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.
This summer, join your colleagues for the Holtzclaw Summer Institute on Southern Black Education. This two week project will allow participants the opportunity to explore the life and legacy of William H. Holtzclaw, the founder of the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute, which later became Utica Junior College and Hinds Community College-Utica, an HBCU community college in rural Mississippi. The workshop will cover the role of the “Little Tuskegees” in the Jim Crow South through seminar discussions on the historical context, African American autobiography, incorporating archival work in your classroom, the role of the Black press, and the Utica Jubilee singers. Participants will create a teaching unit for use in their classrooms and to share with other project participants. This project is funded through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A decorated author and historian on race and class issues in U.S. history will address the next installment of the Holtzclaw Lecture Series, sponsored in part by the Humanities Department at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus.
Jacqueline Jones, chair of the History and Ideas Department at the University of Texas, will speak at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Gore Art Gallery at Mississippi College on a chapter of her 2013 book, “A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America.” The chapter is dedicated to William H. Holtzclaw, who founded the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute in 1903 that is now the Utica Campus. The lecture itself is titled “A Dangerous Thing: Black Schooling in William Holtzclaw’s Mississippi.”
Jones will be signing copies of the book at 6:30 p.m., before the lecture.
This semester, students in our Introduction to the Humanities course have each selected an undergraduate research project. Our goal with these projects is to familiarize students with critical research skills in the humanities, as well as allow them the opportunity to develop and present their research to a wider audience. Students will be presenting their findings at the end of the semester, along with an opportunity to present at the annual MC-Tougaloo Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Spring. We will also be using their research to support the ongoing research of the Holtzclaw Institute.
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”