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Africana Studies

Spring 2013 Calendar of Events

Africana Studies Information Session and Open House

Africana Studies Information Session and Open House

September 25, 2013 5:00 PM  – 6:30 PM
Russwurm African-American Center, Multipurpose

For all students contemplating their major or minor: 


Interested in Africana Studies? 

- Come and meet faculty and students of the program 
- Refreshments will be served!

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Adolescents in the Americas: Negotiating Identities, Shaping Contexts in an Interconnected World

Adolescents in the Americas: Negotiating Identities, Shaping Contexts in an Interconnected World

October 4, 2013 9:30 AM  – 4:00 PM
Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge

Friday, October 4th

9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. Friday, "Youth Refiguring Gender and Sexuality: Institutional Contexts, Interpersonal Dynamics"

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Friday, "Political Engagement and Social Activism among Youth: Opportunities and Possibilities, Present and Future"

This two-day symposium examines the myriad ways in which the activities and voices of youth impact contemporary politics, public culture, and social and interpersonal relationships. Participants include leading scholars in Africana studies, anthropology, education, gay and lesbian studies, gender studies, Latin American and Latino studies, and sociology who conduct research in the United States, Canada and Latin America. For more information and the complete schedule of events, go to: bowdoin.edu/socanthro/symposia/adolescents-in-the-americas-2013/

SPONSORED BY the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs, the Departments of Education and Sociology and Anthropology, and by the Latin American Studies Program.

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American Political Economy From the Age of Jackson to the Civil War

American Political Economy From the Age of Jackson to the Civil War

October 19, 2013 8:00 AM  – 6:00 PM
Hubbard Hall, Room 208 Thomas F. Shannon Room

This symposium is a forum for reexamination of American political economy from the Age of Jackson to the Civil War during the war's sesquicentennial. It brings together historians of economics, scholars of American political development, and historians of antebellum America and the Civil-War era to debate the originality and continuing relevance of a neglected set of American economic thinkers.

All panels, which are free and open to the public, will be held in the Shannon Room, Hubbard Hall, on Saturday and Sunday, October 19-20, 2013.  For more information, please see the symposium website »

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"The Rest of Us: Stories" with Guy Mark Foster

"The Rest of Us: Stories" with Guy Mark Foster

October 30, 2013 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

"The Rest of Us: Stories" Book Release Celebration with Professor Guy Mark Foster

Bowdoin College Associate Professor of English Guy Mark Foster will read from and discuss his newly released collection of short stories, The Rest of Us: Stories (2013).

The Rest of Us has been described as "a remarkable collection of short stories that embrace the breadth and depth of being a gay African-American ... The boys and men in Guy Mark Foster's tales refuse to be bound by the heavy chains of oppressive religion in the family household or racism encountered on campus."

Of Foster's short story collection, Nisi Shawl, co-author of Writing the Other: Bridging Cultural Differences for Successful Fiction says, ''Love makes us all vulnerable. Guy Mark Foster's exquisitely crafted new collection The Rest of Us cradles that vulnerability in crystal-clear yet cryptic language...The Rest of Us rings true notes, dances surely through complicated steps, and offers intimate, detailed vignettes of heroes who surprise readers and themselves with their despair, determination, and hope.''

Copies of The Rest of Us are available for sale at the Bowdoin Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.

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Coffee Colonialism

Coffee Colonialism

October 30, 2013 7:30 PM  – 9:30 PM
Searles Science Building, Room 315

Professor Steven Topik (History, University of California, Irvine) will be delivering the lecture "Coffee Colonialism: From the Spice Trade to European Colonies to Latin American National Export Crop"

Coffee, along with sugar, has long been considered one of the primary crops of European colonialism. Prof. Topik, one of the foremost authorities on the global history of the coffee market, will argue that European purveyors were “Johnny-come-latelies” and that New World colonies were much more than simply slaves of their colonial masters.  In fact, they played an important role in shaping the international market for this commodity. Topik’s lecture will trace the evolution of the coffee market and trace our love affair with a beverage that has become such a mainstay in our lives. 


Wednesday, October 30
7:30pm
Searles 315


This lecture is sponsored by the Latin American Studies Program, with support from the History and Africana Studies Departments.

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Slavery, Freedom and the Legacy of the American Revolution

Slavery, Freedom and the Legacy of the American Revolution

November 12, 2013 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Hawthorne Longfellow Library, Nixon Lounge

Matthew Spooner ('01), ABD, Columbia University, presents Slavery, Freedom and the Legacy of the American Revolution.

This nation was born of a contradiction. The American Revolution, considered as an ideological watershed and as a long and bloody military struggle, led directly to both a new birth of freedom and a great expansion of slavery. Beginning with a discussion of the meaning that the War for Independence had for slaves and free citizens, this talk will reevaluate the impact of the Revolution and explore the twinned rise of slavery and freedom in American History, a complex legacy that we continue to carry in our cities, our prisons, and our foreign wars.

