with the emerging post-colonial states.  My foundational argument is that Africa is in a moment of transition from neo-colonialism to post-colonialism, and the crafting and application of a radical post-colonial consciousness will be essential in how we engage the State and Global Capital, and whether we are able to exert a definitive influence on what kinds of societies emerge in the near future.  This transitional moment is crucial for us as individual women as well as for our communities which have been ravaged by the unmitigated rampancy of economic, military and other forms of exploitation and repression.
Nittany Lion Inn, Board Room 1
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

April 13, 2012 - Collegium of Black Women Philosophers Conference - Patricia Hill-Collins, Ph.D.

April 13, 2012 - Collegium of Black Women Philosophers Conference - Patricia Hill-Collins, Ph.D..jpg 

1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Rozena Maart: "A Critical Philosophy of Race: Biko, Merleau Ponty and the Politics of the Flesh."

2:00 pm - 2:50 pm

Kris Sealy: “Power as (or in) Vulnerability: Intersections between the ethical and the political in Emmanuel Levinas”

3:00 pm - 3:50 pm

Vanessa Wills: "Political Disagreement and the Demands of Principled Solidarity"
Closing address:
April 14, 2012, 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Foster Auditorium (in the Library)

Patricia Hill Collins
"Lost in Translation? Black Feminism, Social Justice and Intersectionality"

Nittany Lion Inn, Board Room
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

April 7, 2012 - Touch of Africa 2012 "HERE and NOW"

April 7, 2012 - Touch of Africa 2012 HERE and NOW.jpg

April 5, 2012 - Public Lecture with Isaac O. Fadeyibi

April 5, 2012 - Public Lecture with Isaac O. Fadeyibi.jpg 
Isaac O. Fadeyibi, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun, Nigeria
"Building the Culture of Innovation in Entrepreneurship Development in Nigeria"
Innovation is the key to growth, without it, most organizations would be forever stuck doing the same old things the same old way. New products, new services and new ways of doing business would never emerge. Entrepreneurship activities bring about business innovation with resultant development in enterprises, which also serves as a panacea to economic growth in developing countries. Entrepreneurship development in Nigeria began in the early 1970s as indigenous entrepreneurs were not allowed to develop by colonial policy, which favored metropolitan entrepreneurs. The promulgation of Nigeria Enterprise Promotion Decree of 1972 provided the stimulus for entrepreneurship development via Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) promotion. This paper attempts to examine the culture of innovation in entrepreneurship development using Southwest Nigeria as a case. Experimental research survey and interview method were applied to reach this understanding. It was discovered that entrepreneurship development still remains the strong policy option for developing Nigeria’s manufacturing and industrial sectors.

217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

April 3, 2012 - Public Lecture with Clark Johnson [Actor/Director of THE WIRE]

April 3, 2012 - Public Lecture with Clark Johnson Actor Director of THE WIRE.jpg 
Clark Johnson, (born September 1954) sometimes credited as "Clark 'Slappy' Jackson" and "J. Clark Johnson," is an American actor and director who has worked in both television and film.

Johnson was born in September 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and spent much of his life in Canada, including studying at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. He began doing feature film work in 1981, landing roles in the movies Killing 'em Softly, Wild Thing, Adventures in Babysitting, and Nowhere to Hide. He also acted in a number of television shows early in his career.

In 1993, Johnson became part of the original cast of the television series Homicide: Life on the Street playing Detective Meldrick Lewis for all seven seasons and the reunion movie, as well as directing several episodes. Though the ensemble nature of the show meant that Johnson always filled an important role in the series, he became an even larger presence after his character was paired with a new partner, Mike Kellerman (played by Reed Diamond), and the two detectives became the central figures in a plot line surrounding a Baltimore drug lord whose financial resources and front as a devoted community servant made it nearly impossible for the police department to bring him up on charges.

Aside from Homicide, Johnson's directing credits include the 2006 major cinema release The Sentinel, Drop Squad (1994), S.W.A.T. (2003), and episodes of The Shield and The Wire as well as the HBO original production Boycott (2001), a project which he helmed and in which he also acted. He also directed the 2005 mini-series Sleeper Cell.

