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September 29, 2007

Sino-African solidarity

At 3:30 on Wednesday, October 3, 2007, Vera Fennell (Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota) will present "Preliminary Thoughts on Race and Foreign Policy: Sino-African Solidarity in Three Keys" in room 308 of the Andersen Library.

September 28, 2007

North Star STEM Alliance

An alliance of several Minnesota institutions will use a $2.45 million National Science Foundation grant in an attempt to attract more under-represented minorities to science and engineering programs.

September 24, 2007

Little Rock 9

The blog Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast has an interesting post about the Little Rock 9.

September 26 "Coffee Hour" presentation

On Wednesday, September 26, Yuichiro Onishi will present "The Ring Shout as the Modalities of Afro-Asian Solidarities" from 2-3:30 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]



My presentation will explore the shaping of Afro-Asian solidarities by considering the centrality of what historian Sterling Stuckey calls a “circle of culture,� a dynamic feature of African heritage and Black nationalism. In Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America (1988), Stuckey explains that Africans of diverse ethnic backgrounds, such as Angolans, Akans, and Ibos, began cultivating their shared sense of identity from the moment they were placed on slave ships to be sold as chattel in the New World. Stuckey calls this shared sense Africanity. Central to the carving of a “circle of culture,� and thus the articulation of Africanity, was a ring shout, a dance ceremony that was carried out by moving in a circle to honor the ancestors. In the New World, it functioned as a language, with which Africans and peoples of African descent could reach across linguistic, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to forge racial and pan-African solidarity. In my current book project titled Transpacific Racial Strivings: How Black Americans, the Japanese, and Okinawans Found Solidarities, I locate the presence of such a circle of culture, or what George Lipsitz calls “the semiotics of the circle,� in Afro-Asian solidarities. While most recent scholarship relies on such alternative formulations as “polyculturalism� or “Afro-Orientalism,� to interpret Afro-Asian unities, I regard the circle of culture that Black nationalism engenders as the mainspring of Afro-Asian solidarities. Far from being an essentialist or a separatist discourse, Black nationalism has exhibited remarkable flexibility and heterogeneity.

September 21, 2007

Jena 6 activism

The Jena 6 case is presenting many African American college students with opportunities to study and engage social change activism.

memorial to genocide victim

Germany has created the first memorial of a Black victim of Nazi genocide.

September 19, 2007

fall "Coffee Hour" presentations

From 2-3:30 on a Wednesday of each month of the fall semester the department's Assistant Professors will present their research during the departmental "Coffee Hour." The schedule:

Yuichiro Onishi, September 26: "The Ring Shout as the Modalities of Afro-Asian Solidarities."

Keith Mayes, October 17: "To Put Down Crazy Cracker Celebrations: Toward a Theory of Black Holidays and the Logic of Holiday Placement and Calendar Protest."

Alexs Pate, November 14: "Ya Feel Me?: The Meaning and Nature of Saturation in Rap/Poetry."

Njeri Githire, December 5: "Victor Hugo, Captain Bligh & Caribbean Women Writers: Imperial History, Nation and Gender in the Works of Gisele Pineau (France/Guadeloupe) & Andrea Levy (England/Jamaica)."

Come hear about exciting work in progress!

September 18, 2007

The Jena 6

The "Jena 6" are six African-American teens facing jail time after racial unrest in Jena, LA. For information, see stories on Wikipedia, NPR,
the Color of Change, and YouTube.

September 17, 2007

African history search

The History Department has a faculty position open in African history. More information and application instructions can be found at the top of the History Department faculty searches page.

September 16, 2007

Liberians in Minnesota

On September 16, 2007, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune published a story about the reactions of Minnesota's Liberians to an 18-month reprieve from deportation.

September 14, 2007

American Legacy Magazine

American Legacy Magazine "publishes African-American history and culture, factually and positively; material that is both informative and inspirational." Check out their web page for more details.

September 12, 2007

African immigrants in Minnesota

On September 12, 2007, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune posted a story about Minnesota's African immigrants.

September 10, 2007

faculty meeting

The department will hold a faculty meeting on Wednesday, September 12, 2-3:30 in the Geneva Southall Library (Social Sciences 815).

September 4, 2007

first week of classes

Have a question while walking around campus during the first week of classes (September 4-7)? Stop a person wearing an "Ask Me!" sticker or button! If you are a campus veteran, pick up a sticker at one of three locations:

  • Coffman Union - Gopher Express and Student Activities Office
  • St. Paul Student Center - Information Desk
  • West Bank Skyway - Information Desk/Postal Station

New Student Convocation

Today (Tuesday, September 4, 2007) is the first day of classes! If you are new to the university, check out the New Student Convocation at 4:30 in the Northrop Auditorium.