Sponsored by the Departments of History and Africana Studies

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Winter of Arab Discontent

Winter of Arab Discontent

November 18, 2013 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

As'ad AbuKhalil is a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. AbuKhalil is the author of Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (1998), Bin Laden, Islam & America's New "War on Terrorism" (2002), and The Battle for Saudi Arabia (2004). He maintains a blog, The Angry Arab News Service. He will be discussing trends in the Middle East in the age of uprising.

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"Their Eyes Were Watching God"

"Their Eyes Were Watching God"

December 5, 2013 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Revisiting Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God


Bowdoin Book Lecture by Guy Mark Foster, associate professor of English

About the novel:
First published at the closing years of the Harlem Renaissance, in 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God has since become a landmark text within the African American women's literary tradition. The novel's black female protagonist, Janie Crawford, experiences more than her share of joy and tragedy as she embarks on a series of intimate relationships with three different men, each of whom has a significant role to play in this character's colorful and tumultuous journey to self-knowledge. Along the way, Janie learns a great deal about the world of men and women during an era of racial inequality, as well as her own capacity to love and endure. Many early critics considered Their Eyes to be somewhat anomalous, as most black writers during this period chose to center the narrative of racial conflict between the races in their writings. Hurston's novel is an exception.

About the speaker:
Guy Mark Foster teaches courses in African American literature as well as Gay and Lesbian Studies at Bowdoin College. He has published critical essays on such diverse topics as interracial intimacy, black female identity, the contemporary romance novel, and LGBTQ representation in popular culture. He is presently revising a book-length manuscript entitled, "Waking up to the Enemy: Towards a New Ethics of Interracial Intimacy in African American Literature." Also a fiction writer, Professor Foster's short story collection, The Rest of Us, was recently published by Lethe Press.

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Climbing PoeTree Performance, Martin Luther King Jr. Campus Celebration

Climbing PoeTree Performance, Martin Luther King Jr. Campus Celebration

January 20, 2014 7:30 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Climbing PoeTree (Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman) is a performing duo from Brooklyn, New York, that explores the intersection of arts and activism by interweaving spoken word, hip hop and award-winning multi-media theater. 


With flawless cadence and impeccable lyricism, Alixa and Naima weave together their voices to tell powerful stories of love and liberation, state and personal violence, social, environmental, racial, and sexual justice, woman's empowerment and human transcendence.

This event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Programs.

Free. No tickets required. For more information contact the Office of Events and Summer Programs, events@bowdoin.edu or 207-725-3433.

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Zen Browne Exhibit

Zen Browne Exhibit

February 6, 2014 8:30 AM  – 6:00 PM
Blue Gallery

Exhibit in the Blue Gallery of Smith Union 
February 6 – 28

Opening reception in the Blue Gallery on 
February 6 at 4:30 pm

Zen Browne is visual artist whose current work focuses on oil paintings of transmale figures. These portraits of female-to-male transsexuals meditate on identity and serve to counteract the underrepresentation of the transsexual experience in visual culture. Moreover, these paintings also mirror Browne's own sense of selfhood, both artistically and personally. 

Where Browne's past work has documented a self-expression in flux through allegorical representations, his adopting of the portrait form serves to ground these themes in transformation of everyday life, producing representations of friends and acquaintances of various races and ethnicities that are at once intimate and real. The portraits - 12 in total, ranging in size from 24" x 48" to 48" x 49" - strive to locate a commonality on the plane of human experience, while initiating a constructive dialogue about the spectrum and self-expression of gender and racial identity. 

This exhibit coincides with the programming schedule for a month-long series of events devoted to issues related to LGBTQ visibility, politics, and culture. Collectively, these events are known as "Februqueery."

Sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Studies Program, Visual Arts, Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance, Burnett House, Lectures & Concerts, and the Resource Center for Gender & Sexual Diversity.

Open to the public.

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Film Screening: Hollywood Shuffle

Film Screening: Hollywood Shuffle

February 6, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Cleaveland 151

Black History Month Film Festival.

Directed by Robert Townsend. An actor limited to stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer. As he makes his rounds, the film takes a satiric look at African American actors in Hollywood.

87 min.

Brought to you by Africana Studies and the African American Society.

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Environmental Justice: At the Crossroads with Public Health, Conservation Politics, and Generational Change

Environmental Justice: At the Crossroads with Public Health, Conservation Politics, and Generational Change

February 8, 2014 10:00 AM  – 4:00 PM
Schwartz Outdoor Leadership, Beebe Room

Schwartz Outdoor Leadership, Beebe Room

This program will bring together practitioners and experts in the environmental justice movement who will focus on the interconnected issues of environmental health, and conservation politics. Speakers and participants will also explore and discuss the importance of equity, inclusiveness and diversity for the future of the environmental movement and social change.