Johnson is the brother of jazz singer Molly Johnson and actress and singer Taborah Johnson.

102 Kern
3:30-5:00 p.m.

April 2, 2012 - Dissertation Fellow's Public Lecture with Michelle Decker

Michelle Decker
Michelle Decker, ARC Dissertation Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature

"Not Quite an Island: Paracolonial Narrative and Ignorance in the African Indian Ocean"

This presentation is based on my dissertation, which broadly examines the long-held idea of Africa as Dark Continent, and Africans as outside history and modernity. I argue that though this stereotype’s origins are ancient, dating back to the Greeks and Romans and probably beyond, the imaginary of the Dark Continent became solidified in the nineteenth century, because of colonialism, and because of the proliferation of texts written by European colonials. Though many scholars have completed important work on these European travel narratives and their detrimental and lasting representations of colonized peoples, there have been almost no comparative studies of these texts and those written by Africans during the same period. I remedy this gap in the research by comparing, for example, Sir Richard Francis Burton’s narrative of his exploration of Zanzibar and inner Africa with the Swahili-language autobiography of Tippu Tip, a Zanzibari slave- and ivory trader. By situating this autobiography alongside European narratives, we begin to see African engagement with and creation of what we think of as “the modern”—rather than their place as recipients of civilization.  I focus also on Africans’ connections with the peoples of the Indian Ocean: sub-Saharan East Africa’s engagement with India and the Middle East, and North Africans’ connections with sub-Saharan Africans, Indians, and with Europeans. The texts’ material and imagined connections with the Indian Ocean world enable a view of multiple African geographies and cultures that counter the idea of a Dark Continent. My presentation thus posits the possibilities of rereading the geography and history of the African continent and its inhabitants.

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

March 28, 2012 - An Afternoon with the Affrilachian Poets

The Affrilachian Poets are a multi-cultural group of poets devoted to the aesthetic of making the invisible visible.  Underneath their feet you can hear the roar of the Appalachian culture and landscape.

Mitchell Douglas

Mitchell Douglas, MFA, is the author of "Cooling Board:  A Long-Playing Poem" and the forthcoming "\blak\ \al-fe bet\", winner of the 2011 Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor's Choice Award.  He is a Cave Canem fellow and Affrilachian Poets cofounder.

Ricardo Nazario y Colon

Richardo Nazario y Colon is a Ph.D. student at the University of Kentucky and the author of "Of Jibaros and Hillbillies" and "The Recital".

Bianca Spriggs
Bianca Spriggs is a writer and multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Lexington, Kentucky.  She is the author of "Kaffir Lily" (2010), "How Swallowtails Become Dragons" (2011), and the director of the short film, "Waterbody" (2011).

Frank X. Walker
Frank X. Walker has an MFA from Spalding University and two honorary doctorates.  He is a Lannan fellow and has written "When Winter Came", "Black Box" and "Affrilachia".  He is also the editor of "America!  What's My Name?"  He is a tenured professor of creative writing at the University of Kentucky, the chair of Africana Studies, and Affrilachian Poets cofounder.

113 Carnegie Auditorium
3:30 p.m.

March 26, 2012 - Research & Pizza with Jamie Shinn

Jamie Shinn
Jamie Shinn, Ph.D Candidate, Department of Geography

"Institutional Responses to a Changing Environment:  Flooding and Natural Resource Access in the Okavango Delta, Botswana"

