Wednesday, August 05, 2015

UTSA hosts seventh annual African American Studies Spring Symposium Feb. 20

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(Feb. 19, 2014) -- The UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts will host the seventh annual African American Studies Spring Symposium, "100 Years Forward in African American Literary Arts and Media," from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 20 in the University Center Denman Room (2.01.28) on the UTSA Main Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The all-day symposium provides an opportunity for attendees to engage with national scholars about their current research projects and discuss academic trends that are relevant to African Americans in the United States.

The morning opens at 9 a.m. with a welcome from UTSA President Ricardo Romo and his presentation "San Antonio Mexican-Americans in the Civil Rights Movement." David Vance, UTSA associate professor of English, will serve as moderator.

At 11:30 a.m., Valerie Oliver, senior curator with the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, will keynote a presentation, "Riffs on Time/Riffs on History: Black Artists and the Contemporary Impulse."

Oliver has more than 25 years of experience in roles such as director of the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and program specialist with the National Endowment for the Arts. Scott Sherer, UTSA associate professor of art and art history, will moderate.

At 1:30 p.m., Howard Rambsy III, associate professor of English and director of black studies at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, will present the keynote address "Malcolm X, Huey Freeman and the Science of Imagery." Rambsy teaches African American literature courses and coordinates public humanities programs. He also blogs frequently about literary art and is the author of "The Black Arts Enterprise." UTSA English instructor Erin Ranft will moderate.

Other presenters include:

  • Barbara McCaskill, associate professor of English, University of Georgia
  • Clive Muir, associate professor of business, Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Martha Satz, assistant professor of English, Southern Methodist University
  • Louise Siddons, assistant professor of art history, Oklahoma State University
  • Marlene Allen, assistant professor of English, Columbus State University
  • Elizabeth Cali, Ph.D. candidate in English at UTSA
  • Tracy Vaughn, associate professor of liberal arts at Northwestern University, Qatar
  • Brandy Pryor, assistant professor of education, Texas A&M University

The symposium is sponsored by the Sue E. Denman Distinguished Chair in American Literature, Brackenridge Endowed Chair in Literature and the Humanities, UTSA Consortium for Social Transformation, UTSA African American Studies Program, UTSA Honors College, UTSA Department of History, UTSA Department of English, UTSA Department of Art and Art History, UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts, UTSA College of Education and Human Development, UTSA Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion, and the UTSA Office of the President.

For more information, contact Sonja Lanehart at 210-458-6610 or visit the UTSA African American Studies Symposium website.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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