Category Archives: News

relevant local, national and international news

African American Studies Faculty Book Celebration

Join us as we celebrate recent publications from our African American Studies faculty:

Thursday, February 16th at 5 pm
Thaddeus Street Jr. Education Center * Septima Clark Auditorium
25 St. Philip Street, Room 118

origin story: poems by Gary Jackson

origin story outlines a family history of distant sisters, grieving mothers and daughters, and alcoholic fathers. These poems take us from Kansas to Korea and back again in an attempt to reconnect with estranged family and familial ghosts divided by years of diaspora. An interrogation of cultural and personal myths, origin story wrestles with the questions: Who will remember us? How do we deal with the failures of memory? Whose stories are told?

My Soul Is a Witness: The Traumatic Afterlife of Lynching by Mari N. Crabtree

Black southerners often shielded their loved ones from the most painful memories of local lynchings with strategic silences but also told lynching stories about vengeful ghosts or a wrathful God or the deathbed confessions of a lyncher tormented by his past. They protested lynching and its legacies through art and activism, and they mourned those lost to a mob’s fury. They infused a blues element into their lynching narratives to confront traumatic memories and keep the blues at bay, even if just for a spell. Telling their stories troubles the simplistic binary of resistance or submission that has tended to dominate narratives of Black life and reminds us that amid the utter devastation of lynching were glimmers of hope and an affirmation of life.

My Soul Is a Witness traces the long afterlife of lynching in the South through the traumatic memories it left in its wake. She unearths how African American victims and survivors found ways to live through and beyond the horrors of lynching, offering a theory of African American collective trauma and memory rooted in the ironic spirit of the blues sensibility—a spirit of misdirection and cunning that blends joy and pain.

Reading Pleasures: An Evening with Tara A. Bynum

The Conseula Francis Emerging Scholar Lecture presents Tara A. Bynum and Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America

Tuesday, February 7th at 7 pm
Avery Research Center * Senator McKinley Washington Auditorium

 

In the early United States, a Black person committed an act of resistance simply by reading and writing. Yet we overlook that these activities also brought pleasure. In her book, Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America, Tara A. Bynum tells the compelling stories of four early American writers who expressed feeling good despite living while enslaved or only nominally free. The poet Phillis Wheatley delights in writing letters to a friend. Ministers John Marrant and James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw memorialize their love for God. David Walker’s pamphlets ask Black Americans to claim their victory over slavery. Together, their writings reflect the joyous, if messy, humanity inside each of them. This proof of a thriving interior self in pursuit of good feeling forces us to reckon with the fact that Black lives do matter.

Decolonizing The Curriculum

Don’t forget that we’ve got the Decolonizing the Curriculum: Teaching Race Across the Disciplines series happening this academic year.

There are still 2 more events this semester!

March 24th – Black English: Understanding and Honoring Linguistic Dexterity
Click to register for the zoom event.

April 7th – Conseula Francis Emerging Scholar Lecture with Dr. Tao Leigh Goffe
Click to register for the zoom event.

 

Apply for the NEW internship program in Washington, D.C.

The DC Semester Program for Democracy, Culture, and the Arts (DCSP) is now accepting applications for the Fall 2022 semester! This study away program, which is run by the College of Charleston, provides students who are interested in arts and culture with an opportunity to synthesize their coursework with professional experience at Washington DC-area arts organizations. The program combines a full-time (and often paid) internship in DC (DCSP 395; 6 credits) with a seminar on democracy, culture, and the arts (DCSP 350; 3 credits). Students also take either a 3-credit independent study or a 3-credit online course at the College of Charleston. Combining an internship with coursework has the benefit of helping students build professional contacts and skills while still in school and connecting their academic interests to their professional goals after graduation. For AAST students, the opportunities for arts and culture internships in DC are bountiful—there are dozens of museums, foundations, non-profits, media companies, and government agencies with relevant internships. Also, the African American Studies Program is in the process of allowing DCSP 395 and DCSP 350 to count toward the major and minor in AAST.

Students are responsible for securing an internship in DC, but the DCSP director, Professor Neufeld, and the DCSP associate director, Professor Crabtree, will assist students in identifying internships. Tuition and housing costs are billed like any other tuition and housing costs at CofC, and financial aid still applies. However, there is a program fee of around $800.

If DCSP is of interest to you, please read through the DCSP Info Sheet, which includes an application checklist and application form. If you are interested in DCSP, schedule a meeting with Professor Neufeld (neufeldja@cofc.edu) by mid-February to make sure the program is a good fit for you.

Application Deadline: March 7, 2022

Requirements: Junior or senior status at the time of the program (Fall 2022)

Decolonizing the Curriculum: Teaching Race Across the Disciplines

Don’t miss out on these events this semester! This year’s theme of Decolonizing the Curriculum: Teaching Race Across the Disciplines kicks off with Dr. Lailani Sabzalian (Oregon University) on September 23rd, soon followed by Dr. Jameliah Shorter-Bourhanou (Holy Cross College) on September 30th. Dr. Sabzalian will discuss race, indigenous populations, and educational pedagogy while Dr. Shorter-Bourhanou will discuss how to incorporate race content in philosophy.  In October, we will host Dr. Sofiya Noble (UCLA) whose talk will feature her award-winning book Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. While Dr. Noble is housed in African American Studies/Women and Gender Studies, this phenomenal work intersects with STEM fields such as computer science and software engineering (one of CofC newest forthcoming majors). Her talk is scheduled for Oct. 27th. Each of these events will be held virtually.

1967 Legacy Ambassador Award Recipents!

African American Studies is so excited to congradulate TWO of our students this year as recipents of the 1967 Legacy Ambassador Award here at CofC!

Janae Dorsey

Zinnia Harris

The Legacy 1967 Program aims to improve the recruitment, retention, graduation and workplace success of Black students through scholarships, enhanced and extended education support, and professional preparation, as well as research the experiences of the Black trailblazers who contributed to the College.

Who Are Legacy Scholars? This scholarship is for first-year Black students who consider themselves trailblazers.  What does it mean to be a trailblazer?  A trailblazer is a pioneer. It’s someone who isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo. It’s an innovator.

Former College of Charleston trailblazers include people who are:

  • community activists.
  • grassroots organizers.
  • preachers and ministers.
  • champions of social justice.
  • teachers.
  • leaders in both their profession and community.

Student Spotlight

The African American Studies Program would like to congradulate and share with you this year’s recipient of the Afrcian American Studies Rising Scholar Award Janae Dorsey.
Janae Dorsey is from a small town called Kingstree, South Carolina. She is a rising junior that is double majoring in Computer Science and African American Studies. She’s an active member of CofC’s Women in STEM, Women in Computing, and Student Ambassadors organizations. She’s passionate about helping people and dreams of combining her passion and her education to help create tech-based solutions that will specifically benefit minorities and underrepresented groups. Janae’s motto in life lies within this belief: Your mentality is one of the most important keys to your success. Two fun facts about her are 1) She has a twin brother and 2) She graduated from Kingstree Senior High School as valedictorian of the class of 2019.

Alumni News!

AAST would like to share some exciting news from some of our almuni!

Adeyemi (Yemi) Oduwole ’19, finished his MPH program early and will graduate from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai this summer, and he will be entering a post-baccalaureate program at Temple University in the fall so he can apply for medical school!

Kamau Pope ’16, after successfully defending his masters thesis titled “Shaping a Queer South: The Evolution of Activism from 1960–2000,” graduated with a MA in History at the University of South Carolina this spring, and he will be pursuing a PhD in History at Duke University in the fall!