Photo by Ed Cohen
June 9, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
1425 Christian Street
Join Jane Golden, Executive Director of the Mural Arts Program, Sonia Sanchez, Professor Emerita, Temple University and Poet Laureate of the City of Philadelphia, poets, performers, and citizens from across the region to celebrate the dedication of Peace is a Haiku Song.
This multifaceted, participatory public art project consists of a large vibrant mural; peace sites and benches situated around the city; smaller temporary works of art; writing, art, and mindfulness workshops with youth; and a book of peace haiku. Some of the peace haiku are now included in the book and in temporary and permanent public art installations throughout Philadelphia. Ms. Sanchez collaborated with visual artists Josh Sarantitis andParris Stancell to create a peace mural featuring her own haiku along with the words of luminaries such as Maya Angelou, John H. Bracey, Jr., Common, Martin Luther King, Jr., Toni Morrison, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Charles Albert Tindley, and Alice Walker.
The dedication featured live performance, readings by Dr. John H. Bracey, Jr., Bernice Johnson Reagon, YolandaWisher, Frank Sherlock, Lyrispect and others, reflections on peace, and a special peace-inspired giveaway for each attendee.
FUNDED BY: City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services, Hummingbird Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Lattner Family Foundation
Peace is a Haiku Song ©2012 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Josh Sarantitis and Parris Stancell
Photo by Steve Weinik for City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Emeritus Professor Ekwueme Michael Thelwell represented the department (and the University) when he delivered the keynote address in the "National Week of Respect" in celebration of the life of Chinua Achebe in his native Nigeria on May 20th, 2013 at the International Conference Center in Abuja the capitol. After which our brother traveled to Eastern Nigeria for the traditional ceremonies of celebration and burial by Achebe's family and kinsmen. As you know Professor Thelwell has taught courses on Achebe's work in the department for many years.
Professor Steven Tracy headed back to China as Chu Tian Scholar. He will make the second of five Chinese government-sponsored trips to Central China Normal University in Wuhan as a Chu Tian Scholar from May 11 to July 16. While there, he will teach two courses, advise graduate students, work on co-editing a collection of essays by Chinese and American scholars, and offer musical performances. Professor
Tracy will also lecture at universities in Wuhan, as well as undertake a lecture tour at eight to 10 universities in Beijing, Three Gorges, Shanghai and other locations.
His first book, Langston Hughes and the Blues, is in preparation for publication in Chinese IN 2013-2014.
Back in the U.S. on Aug. 3, his band, Steve Tracy and the Crawling Kingsnakes, will perform on the main stage at the Greater Cincinnati Blues Festival. The following day, he will emcee the Piano Stage at the festival and perform with a variety of blues pianists.
At the festival, Tracy will autograph a two-LP set of historical recordings of Cincinnati blues from 1928-1936, "Play it Like You Did Back to George Street," for which he wrote the liner notes.
Professor Tracy has also been tapped as a keynote roundtable expert at the Ralph Ellison Centennial / annual MELUS conference March, 2014 in Oklahoma City, along with key Ellison experts Arnold Rampersad, Adam Bradley, Eric Sundquist, and Kenneth Warren. The Ellison Centennial will be a year-long celebration, from March 2013-March 2014, of Ellison's work. Current plans are to feature Tracy performing as well at a local jazz club as well.
Finally, three visiting scholars from China will be working with Professor Tracy in the 2013-2014 school year. Runrun Pan, Yukuo Wang, and Xu Yuanyuan will all be in residence working on American and African American literature under Steve's sponsorship and guidance.
Professor John H. Bracey, Jr. was awarded the Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters at the College of Wooster at the College's 143rd Commencement on May 13, 2013.
See article here.
On the evening of May 7th graduating senior Berhani Woldu performed his senior thesis presentation in the Shirley Graham Du Bois Reading Room on the 2nd floor of the New Africa House. Berhani, an accomplished tenor saxophone player, was accompanied by master Valley musicians Vishnu Wood on upright bass and Bob Weiner on drums and percussion. The trio led by Berhani launched into hour of improvisation that drew what seemed like the full range of sounds and feelings possible from their instruments. Several times during the performance what could have been conclusions were in fact pauses before the music took off in yet another interesting and provocative direction. When the room finally returned to silence, the audience was still listening intensely before realizing that this was indeed the end. It was a masterful display by all involved. Of course Berhani passed with flying colors. The entire proceedings were filmed by Professor Ernest Allen.
Alex Carter, Afro-American Studies Ph.D. candidate, has been selected for the United States Fulbright award to Australia for the academic year 2013-2014. His project explores the connections and influences between Afro-Americans and Aboriginal Australians during the Black Power and Black Arts movements. He will be affiliated with Professor Maryrose Casey of Monash University in Clayton, Victoria. The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Approximately 310,000 "Fulbrighters," 116,900 from the United States and 192,800 from other countries, have participated in the Program since its inception more than sixty years ago. The Fulbright Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide. Congratulations!
Meet Isabel Espinal, Librarian for Afro-Am
Professor A Yemisi Jimoh was elected as President of The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS). Her term will run from 2012 to 2015. Professor Jimoh also serves on the editorial board of the Society’s journal MELUS.
New England Regional Student Program (NERP)
Afro-American Studies Majors Qualify from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
The NERP allows students from the six New England states, who are enrolled in certain programs not offered by their home-state public college or universities, to pay a reduced tuition rate. Not all programs are available in the NERP at UMass.
See the Registrar's Office for details.
Check out our Department News & Events Page for more....
On the evening of January 4, 2013 William Cronon, President of the American Historical Association, awarded the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies with the AHA's Institutional Equity Award for its training and placing of minority historians in the academy. Manisha Sinha, Graduate Program Director and the Jobs Placement Officer of the department for its History-Politics track accepted the award on behalf of the department.
Established over 40 years ago, the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the oldest African American Studies departments in the country. In 1996, this department established a pioneering doctoral program in African American Studies, emphasizing solid disciplinary training in history. As one of the referees highlighted: "Not only was this doctoral program one of the first in the country but it has since its founding graduated a record number of minority students who have gone on to tenure track positions in history throughout the country." As one graduate of the department noted, "I learned how to think like a historian and how to be a historian in the academy....Not only did I receive great mentorship, but the graduate program also encouraged me to mentor others, including undergraduate students whom I taught."
This prize is given to recognize individuals and institutions that have achieved excellence in recruiting and retaining underrepresented racial and ethnic groups into the historical profession. The Department will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans. You can find information on the AHA's web site, at www.historians.org/annual
The November 2012 newsletter of the Organization of American Historians has a brief article, accompanied by a pie chart, that begins as follows: "African American history topics were the most popular for the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program during the 2011-2012,accounting for nearly a quarter of all lectures given." We are glad that there is such an interest in African American history. We also must acknowledge that the need for scholars in this field is not being met by the full time faculty at many of the institutions requesting guest lecturers. Our department will continue to do our part in producing first rate graduates who will be available as openings occur. Professors John Bracey, a Life Member of the OAH since 1964, and Manisha Sinha have served as Distinguished Lecturers for several years.
*Click on chart for pdf version.
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W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies
329 New Africa House
180 Infirmary Way, UMass Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003
Phone: (413) 545- 2751
Fax: (413) 545-0628