This presentation is based on preliminary dissertation fieldwork conducted in the Okavango Delta (OD) of Botswana during summer 2011. It focuses on the relationships between environmental changes, natural resource access, and social institutions in the OD. As the consequences of climate change increasingly impact communities across the globe, the local institutions that mediate access to natural resources will be critical in shaping effective adaptation practices. Understanding how institutions function in areas vulnerable to climate change, such as the OD, is therefore vital. Seasonal floods are an integral part of life for residents of the OD; floodwaters support natural resources essential for rural livelihoods. However, since 2009, increased flooding has displaced residents from their homes, devastated agricultural fields, and challenged the institutions that mediate access in the region. My research investigates how the social institutions that shape natural resource access in the OD are responding to increasing floods, and the ways in which these responses affect the livelihoods of residents. This presentation details preliminary findings from two villages in the Delta, Etsha 6 and Etsha13. It also discusses the future research directions resulting from this preliminary work, which will more fully examine the relationships between social institutions, resource access, and environmental changes in the Okavango Delta.
217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

March 23, 2012 - Fellows' Mentoring Program with Katherine Mellen Charron, Ph.D.

March 23, 2012 - Fellows' Mentoring Program with Katherine Mellen Charron, Ph.D..jpg
Katherine Mellen Charron, is an Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University. She is the author of the award-winning book Freedom's Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark (UNC Press, 2009).  Her teaching and research interests include African American, Women's, and Southern history.

"Septima Clark and Citizenship Education: Black Power for Black Women"

Educational and civil rights activist Septima Clark (1898-1987) is best remembered for her role in developing the Citizenship Schools, an adult education program that taught African Americans how to read and write so they could pass the literacy tests required by southern states to register to vote. The Citizenship Schools, which ran from 1957 to 1970, overwhelmingly attracted participation by grassroots southern black women, in both rural and urban areas, and became a preeminent site of their activism during the civil rights era. This paper situates both Clark and her Citizenship Schools at the intersections of civil rights, Black Power, and women's liberation to problematize our standard, discrete narratives of each. It does so by examining the multiple philosophies and methods that southern black women deployed in their pursuit of justice, while also interrogating the combined processes that have rendered them less visible as leaders and agents of change.

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

Fellows' Workshop:
217 Willard
Noon-2:00 p.m.

March 20, 2012 - The Barbara Jordan Lecture with Mary Frances Berry, Ph.D.

March 20, 2012 - The Barbara Jordan Lecture with Mary Frances Berry, Ph.D..jpg
Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History at University of Pennsylvania will present our Barbara Jordan lecture.

"Achieving Justice in the Obama Era?"

Barbara Jordan eloquently expressed her faith  in the Constitution at another troubled time in our history during the Watergate hearings. Today the Constitution and our system of government based on  laws is under extreme stress again. Everything from conflicts over immigration, voter fraud or suppression, the overall division of power between the federal government and the states proceed in an atmosphere of poisonous partisanship. Whether economic policy is legal or wise when economic problems persist raises other questions. Poverty, increasing economic inequality and racism in a supposedly post-racial society all present their challenges.  Under these circumstances how fares the justice agenda in the Obama Era?

Student Seminar:
"Making a Difference in Troubled Times"
102 Kern
3:00-4:30 pm
Nittany Lion Inn, Board Room 1
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Book signing from 5:00-5:45 p.m.

March 19, 2012 - Research & Pizza with Jenna Christian

Jenna Christian
Jenna Christian, M.S. Candidate, Department of Geography

"Complicating the Feminist Success Story: Women and the Peace Discourse in ‘Post’ War Liberia"

Situated at the intersection of feminist geopolitics and critical geographies of peace, this project explores the changing meanings and practices of 'peace' in postwar Liberia. Drawing from two months of ethnographic work and qualitative interviews with the country’s women’s peace movement, this project pays particular attention to the opportunities and obstacles resulting from international peacemaking and postwar development schemes. In addition to the now famous Liberian women’s peace movement, Liberia elected the first female president in Africa, has the first all female United Nations police forces, the first National Action Plan for UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security, and two recent women Nobel Peace Prize winners. Together, these have contributed to a discourse of Liberia as a postwar feminist success story. In this presentation, I examine this success story, demonstrating how the peace discourse is wrapped up in discourses about women. Moreover, I seek to complicate the story by looking at how the peace discourse has worked to enable women’s rights advocacy in some spaces, while in other spaces it constrains. This research hopes to contribute to the burgeoning geographies of peace literature by suggesting that we attend more directly to how ‘peace’ is appropriated in different spaces and for different purposes.

217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

March 14, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Michael Kulikowski, Ph.D., Carolyn Sachs, Ph.D. and Shannon Sullivan, Ph.D.
"Promotion & Tenure"
217 Willard
10:00-11:30 a.m.

February 29, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Grace Hampton, Ph.D., and James Stewart, Ph.D.
"Diversity at Penn State"

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

February 29, 2012 - Public Lecture with Stephanie Rowley, Ph.D.

February 29, 2012 - Public Lecture with Stephanie Rowley, Ph.D..jpg
Stephanie Rowley is a professor and associate chair of the Psychology Department and professor in the School of Education at the University of Michigan.  She holds appointments in both the Developmental Psychology program and the Combined Program in Education and Psychology.  She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and African American Studies from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Michigan. Professor Rowley’s research examines the role of parents in the development of racial, gender, and academic identities and their intersections as well as changes in motivation experienced as youth make major school transitions.  Professor Rowley has a passion for mentoring and for 5 years has been faculty advisor to the Rackham Graduate School’s Summer Research Opportunity Program and the Summer Institute, which are both aimed at recruiting and retaining students from underrepresented backgrounds.

"The Effects of Awareness of the Achievement Gap on Parenting in African Americans"

Recent years have seen increasing public dialogue about the Black-White achievement gap.  The current study is an investigation of the effects of this discourse on parenting in African American families.  We primed half our sample of 71 parents to be aware of the achievement gap just before they helped their child with a difficult math problem.  Results of pencil-and-paper reports of parent and child affect and the quality of parent assistance showed that parents in the primed group were more intrusive and negative with their children than those who were not primed.  Preliminary results of coded observations of the same interaction will also be discussed.  The results will be discussed in terms of their implications for schools and the government as they balance public awareness of the gap with the potential negative effects of “gap” discourse.  The implications of other meso- and macro-system effects on parenting will also be discussed.
127 Moore
4:15-5:30 p.m.

February 28, 2012 - Post-doctoral Fellow Public Lecture with Michael Kehinde, Ph.D.

Michael Kehinde
Michael Kehinde, ARC Post-doctoral Fellow for the African Studies Program

"Islamic Banking and the Future of the Nigerian State"

Nigeria has been described as a "mere geographic expression" given its various manifestations of identity cleavages and challenges.  One of the major problems facing the Nigerian state is the problem of nation building. Nigeria is a deeply divided heterogeneous state composed of over 250 ethnic nationalities and two major religious affiliations. Owing to the legacy of colonial rule, each of these identity groups remained self-contained and differentiated, engendering inter-group competition and rivalry. The consequence is a "suffocated" Nigerian state characterized by heightened ethnic and religious competition, rivalry, conflict and instability.

Added to these "normal" states of being is the relatively new challenge of Islamic banking that has generated a lot of debates and bad blood, pitching the Muslim hierarchy against the Christian leadership in the country. This challenge has the potentials of aggravating the already tenuous stability of the state if allowed to fester. The argument that I am advancing in this paper is that Nigeria's future hangs in the balance given the reactions generated by the introduction of Islamic banking.

124 Sparks

Noon-1:00 p.m.

February 24-25, 2012 - The New York African Studies Association Annual (NYASA) Conference at Penn State University

"Africans in the Americas and African Americans in Africa: The Shifting Boundaries of Citizenship in the 21st Century"
February 24, 2012
Hub-Robeson Center, Heritage Hall
12:00pm – 9:00pm

February 25, 2012
Smeal College of Business
8:00am – 6:00pm

Student Participation:
Model Southern African Development Community
Parliamentary Forum

For more information and conference registration:

February 22-26, 2012 - National Model African Union Conference

Washington, D.C.

February 22, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Terrell Jones, Ph.D.
"Educational Equity"

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

February 21-23, 2012 - Tribute to the Influence of African American Music

These events exhibit the positive multi-cultural interest of Penn State as the students, departments and faculty come together in celebration.

Penn State Jazz Club, with UPAC funding and generous co-sponsorship from AAAS, A&A, AE, ARC, ENG, IAH, PRCC, EOPC, FOBA, SoM is hosting a 4-day Tribute to the Influence of African American Music in Heritage Hall Feb 21-22-23; FREE ADMISSION.

*Day 4 is in conjunction with the NYASA New York African Studies Association Conference being held at Penn State Feb. 24 & 25!

Lineup includes two headliners per night plus numerous student performers from SoM, NNOMO, RAM Squad, and AAAS 260 Hip Hop Music & Culture taught by R. Burrage, as well as professional hip hop artists G-Dot and Jamal Justice and NYC based percussionist Eli Fountain, veteran of Max Roach's M'BOOM ensemble. Throughout the festival there will be selections of poetry, literature, dance, video footage of African American civil rights activist, artist, musicians, dancers and athletes. Also witness and support the amazing collaborations of these international artists with student jazz ensembles (SoM Jazz combo & Jazz Club student musicians), rappers, dancers, local artist Eric Ian Farmer, Ugo Onyianta, the "U", student vocalist Melody Stringer and so much more. Make sure you see the wonderful back drop constructed by the Design - Build Institute of America students!

: 6PM - 7:30 PM room TBA Lecture by literary figure Quincy Troupe, co-author "Miles" The Autobiography and screenwriter and adviser to Chris Gardner & Will Smith for the movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness"

: 3:30 PM Penn State School of Music will host Master Class / Clinic / Workshop with Mr. Hamiet Bluiett (World Saxophone Quartet, Charles Mingus, Sam Rivers, Don Pullen to name a few)


: Atlas Sound Track, a local hip-hop-rock fusion featuring Drew Jackson Jr., followed by Pittsburgh saxophonist Tony Campbell's Jazz Surgery with SoM jazz combo lead by Donte Ford also throughout the evening you will here DJ Sean Prosser, rappers Shawn McKnight aka “GDOT”, “The U”, “Quilwill” and more! Grand Finale Jam!

: Soundart w/ Quincy Troupe, Hamiet Bluiett, Kelvyn Bell, Nimrod Speaks, & Ronnie Burrage, tympani solo by Eli Fountain into a musical selection by R.B. & crew, “Jamal Justice”, “GDOT”, “U”, “Quilwill”, “Mike Wallace”, “Drew Jackson”, Eric Ian Farmer & Melody Stringer followed by Harriet Tubman the Band, from NYC Grand Finale Jam!

: Percussionist, Kimati Dinizulu group followed by the Grover Washington Jr. Tribute Legacy Band from Philadelphia featuring John Blake, Jr. Tyrone Brown, Bill Meeks and Doc Gibbs from Grover's band plus Webb Thomas, Richard Tucker, Mark Johnson, and Willie Williams on sax! R. B. & crew will provide musical with video interludes. Grand Finale Jam!

: 6 – 10:30PM NYASA receptions 6 – 7PM (for conference members and invited visitors only) 7 – 10:30PM open to public music concert from Ghanaian percussionist Okyerema Asante, Band Burrage and student musical group organized by Pepita and Sika with musical group, “Black Ice” will collaborate in a joyous musical performance!

February 20, 2012 - Research & Pizza with Nicole Laliberte

Nicole Laliberte 
Nicole Laliberte, Doctoral Student, Departments of Geography and Women's Studies

"Embodied Geopolitics: Rescaling Rights and Responsibilities in Northern Uganda"

This presentation is based upon my doctoral research, conducted in northern Uganda, which investigates human rights as a site of cultural politics connected to processes of militarism, development and democracy. I interrogate the dominant narrative of the war, one perpetuated by national as well as international actors, to expose a scalar disconnect that effectively isolates the people of northern Uganda by making them both the victims and perpetrators of the war. This discursive disconnect between local and (inter)national processes simultaneously justifies international militaristic interventions and non-violent conflict resolution programs for the local population. My research engages with these two types of intervention as they articulate with local human rights activism. By employing a feminist methodology that prioritizes the study of lived experience through ethnographic methods, my research illuminates place-based variations in how rights were deployed to fulfill different, and often contradictory, agendas. These place-based variations in the interpretations and practices of human rights do more than just question the universality of the rights model, they provide a map to the cultural politics of the landscape in which the tool of human rights is embedded.

