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Conseula Francis Emerging Scholar Lecture Series

Every academic year, the African American Studies Program invites a junior scholar to share new and exciting research with the campus community. The late Professor Conseula Francis (1973–2016), the former director of the African American Studies Program, established the series to support the work of emerging scholars in the field of African American Studies. As our director, Professor Francis not only advocated for her students, but remained deeply committed to mentoring and supporting junior faculty, and we have named this lecture series in her memory to commemorate her unflagging commitment to our program and the work of junior scholars.

Clifton Granby, "Resilient Injustices, Unyielding Resolve"

January 25, 2018 at 6:00 pm in Addlestone 227Granby lecture

Professor Granby is an assistant professor at the Yale Divinity School, and his research focuses on African American religious and political thought as well as theories of race, power, and knowledge. He is currently writing two book-length projects: one deals with the ethics of prophetic criticism and the other involves black epistemologies of testimony. His lecture will draw on his work about James Baldwin, Howard Thurman, and liberation in the twenty-first century. 

Deirdre Cooper Owens, "Medical Bondage: How Slavery Advanced American Gynecology"

March 6, 2018 at 6:00 pm in Addlestone 227Owens

Professor Owens is an assistant professor of History at Queens College in New York. She will deliver a lecture about her first book, Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology (2017), which explores how pioneers in the field of gynecology experimented on enslaved women and Irish immigrant women to develop a field that produced medical advances while lending legitimacy to pseudo-scientific white supremacist and misogynistic theories.

Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Previous Conseula Francis Emerging Scholar Lectures:
  • 2016-2017 Vanessa Agard-Jones
           "After the End of the World: A Black Feminist Analytic for the Anthropocene"
  • 2015–2016 Sarah Haley
           “The Carceral Life of Gender: Convict Labor, Jim Crow Modernity, and Black Feminist Refusal”
  • 2014–2015 Ibram X. Kendi
           “Black Students and Black Studies: A Founding History, 1966–1970”
  • 2013–2014 Jason Shelton
          “Blacks and Whites in Christian America: How Racial Discrimination Shapes Religious Convictions”

Artist Lecture Series

The Artist Lecture Series celebrates the value of artistic expression by inviting artists of all types to share their art and their insights into how art itself is a form of social discourse. The lectures in this series, then, follow in the spirit of what the novelist Ralph Ellison said of music, namely that “it gives significance to all those indefinable aspects of experience which nevertheless help to make us what we are…reminding us of what we were and of that toward which we aspire.”

Lyle HarrisFor more than two decades Lyle Ashton Harris has cultivated a diverse artistic practice ranging from photographic media, collage, installation and performance. His work explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic. Known for his self-portraits and use of pop culture icons (such as Billie Holiday, Zinedine Zidane, and Michael Jackson), Harris teases the viewers’ perceptions and expectations, re-signifying cultural cursors and recalibrating the familiar with the extraordinary. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the 52nd Venice Biennale. His work has been acquired by major international museums, most recently by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His commissioned work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times MagazineNew York Magazine and the New Yorker. In 2014 Harris joined the board of trustees at the American Academy in Rome and was the recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Born in New York City, Harris spent his formative years in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. He currently lives and works in New York City and is an Associate Professor at New York University.

Previous Artist Lectures:

  • 2016-2017 Dexter Thomas
  • 2015–2016 Amaud Jamaul Johnson
  • 2014–2015 9th Wonder
  • 2013–2014 Alfred Conteh

African American Studies Film Series

The African American Studies Program sponsors a film series every semester that is open to the public. Each series explores a particular theme such as mass incarceration and cultural connections between African Americans and Asians.

Check out the flyer for Fall 2017 here.

African American Studies Book Discussion Series

The African American Studies Book Discussion Series brings together College of Charleston faculty, staff, and students to have informal discussions about significant texts in the field of African American Studies. We select one book to discuss each semester and provide a limited number of copies of the books to participants.

Check out the flyer for 2018-2019 here.

Current Book Selections:

  • Fran Ross, Oreo (Spring 2019)
  • Joan Morgan, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost (Fall 2018)

Previous Book Selections:

  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen (Spring 2018)
  • Craig Steven Wilder, Ebony and Ivy (Fall 2017)
  • Octavia Butler, Kindred (Spring 2017)
  • Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract (Fall 2016)

African American Studies Teach-Ins

To fullfill the African American Studies Program's commitment to community engagement, the Program periodically organizes teach-ins to raise awareness of pressing contemporary issues and to provide tools for proactively addressing these issues.

Previous Teach-Ins: