The love of the humanities was in the air as several members of the team spent Valentine’s Day at an academic conference with hundreds of scholars from around the globe at the National Association of African American Studies (NAAAS) Conference in Dallas. Our session covered the process of creating an interdisciplinary team-taught humanities course to teach institutional history. We created the presentation to help instructors at other institutions consider methods of exploring local history with their students.
Our summer workshop got off to a great start this week with our drive down to Tuskegee. We stopped in Selma and had a chance to walk over the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge. The Interpretative Center in Lowndes was a highlight of the drive. The well-designed exhibits chronicle the march and the tent city in a powerful way. Our goals for this week’s seminar are to plan the humanities course in the fall and to research the Washington-Holtzclaw connection in the Tuskegee Archives.
As part of the grant, we are bringing in visiting scholars to work with our team to help develop our course materials and background. Our first two visiting scholars are Dr. William Andrews from UNC-Chapel Hill and Dr. Kristi Melancon from Mississippi College.
In our April seminar, we discussed Smethurst’s book, The African American Roots of Modernism, which examines the development of African American literature and its connection to modernity with a unique focus on 1890-1919, a period marked by the rise of Jim Crow and the Great Migration (1-2). Smethurst argues that Jim Crow deeply marked modernism for both white and black writers, though white writers were reluctant to acknowledge influence of black writers, in contrast to music where even country artists talk about black mentors. Continue reading “Smethurst’s African American Roots of Modernism”
Our March seminar focused on Wilson Moses’ Creative Conflict in African American Thought, an in-depth examination of several key figures which challenges a simplistic reading of these individuals as either heroes or villains. We discussed the prologue which builds on the idea of “reconciling conflicts between proponents of opposing ideas and internal conflicts in individual speakers.” Given that all of us have these internal conflicts, it’s no surprise to see them in our heroes, but it can be disconcerting. Continue reading “Moses’ Creative Conflict in African American Thought”
During our monthly faculty seminars, we are examining key works of the African American experience. Our book list contains a list of shared readings that all faculty participants will read and discuss as we continue our study together.
The focus of our February seminar was an examination of Anderson’s Education of Blacks in the South: 1865-1935. Ivie Ero led the discussion of Chapter 1 (“Ex-Slaves and the Rise of Universal Education in the South, 1860-1880”) which highlighted the Continue reading “Anderson’s Education of Blacks in the South”
We’ve kicked off our grant planning with our first seminar meeting of the semester. 7 team members from the Hinds-Utica campus will be meeting all semester long to begin developing a context for our work. This summer, the team will work to create a new Humanities course at Utica, themed around Holtzclaw and Black Man’s Burden.