New Directions

A lecture series featuring the works of prominent scholars in the field of african diaspora studies

2017-2018 New Direction Lecture Series

Theme: Speculative Blackness

Fall 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Devlin 101

Professor Jessica Marie Johnson, Department of History, John Hopkins University
Title: “Spared With Them: African and Native Women and the Violence of Resistance"
Description: As slavery spread across the Americas, enslaved African and Native women and children were central witnesses, victims, and survivors of events that unfolded. This talk turns to the United States to explore the role African and Native women played in one of the formative rebellions of the colonial era-- the Natchez Revolt in lower Louisiana.

Thursday, October 19, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Higgins Auditorium 300

M. NourbeSe Philip, Poet/Scholar
Title: "Zong! UnMasked - From Dark Matter to the Blackest Black"
Description: Through the unTelling of the recombinant narrative Zong!, we unMask the process of moving from literacy to orality, while remaining unTied to the Book.

Thursday, November 16, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Higgins Auditorium 300

Ife Franklin, Professional Artist/Community Activist
Title: "Ife Franklin's Indigo Project"
Description: "Ife Franklin's Indigo Project" is a miniature slave cabin workshop, accompanied by a screening of visual images of her work. It is a testament to enslaved Africans/African Americans that involves many forms of art making, including the creation of miniature structures resembling slave cabins, adire fabric-dying workshops, and performances of scenes from the soon-to-be published The Slave Narrative of Willie Mae (2017). But, ultimately, "Ife Franklin's Indigo Project" is about love, honor, respect, and remembering. 

Spring 2018

Thursday, February 8, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Devlin 101

Christina Sharpe
Title: "In the Wake: On Blackness and Being"
Description: In this original and trenchant work, Christina Sharpe interrogates literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the "orthography of the wake." Activating multiple registers of "wake"—the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness—Sharpe illustrates how Black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation.

Postponed until 2018-19 academic year
Devlin 101

Professor Kali Gross, African American Studies, Center of African American Studies, Weslyan University
Title: Hannah Mary Tabbs, Black Female Violence, and  Making Messy Histories
Description: The talk will explore a brutal murder and dismemberment that took place in Philadelphia in 1887, and will examine how race, gender, sexuality, and violence tested investigative efforts and historical methodologies.