Angela Park will be the keynote speaker. Ms. Park is the founder and executive director of Diversity Matters (soon to be Mission Critical), a Fellow of the Sustainability Institute's Donella Meadows Leadership Program, and author of Everybody's Movement: Environmental Justice and Climate Change. Ms. Park is a writer and a consultant to non-profits, governments, foundations, and companies. Much of her work focuses on the integration of social, environmental, and economic issues, and she is a leading expert on equity and diversity in the environmental field in the United States.

This symposium is free to Bowdoin students, staff, and faculty. A $10 registration fee to cover lunch is asked of other participants.

REGISTER HERE.

For more information please contact Rosie Armstrong, 207-725-3396, rarmstro@bowdoin.edu.

CO-SPONSORED BY the Departments of Africana Studies, Earth & Oceanographic Science, Gender & Women's Studies, Government & Legal Studies, History, Math, Philosophy, the Asian Studies Program, Environmental Studies Program, the McKeen Center, and Sustainable Bowdoin.

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"Was Uncle Tom from South Carolina?" Thoughts about revelations, inspirations and the storied life of John Andrew Jackson

"Was Uncle Tom from South Carolina?" Thoughts about revelations, inspirations and the storied life of John Andrew Jackson

February 10, 2014 5:30 PM  – 7:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Susanna Ashton, Professor of English at Clemson University, made an exciting discovery in 2013 - she found the previously unnamed slave who she believes helped inspire Harriet Beecher Stowe to pen Uncle Tom's Cabin.

His name is John Andrew Jackson, and in 1850 he was fleeing the recently passed Fugitive Slave Act. After arriving in Maine, he was directed to Stowe's home where she took him in for the night, hiding him in her home's "waste room."

Uncle Tom's Cabin, published in 1852, fueled the abolitionist movement and helped set the nation on the path to abolishing slavery. Some even claimed it helped start the Civil War.

Jackson was born in 1825 on a mid-size plantation in what is now known as Lee County, S.C. He had a wife and daughter who were sold and sent to Georgia. Shortly after, Jackson made his escape. He made his way to Canada by way of Maine, where he was directed to Stowe's home.

Jackson later learned to read and write and published his own book, The Experience of a Slave in South Carolina, in which he writes, "(Stowe) took me in and fed me, and gave me some clothes and five dollars. She also inspected my back, which is covered with scars which I shall carry with me to the grave. She listened with great interest to my story."

Ashton will talk about how this discovery "changes the history of one of the most important works of American literature." Her findings can be found here: http://www.common-place.org/vol-13/no-04/ashton/

This lecture is presented as part of the Civil War Era cluster, made possible with a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Zen Browne Exhibit

Zen Browne Exhibit

February 12, 2014 8:30 AM  – 6:00 PM
Blue Gallery

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Film Screening: "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners" (2012)

Film Screening: "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners" (2012)

February 13, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Cleaveland 151

Black History Month Film Festival

A documentary that chronicles the life of young college professor Angela Davis, and how her social activism implicates her in a botched kidnapping attempt that ends with a shootout, four dead, and her name on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list.

102 min.

Brought to you by Africana Studies and the African American Society

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World Cinema Film Festival: "The Ambassador"

World Cinema Film Festival: "The Ambassador"

February 20, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Bowdoin's World Cinema Film Festival offers a varied program of important contemporary narrative and documentary films from around the world with post-screening discussions moderated by faculty and students.

The Ambassador (Mads Brugger, Denmark, 2011) is presented by Ericka Albaugh (Government) and Evan Bulman (Reed House). Armed with hidden cameras, black-market credentials, and his wit, a journalist transforms himself into the caricature of a European-African consul to expose Africa's blood diamond trade.

A post-screening reception will be provided by the students of Reed House.

Official Trailer

For more information, contact the Film Studies Program at (207) 725-3552

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Discussion Panel with artist Zen Browne

Discussion Panel with artist Zen Browne

February 27, 2014 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Burnett House, Living Room

The panelist will discuss trans experiences and media representation, and closes the exhibit in the Blue Gallery of Smith Union.



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Film Screening: Fruitvale Station (2013)

Film Screening: Fruitvale Station (2013)

February 27, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Cleaveland 151

Black History Month Film Festival

Winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award of U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Fruitvale Station follows the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008; a day that takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year's Day.

85 min.

Brought to you by Africana Studies and the African American Society

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Lecture: Who Was Mary Webb?

Lecture: Who Was Mary Webb?

March 3, 2014 5:30 PM  – 7:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Mary Webb was a black female elocutionist who toured Britain in 1856 as Harriet Beecher Stowe's public reader. Not enough is known about Mrs. Webb, the daughter of a fugitive slave who was one of the earliest professional African American performers. 


Laura Korobkin is Associate Professor of English at Boston University, and author of Criminal Conversations: Stories of Adultery and the Law in Late 19th Century America.


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