In accordance with Massachusetts regulations, strict restrictions are in effect for in-person campus events. Most of the the events listed here are taking place remotely on Zoom and other online platforms. See each listing for details. All times are United States Eastern Time Zone.

Race and the American Story 'Zoomposium'

Event Details

April 3, 2020 1:00 pm-2:30 pm
April 17, 2020 1:00 pm-2:30 pm
April 18, 2020 1:00 pm-2:30 pm
April 28, 2020 12:00 pm-1:30 pm


Free admission

In this unusual time of social isolation and fear of an invisible enemy, the Race and the American Story Project aims to remind us all of the antidotes for these ills: human solidarity and love for one another. Isolation and fear are, after all, not new enemies; they are perennial obstacles to the practice of democracy and the achievement of justice. Those who study and live the story of race in America know this perhaps better than anyone. The events of our special Zoomposium will highlight and explore this story from many angles, guided by distinguished scholars.

Each year, the students and faculty involved in the course participate in a two-day immersive symposium held at a location of significance for the history of race in America. The goal is to engage in illuminating conversations, listen to unique presentations, encounter local history and culture, and build our community by getting to know one another. 

This year the COVID-19 pandemic required a reconfiguration of the concept and the Race and the American Story Symposium 2020 – originally scheduled at the the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, March 20-21 – became Zoomposium 2020.

Open Sessions (Access Zoom via hyperlinked titles to join)

  • April 3 Thomas Jefferson’s Story
    1:00 – 2:30 pm PDT / 4:00 – 5:30 pm EDT
    A conversation featuring Pulitzer Prize-winner Annette Gordon-Reed and Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor Emeritus Peter S. Onuf, authors of the NY Times Bestseller Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: ThomasJefferson and the Empire of the Imagination.
  • April 17 Race and American Sports
    1:00 – 2:30 PDT / 4:00 – 5:30 EDT
    A conversation featuring Aram Goudsouzian, Professor of History at the University of Memphis and author of King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution.
  • April 18 Race and American Music
    1:00 – 2:30 PDT / 4:00 – 5:30 EDT
    A conversation featuring Charles Hughes, Director of the Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Center at Rhodes College and author of Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South.
  • April 28 The Story of the James Baldwin-William F. Buckley, Jr. Debate
    12:00 – 1:30 PDT / 3:00 – 4:30 EDT
    A conversation featuring Nicholas Buccola, Director of the Frederick Douglass Forum at Linfield College and author of The Fire is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley, Jr., and the Debate over Race in America.