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November 27, 2007

lecture: Ngugi Wa Thiong'o at Augsburg

Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, a renowned Kenyan novelist, playwright, and essayist, and the current Director of the International Centre for Writing and Translation, University of California at Irvine, will give a public lecture and read from his latest novel, Wizard of the Crow, at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27, in the Hoversten Chapel of Augsburg College.

November 26, 2007

Are Universities Liberal Places?

On Thursday, November 29, Professor David Roediger (U. of Illinois) will present "Are Universities Liberal Places?" This lecture will be held from 2:00-4:00 in 101 Walter Library. It is the first event in the "Ethnic Studies in the Neo-Liberal University" lecture series.

21st Century Ethnic Studies

Along with American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, and Chicano Studies, the department is sponsoring a lecture series:Ethnic Studies in the Neo-Liberal University: Institutionalizing New Critical Paradigms. Public lectures are free and open to the public.

November 16, 2007

"People of Color in the Media" class

Professor Catherine Squires is offering a new course in the spring:
People of Color in the Media.

eNow! presentation: "Weird" Englishes

November 19, 2:30 PM, 207A Lind Hall

eNow! presents "Weird" Englishes:

English associate professor Evelyn Ch'ien will address the question "Is English Getting Weirder?" with special reference to novelist Junot Diaz. Visiting professor Steven Winduo will read his poems in the Tokpisin Pidgin language. And Linguistics and Cognitive Science graduate student Ellen Lucast will present "What Do You Know? Theory of Mind in Communication."

Professor Ch'ien is the author of Weird English (Harvard, 2004). She is working on another book linking contemporary forms of artistic expression such as hip hop with the evolution of language. Winduo lectures in literature and language at the University of Papua New Guinea. He has published two poetry collections: Lomo'ha I am, In Sprit's Voice I Call(1991), and Hembemba: Rivers of the Forest(2000). Lucast's research interests range from patterns in linguistic sound systems to the theories behind conversational interaction.

Refreshments will be seved!

November 15, 2007

movie premiere

The Research and Training Center on Community Living at the Institute on Community Integration will premiere the movie Higher Ground, from award-winning film producer, Jerry Smith.

Date: Thursday, November 15
Place: Mary McEvoy Room (325 Education Sciences Building)
Time: 2:30 p.m.

Synopis: When Hurricane Katrina struck the city of New Orleans on August 29, 2005, hundreds of people with developmental disabilities were displaced. Roads were severely crowded or impassable. Cell phones didn't work. Many didn't know where their family members were. And yet direct support professionals stayed with those they supported and made sure everyone evacuated to higher ground. For months, these dedicated women and men, working long hours for low pay, put others before themselves, providing care and support with improvised resources.

For more information about Jerry Smith and The Research and Training Center on Community Living, visit RTC Media.

November 12, 2007

November 14 "Coffee Hour" presentation

On Wednesday, November 14, Alexs Pate will present "Ya Feel Me?: The Meaning and Nature of Saturation in Rap/Poetry" from 2:00-3:00 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]

It is Pate's contention that rap/poetry is the emergent African American literary form of the postmodern age. A close review of the poems themselves will reveal an incredible sophistication, knowledge, understanding, and compassion present in this expression. It will, of course, also engage the ignorant, profane, obscene, misogynist, violent, and angry nature of the "I" in the "I am" of the poetry. That part is sad, but real.

In Black Noise, Tricia Rose defines rap as "a black cultural expression that prioritizes black voices from the margins of urban America." Pate adds that rap privileges those who are not black with an honest and intimate exchange of cultural information about black people. He hastens to say that by honest, he does not mean that it is always accurate.

When anyone raps, regardless of race or nationality, we hear them but we also hear the poetic history of Black America. We understand that it is derivative of black culture. You can hear it in rap that comes from Korea, Germany, Palestine or Cuba. It is the literary beat of blackness. It is also saturated.

November 9, 2007

Hip Hop Live! tour

The "Hip Hop Live!" tour is coming to Minneapolis on Sunday, November 11. It will feature "living legend Rakim, future legend Ghostface Killah and hometown hero Brother Ali." More information is available on the Hip Hop Live! website.

November 7, 2007

2007 or 1907?

Reports have recently surfaced about parties with celebrants wearing blackface, such as at Homeland Security and Hamline University. Are we living in 2007 or 1907?

November 5, 2007

BSU Black Heritage Festival

The following message is from the Black Student Union.

Every year the Black Student Union (BSU), in partnership with AA&AS and the African Student Association, hosts The Unity Dinner. It is an event open to the public, with a dinner portion, a few speakers, and a discussion. This year we are stepping up the event and redefining its focus. The event is now known as the Black Heritage Festival, and we are hoping that this is something that can be built upon annualy. Event details:


  • Theme this year: "Defining Diaspora." We felt that with this being the first time this event is being held, it would ideal to analyze and understand the cultures and peoples who make up the African Diaspora.
  • Dinner portion: The foods have been narrowed down to represent regions of the United States, parts of Africa, and the Caribbean/South American regions. Dinner will be accompanied by jazz music and a PowerPoint presentation: "Images of the Diaspora."
  • African drumming.
  • A Jazz band (The band leader is also a lecturer, and will be speaking on music of the diaspora).
  • Two poets.
  • Two traditional African dance teams.
  • An African American dance act.
  • Diaspora documentary filmed by BSU students, documenting the diversity among our community, as well as the various cultural influences that make up the Diaspora. The video is composed of student and faculty interviews.

The event is being run on an RSVP format, and we are encouraging semi-formal/business casual/evening wear.

The event will be held in the Great Hall of Coffman Memorial Union on Sunday, November 18, 2007. The doors open at 5:30PM; the event starts at 6:00PM, and is tentatively schceduled to end at 8:30PM.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Wilfried S. Zehourou
President of the Black Student Union
E-mail: Zeho0002@umn.edu

Black Student Union
CMU Room 209
300 Washington Ave S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
612-624-8938

"Black Student Union Board 2007-2008, Always At Your Service."

November 1, 2007

new spring 2008 courses

Professor Yuichiro Onishi is offering a new course in the spring: Black Internationalism. Professor Fernando Arenas is also teaching a new course, Portuguese-Speaking Cultures in Translation: Lusophone Africa. Both will be fascinating courses!