217 Willard
Noon-1:00 p.m.

February 17, 2012 - Fellows' Mentoring Program with Paula D. McClain, Ph.D.

February 17, 2012 - Fellows' Mentoring Program with Paula D. McClain, Ph.D..jpg 
Paula D. McClain is a professor of Political Science, Public Policy, and African American Studies at Duke University, where she also serves as co-director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences.

"Black and White Americans and Latino Immigrants: Attitudes toward Latino Immigration in Three Southern Cities"

Immigration to the United States, particularly Latino immigration, between 1990 and 2010 has resulted in significant demographic shifts in some regions of the country.  This change is particularly evident in the South, which now has the second-largest concentration of Latinos, 14.5 percent, after the West, 26.6 percent.  This project examines the intergroup dynamics resulting from Latino immigration in three Southern cities—Durham, NC, Memphis, TN and Little Rock, AR.
12:15-1:30 p.m.
302 Pond
Fellows' Workshop:
1:30-3:30 p.m.
302 Pond

February 15, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Carla Mulford, Ph.D.
"Teaching Philosophies (Part 2)"

217 Willard

February 6, 2012 - Dissertation Fellow's Public Lecture with Charlene Chester

Charlene Chester 
Charlene Chester, ARC Dissertation Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in Developmental Psychology

"Transracial Adoptive Family Development:  The Implications for Adoption and Contextual Factors on Parenting Self-Efficacy and Cultural Socialization".

The purpose of this study is to examine associations among specific family processes that impact family functioning and well-being within families who have completed transracial adoption plans.  Transracial adoptions are unique in that the physical differences between the adopted child and the adoptive parents are frequently very visible and, because of this visibility, the families may be more affected by the stigma that society places on adoptive families because of their inability to “pass”.  Challenges faced by these families may be stressful and may increase the likelihood that adoptive parents will rely on relatives and other individuals for support.  These unique demands are likely to have implications for the development of adoptive parents’ sense of parenting self-efficacy.  Another salient factor that may be important for understanding transracial adoptive family processes is cultural socialization which may have implications for parenting self-efficacy and/or may be influenced by parents’ feelings of parenting self-efficacy.  It is also likely that personal and adoption related factors like satisfaction with the adoption and perspectives on race may be associated with cultural socialization.    

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

January 30, 2012 - Emerging Scholar Speaker Series (ESSS)

Sabrina Strings
University of California, San Diego, Sociology
"The Rise and Fall of the Voluptuous Aesthetic: Scaling the Role of "White" German and "Black" Irish Immigrants"

This research investigates how the tremendous influx of German and Irish immigrants to the U.S. in the mid-19th century impacted racialized body ideals. I perform an analysis of relevant data from the natural and anthropological sciences, as well as popular magazines and newspapers, from the 1830s-1880s. Results reveal that 'white' German immigrants, known to prize curvaceous physiques, helped to popularize a voluptuous ideal in the U.S. for a brief period of time. However, the long-standing association of fatness with 'blackness', and its new association during this period with the 'black' Irish, aided in its downfall. Moreover, since the majority of the Irish immigrants during the era were impoverished single women, fatness was not only increasingly associated with racial 'Otherness,' it was also gendered female and associated with the poor. Slenderness simultaneously became increasingly valorized and associated with upper-and middle-class 'native' American Anglo-Saxon women. The implications of these findings for the current historical moment are discussed.

