Click the link below to listen to the 2nd episode of Port of Entry!
Episode 2: “DNA Doesn’t Lie”
September 13, 2019
Dr. Theodore Schurr and Doctoral Candidate Raquel Fleskes discuss their partnership with the Gullah Society and on-going research on the Anson Street Burial remains. Find out the latest information on the DNA analysis being done and how Anthropology and African American Studies synergize to make such a project even possible!
Panel Explores 65th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education Ruling.
To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the hallmark Brown v. Board decision and decade of subsequient court battles and protests, Dr. Millicent Brown and Caroll Y. Turpin will share their experiences as children who desegregated South Carolina’s public schools in the 1960’s.
Please support the African American Studies study abroad program to Jamaica this summer! We are trying to make sure that all 11 accepted students will have the money that they need to go. They are all applying for financial aid and scholarships. In addition, we have partnered with the College of Charleston Foundation to organize a GoFundMe campaign for them. They are already using it to raise money from their family and friends, but they could certainly use some additional help sharing the link for their GoFundMe campaign. Please share this link with all of your networks, and ask them to support our students!
African American Studies Student Art Competition
Are you a student artist at the College of Charleston in search of new inspiration and an opportunity to showcase your work? Then the African American Studies Program has just the opportunity for you! Enter your work in the African American Studies Student Art Competition for a chance to win art materials and prominent display in the AAST office suite!
• This competition is open to currently enrolled CofC students only
• Artwork must be an original work of the student
• Entries must be in 2D Fine Art mediums (painting, drawing, printmaking, and/or
• Original art work should be a minimum of 11inches x14 inches and a maximum of
27inx40in in size.
• Entrants can submit up to five works for consideration.
• Artwork should be submitted as a high-resolution image of the original artwork in
.jpg file format.
• Submission formmust accompany each entry
• All entries must address some aspect/theme of the African Diaspora (culture,
people, and/or places) broadly defined.
• Submissions must be received by March 25, 2019
Entries will be evaluated based on originality, interpretation of subject matter/theme,
creative techniques and overall art appearance. A panel of judges comprised of African
American Studies Faculty and Affiliates will evaluate each entry and rank each. The
entries with the highest rankings will receive the first and second place prize.
There will be a prize for first and second place winners. First place will receive $300 in
art supplies via Amazon.com and permanent display in the AAST office suite; Second
place will receive $200 in art supplies and permanent display in the AAST office suite.
Entries may also receive Honorable Mention and the opportunity for permanent display
in the AAST office suite.
Please contact Program Director for More Information:
Office: ECTR 207C
The African American Studies Spring 2019 Film Festival, “Afrofuturism on Film,” will feature four evenings of films that assert that, regardless of whatever else the future holds, the future is most definitely and defiantly Black. Though the films in the festival take us from Los Angeles and the Gulf Coast to outer space and Wakanda, all of them envision futures centered on the peoples and cultures of Africa and the Diaspora. The screenings, which will be at 6:00 pm in Septima Clark Auditorium (Education Center 118), are free and open to the public, and each will be followed by a discussion led by a College of Charleston faculty member. Popcorn and soda will be served as well.
February 4: Blade (discussion led by Prof. Anthony Greene)
February 11: Beasts of the Southern Wild (discussion led by Prof. Lisa Young)
February 18: Pumzi and Other Shorts* (discussion led by Prof. Mari Crabtree)
February 25: Black Panther (discussion led by Prof. Gary Jackson and Prof. Matthew Cressler)
* The “other shorts” will include Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, clips from Sun Ra’s Space is the Place, and excerpts of a Parliament concert from their original Mothership Connection tour.
The African American Studies Study Abroad Program began in 2012 with Roneka Matheny. During the Maymester, she took a group of students to the island of Barbados. The following academic year, I was asked to continue the program. Instead of organizing a subsequent trip in the summer of 2013, with the assistance of Mary Battle, I had the pleasure of taking a planning trip to Barbados. Prior to my travels, Mary Battle connected me with Rhoda Green, the Honorary Barbados Consul to South Carolina who resides in Charleston, SC. She provided me with significant information on the history of the connectedness between Charleston and Barbados, along with providing me the names of several individuals to contact and plan to meet while in Barbados. As I embarked to Barbados, I had the privilege of meeting with several stakeholders who were vested in seeing the program continue as it did in 2012. I met with Janet Caroo, Marketing Officer and Regional Student Development at UWI-Cavehill, and Kevin Farmer, Deputy Director of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society. This planning session provided us the opportunity to work out details for the study abroad trip (e.g., costs; classroom space; dorm space; tours, etc.). Upon my return to Charleston, Dr. Conseula Francis and I created a planning committee that included the relaunching of the trip for the summer of 2014. During the 2013-2014 academic year, we actively promoted the trip through the Center for International Education, along with emails to the African American Studies minors as well as other students enrolled in our classes.
