Announcing the African American Studies Fall 2017 Film Festival

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.

October 9: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

October 23: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

October 30: Get Out (2017)

November 6: I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

Dr. Carrillo Arciniega’s Book is Reviewed in _Chasqui_

A review of Professor Raúl Carrillo Arciniega’s book La mitografía del poeta: filosofía de la sensación poética (2015) has been published in the refereed journal Chasqui:

LCWA World Affairs Colloquium Series – Dr. William Parker

LCWA has announced the Fall 2017 LCWA World Affairs Colloquium Series will be held on November 30th. Dr. William J. Parker III will be presenting the lecture in the Wells Fargo Auditorium beginning at 4:00pm.


William J. Parker III, PhD
EastWest Institute
Chief Operating Officer

Dr. William J Parker III is the Chief Operating Officer at the EastWest Institute, a global NGO committed to conflict prevention and resolution with offices in New York, Brussels, Moscow, Istanbul, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Dallas.

An award-winning author, Dr. Parker has published over thirty academic articles and co-authored the book Jihadist Strategic Communication. Additionally, his 2016 book, Guaranteeing America’s Security in the Twenty-First Century, is considered a practitioners’ guide to national security.

Dr. Parker is an accomplished speaker and frequent guest commentator in global media on issues of national security and the global economy. He has addressed the media in more than thirty nations, including such outlets as Fox News, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, Patriot Radio, Voice of America and other live radio and television shows. He appears in and consulted on the 2016 Discovery Channel documentary Sonic Sea, which was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Nature Documentary.

Known for his ability to explain complicated international issues clearly and concisely and to provide coherent solutions, Dr. Parker has lectured at renowned international venues including the Council on Foreign Relations, the Hague, the International Counter-Terror Symposium at Windsor Castle in London, Columbia University, Tufts University, Columbia Law School, New York University, Harvard University, Bard College, the College of Charleston, the Armed Forces Staff College, the University of Moscow, the Spanish War College, numerous Turkish universities, and other institutions worldwide. Dr. Parker is a featured panelist on Strategic Post Conflict Investment for the 2017 Concordia Global Summit in New York and a guest speaker for Bloomberg Investments in Paris, Istanbul and Colombia in 2017. He is a life member and former Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Parker is a retired senior U.S. naval officer who is a qualified military parachutist and Surface Warfare Officer with a long list of awards, including the Bronze Star, three Legions of Merit and the Department of State Meritorious Honor award. During nearly three decades in uniform, he commanded three warships, and later, a squadron of warships. He was the 2009 recipient of the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership. He served as the Chief of Staff for U.S. Naval Forces and as the U.S. Navy’s Military Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations. In addition to multiple combat tours, he held the post of senior advisor and strategist with U.S. Embassies in Iraq and Pakistan.

Dr. Parker holds a PhD from George Mason University’s Department of Molecular and Microbiology, an MPA from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy, where he was a distinguished military graduate and class president.

Mayaway to China 2017

The ten students of the International Scholars Class of 2020 accompanied by Professors Blake Stevens and Bryan Ganaway completed their Mayaway to China this summer.  The students took at course at Suzhou University in southern China on traditional Chinese music and modern Chinese national identity.  They learned that the Communist Party first suppressed traditional musicians in the 1950s as part of their effort to totally remake people’s identity.  Starting in the 1980s, however, the Party slowly redefined itself as more Confucian than Communist and they rehabilitated traditional music and musicians as markers of Chinese cultural greatness.  The ten students had the opportunity to see a Chinese opera and to see live performances by graduate students and faculty performing with traditional instruments.  After completing the course portion of the trip, the students and their faculty took high speed trains to Shanghai and Beijing where they explored the Bund, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall.  In her thank you letter to the Samuel Freeman Trust, one of the students wrote, “This has experience has opened my mind and change my outlook on the world…I [will work] to use my experiences in China as a way to enhance my studies and make the College of Charleston proud.”


In May of 2018 the next International Scholars Mayaway will be to Ghana.  The students will take a class on issues of development and  democratization in post-colonial societies.  This trip will be led by Associate Provost Andrew Sobiesuo and Professor Bryan Ganaway.


Students in class at Suzhou University

Tiananmen Square with the Forbidden City on the right

View of the Great Wall north of Beijing

Professor Blake Stevens at the Great Wall