William Sturkey
The Ohio State University, History
"The Heritage of Hub City: The New South Origins of the Hattiesburg Freedom Schools, 1880-1917"

This talk focuses on the deep-rooted origins of the Civil Rights Movement in local communities across the country. Engaging with recent trends including the conceptualization of a "long civil rights movement" and growth of local community studies, it analyzes the origins of the Civil Rights Movement in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The content of this talk focuses on the third chapter of my dissertation. It describes the growth of Hattiesburg's black community in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, focusing on how that settlement created the foundations for a movement that would come nearly seventy years later.
LaToya Tavernier
The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, Sociology
"On the Midnight Train to Georgia:  Afro-Caribbeans and the New Great Migration to Atlanta"
Since they began migrating to the United States in the early 1900s, Afro-Caribbean immigrants have been heavily concentrated in a few cities along the country's East coast, with the largest concentrations having settled in and around New York City, Miami, and Boston. In the 1990s, their migration and settlement patterns began to shift, as a growing number of Afro-Caribbeans started moving to new destinations in the US. In this study, I investigate the migration of Afro-Caribbean immigrants to Atlanta, which, since the 1990s, has emerged as a center for two large migratory streams to the South: the migration of immigrants from Asia, Africa, and Latin America to "new immigrant destinations" and the "return" migration of African Americans to the South. I explore how the larger migrations to the South impact Afro-Caribbeans moving to, and settling in, Atlanta. Specifically, this study addresses the following questions: 1) What factors have contributed to the emergence of Atlanta as new destination for Afro-Caribbean immigrants? 2) How does Atlanta's large African American population, and its growing immigrant population, shape the incorporation of Afro-Caribbeans, as black immigrants, into the southern city?
Vanessa Tyson
University of Chicago, Political Science
"Power and Influence in the U.S. House:  Progressive Coalitions, Interracial Alliances and Marginal Group Politics"
This chapter focuses on the internal dynamics of the House of Representatives and the ability of members from and representing marginal groups, particularly racial minorities, to navigate the legislative process.  Having been shut out of traditional avenues of influence in the past, members from and representing marginal groups have adopted alternative strategies to garner and wield influence in the political process, both in terms of building coalitions, as well as operating within a party stratus.  Specifically, there is a feeling amongst members from and representing marginal groups of a linked political fate not only within individual racial minority groups, but also amongst these groups, and that feeling is reflected by the behavior of their Representatives in the House.  As a result, they have formed coalitions and advocated anti-discrimination agendas.  At times they are compelled to support political coalitions that have been forged and maintained, even when that support is in direct contrast with the preferences of their constituents, because they believe that it is in the best interests of those they represent.  Meanwhile, support for civil rights seems to depend on one's psychological proximity to discrimination as well as ideological predilection, and subtle forms of racism and marginalization occur both for members as well as the districts they represent.
Nittany Lion Inn, Penn State Room
9:00-11:30 a.m.

January 23, 2012 - Emerging Scholar Speaker Series (ESSS)

Michael Woldemariam
Princeton University, Department of Politics
"Rebel Fragmentation and the Dynamics of War: Evidence from Ethiopia"

This presentation uses original quantitative and qualitative data from Ethiopia's civil wars to develop and test a theory of rebel fragmentation. I argue that organizational performance affects the emergence of factional infighting in rebel organizations in unique and novel ways. While territorial losses increase the likelihood of fragmentation, so do territorial gains. The implication is that battlefield stalemates possess unique properties that promote organizational cohesion and provide the only sustainable basis for cooperation in war. The presentation pushes the limits of an emerging literature on the internal politics of insurgent groups by demonstrating how the character and coherence of rebel organizations is highly sensitive to the ebb and flow of war.
Jessie Dunbar
Emory University, English
"Marriage and Mobility: Nancy Prince and the Geography of Containment"