We billed the program as a bridge to Rhoda Green’s Carolina-Barbados Foundation, by highlighting the social, economic, political, and cultural link between Charleston and Barbados. Barbados has a unique cultural history with the low country. From the plantation life to architecture, there are relics of historic Charleston that owes its existence to Barbados.
Our recruitment efforts resulted in securing ten CofC students for the three-week study abroad trip. The program was organized into two sections. The first week students remained in Charleston, SC exploring the local history of Charleston, and its link to Barbados, by visiting Charlestowne Landing and Magnolia Plantation. Students also had an opportunity to meet with Mrs. Rhoda Green, who provided an in-depth history of the Carolinas-Barbados connection. The remaining two weeks were spent in Barbados where students took 6-credit hours (Comparative Black Identity; Blackface in the Global Imaginary); participated in several island tours exploring the local history (e.g., Barbados Museum of History; Mount Gay Rum Tours; St. Nicholas Abbey; Speighstown; walking tour of historic Bridgetown). Additionally, students were also able to explore the island as a group, void of professor oversight. During this time, students were able to shop, meet and interact with the locals, and connect classroom course information with the physical, tangible world of Barbados.
As an assignment, students were required to make daily posts on a created blog to chronicle their group outings and adventures. The videos below are examples of our experiences on the beautiful island of Barbados.
In the upcoming academic year, Roneka Matheny plans to relaunch the AAST Study Abroad program. She plans to create a broader, more comprehensive program where students would spend two weeks in Charleston, again exploring the cultural and historical links to the Caribbean; two weeks in Barbados; and two weeks in Jamaica. Although course proposals are in the preliminary stages, the two purported courses would focus on the use of music as a form of social protest (e.g., Bob Marley) and on the shared Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade History.
In conjunction with Professor Crabtree’s LCWA Junior Faculty Colloquium, Nicole Guidotti-Hernández will deliver a public lecture titled “Latinx: The Future is Now” on April 6 at 2:00 pm in Addlestone 227. This lecture charts out the histories of how we went from using Mexican American and Puerto Rican to Chicano and Nuyorican and then to the latest iterations, Latina/o and now Latinx. By drawing on specific bodies of evidence both in the creation of new-phase ethnic studies departments in the 2000s and public digital discourse, I demonstrate that while millennials are leading the charge with the Latinx conversation, their boomer intellectual forerunners not are ready for and are often outright resistant to the use of Latina/o let alone Latinx, indicating the futurist potential and political necessity of the term. In making a historical argument about terminology linked to the fields of Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, I show the work of hegemonic logic in how majority minority populations shape discourse with their mere numbers and their access to discourse: print, digital, and aural. To be a part of the affective community is antiessentialist because Latinx bears the load of recognition and diversity and represents the power of inclusion without speaking for everyone. Ultimately, people invest in Latinx because it carries the excessive and diverse affective load of a population in ways that other ethno-nationalist and pan-Latina/o terms cannot.
The African American Studies Fall 2017 Film Festival asks out loud how the US film industry has engaged with white liberal complicity in white supremacy over the past fifty years. We begin with Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), which is too focused on self-congratulatory, white liberal glad-handing to realize how ignorant the white characters are to their own racist assumptions. To quote a line from James Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work, what the film’s writers fail to imagine is that “As the parents of a world-famous man [Sidney Poitier’s character], they [the black parents], indisputably, out-rank their [white liberal] hosts, and might very well feel that the far from galvanizing [white] fiancée is not worthy of their son.” In George Romero’s classic zombie movie, Night of the Living Dead (1968), the specter of whites unable to believe in black heroism and magnanimity proves to be as dangerous as the zombies themselves. The racist views of the film’s white characters ultimately leads to the demise of the black hero, who is deemed essentially equivalent to the zombies he protects them from. This then begs the question, ‘who are the real monsters in the film?’ (Watch Key & Peele’s “White Zombies” sketch for an amusing flipping of the script.) And then there’s Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017), which combines the premise of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner with the genre of Night of the Living Dead to make the insidiousness of ‘polite’ white supremacy a thing of horror that plagues the main character. The festival ends with a documentary about perhaps the most eloquent and incisive critic of white liberal complicity, the inimitable James Baldwin. I Am Not Your Negro (2016) indicts white America for its willful blindness to the horrible crimes collectively committed against black people, all the while finding in the fact of Baldwin’s life reason to avoid drowning in pessimism and despair.
The screenings, which will be at 6:00 pm in Maybank 100, are free and open to the public, and each will be followed by a discussion led by a CofC faculty member. Popcorn and soda will be served as well.