Conference Report: College Language Association Convention, 2015

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[by Meredith Wiggins] The 2015 College Language Association Conference for 2015 was held April 8-11, 2015, in Dallas, Texas, with the theme of “Expanding Frontiers: Freedom, Resistance, and Transnational Identities in Languages and Literatures.” CLA is always a challenging and welcoming community of scholars of African American literature and culture. This year, however, was especially exciting, as 2015 marked the 75th annual meeting of CLA’s […]

Langston Hughes Center Present: SELMA Panel Discussion

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[by Meredith Wiggins] KU’s Langston Hughes Center sponsored a screening of recent Best Picture nominee Selma followed by a panel discussion about the film and its resonances to current-day issues on Wednesday, March 25.  More than 200 students, faculty, and community members attended the screening in Wescoe Hall. Selma depicts the 1965 civil rights marches from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital of Montgomery, and […]

Of Folklore, Feminism, and Fire: An Afternoon with KU Associate Professor of English Giselle Anatol

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[by Creighton Nicholas Brown] University of Kansas Professor of English Giselle Anatol spoke about and read from her newly published book, Things That Fly in the Night: Female Vampires in Literature of the Circum-Caribbean and African Diaspora to a packed audience at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas on Thursday, April 2. Reflecting on the genesis of her project, Anatol said,  […]

Performance: Richard Wright in 2015

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[by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] Despite my having “performed” Richard Wright with a modicum of success some years ago in a Chautauqua series sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council, I know virtually nothing about performance theory as an “interdisciplinary area of study and critical method,” as it is discussed in the recent book Black Performance Theory (2014), edited by Thomas F. DeFrantz and Anita Gonzalez. […]

Poetry and History: An Evening with U.S. Poet Laureate (2012-2014) Natasha Trethewey

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[by Meredith Wiggins] Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey spoke and read poems about art, family, and race as part of the Hall Center for the Humanities 2014-2015 Humanities Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 3. All her poetry begins with a question she wants to answer, Trethewey said. In the case of 2012’s Thrall, her most recent collection, the primary question was how Enlightenment thinking […]

“Characteristics of Negro Expression”: Kenton Rambsy on the Importance of Digital Humanities in the Study of African American Short Stories

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[by Stefanie Torres and Jennifer Colatosi] On February 11, 2015, Hall Center Research Fellow and KU English Ph.D. candidate Kenton Rambsy presented on notable outcomes of his dissertation research in his interdisciplinary graduate research workshop, “Characteristics of Negro Expression: Digital Humanities and African American Short Stories,” at the University of Kansas. Rambsy’s work employs a digital humanities approach through text-mining software to understand African American […]

Black Literary Suite Kick-Off: Black Writers with a Kansas Connection

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[by Meredith Wiggins] On Wednesday, February 25, from 3 – 4:30 p.m., HBW and the KU Libraries co-hosted Black Literary Suites: Black Writers with a Kansas Connection. The kick-off event featured a poster display, a self-guided audio tour, a display of relevant books from HBW’s collections, and a preview of HBW’s video tribute to John A. Williams.   Over the course of the 90-minute event, […]