The opening pages of Nancy Prince's The Narrative of the Life and Travels of Mrs. Nancy Prince detail a history of enslavement and captivity suffered and overcome by her grandparents and step-father.  This thematic preoccupation with bondage and the fight for liberty pervades the entire narrative.  It provides a useful metaphor which Prince evokes as she shifts from a discourse on servitude and misfortune to that of liberty and independence when she abandons the racially oppressive United States for the more tenable environs of tsarist Russia.  Utilizing  Stephanie Camp's Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South as the basis for analysis, this paper explores the ways in which Nancy Prince subverts the normative ideals of womanhood through her various travels, and, ironically, through her marriage to Nero Prince.  Camp observes that "in different periods and in various parts of the South women consistently made up a small minority of those who ran away to permanent freedom..." (Camp 36).  For women, family responsibilities and gender norms imposed a secondary level of captivity within the construct of what Camp terms geographies of containment, or the temporal and spatial practices of restraint employed by the dominant class.  The metaphor of enslavement which Prince employs in relation to her own life is also taken up to draw links between Prince's "free" story and the narrative of post-emancipation ex-slave authors, such as Mattie J. Jackson.
Ernest Gibson
University of Massachusetts-Amherst, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies
"Alone in the Absurd:  Powerlessness and Black Male Suicide in James Baldwin's Another Country"
James Baldwin begins his 1962 essay, "The Creative Process", in stating: "Perhaps the primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, necessarily, must avoid; the state of being alone."  Published in the same year, Baldwin's Another Country is unparalleled in its unsettling and brilliantly profound exploration of the unique relationship between black male subjectivity and this state of being alone.  Tracing Rufus Scott's fatalistic wrestling with race, sexuality and purpose, the novel narrates the author's preoccupation with loneliness as it is mapped onto a larger cultural phenomenon - a crisis of black manhood.  This project argues that the absence of male intimacy precipitates the phantom protagonist's tragic fate while highlighting how topoi of invisibility and rejection operate within the American racial narrative.  In particular, it examines the fraternal crisis plaguing Scott's relationship with his closest friend, Vivaldo, and posits that the latter's whiteness elides with a privilege of willful denial.  Additionally, by situating the discussion of black male existential suffering within Albert Camus' theory of the absurd, this project positions Baldwin's novelistic endeavoring in Another Country, and other works of fiction, as literary recourse to the philosophical paradox of living.  To be clear, it suggests, albeit tragically, that the answer to the question of survival, to the finding of meaning within existence - lies within love.
Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
Rutgers University, History
"That 'oman took delight in sellin' slaves": White Women and the Re-Gendering of the Antebellum Slave Market and Slave-Trading Community"
Using antebellum New Orleans as a primary site of interrogation, this paper draws upon notarial records and slave bills of sale, court documents, slave traders' papers and correspondence, city and business directories, censuses of merchants compiled by New Orleans city officials, travel narratives, interviews with former slaves, white southern women's personal recollections, and illustrations to show that white southern women entered formal slave markets in the South. It further demonstrates that women actively engaged in slave market activities, participated in their families' slave trading businesses, and supported the market in slaves by offering their goods and services to slave yard operators, slave traders, brokers, and dealers. Taken together, white southern women's slave market activities, both real and imagined, encourage us to reconsider the ways that gender shaped economies and communities woven together by the institution of slavery in the nineteenth-century South.
Jessica Johnson
University of Maryland, History
"Protection & Power:  Free Women of Color in Senegal, Saint-Domingue and Gulf Coast Louisiana"
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, free women of color created networks of entrepreneurship, kinship and religion in the slaveholding societies of the French Atlantic world.  Free legal status did not protect women of African descent from the caprice of the slave trade, imperial warfare, or the day-to-day brutalities of the French Atlantic world.  Among the first property-owners and entrepreneurs in the francophone black Atlantic, free women of color invested time and money building their families, and slowly grew in wealth and power.  Their struggle to survive and the strategies they employed created transoceanic communities of African descent and were key to the formation of the Atlantic African diaspora.
Nittany Lion Inn, Penn State Room
9:00-4:30 p.m.

January 18, 2012 - Fellows' Professional Development Seminar

Chas Brua, Ph.D., and Larkin Hood, Ph.D.
"Teaching Tips: How to Survive and Thrive as a New Instructor"

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

January 15, 2012 - The 37th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Banquet

The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel,President's Hall
Doors opened at 5:45 p.m.,Banquet began at 6:30 p.m.