MLK Week 2017: Charleston, Rwanda and the Possibilities of Peace

Jan. 16-22, 2017

The Griot Institute was involved in the planning and implementation of MLK Week 2017. The series engaged our community in a weeklong conversation about the ways in which we might address the seemingly intractable problems of violence, hatred and discrimination, as well as how to consider the continuing legacy of Dr. King in relationship to these issues. Special guests included Sharon Risher, whose mother was killed in the Charleston church massacre; Joseph Sebarenzi, a Rwandan political activist; and Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi.

Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, Jan.21, 2017

Along with the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy, the Departments of Women’s & Gender Studies, Geography, Art & Art History, Philosophy, Physics & Astronomy, the programs of Latin American studies and Managing for Sustainability, as well as Kathleen McQuiston and Janice Mann, the Griot Institute sponsored a trip to the Women’s March in Washington DC. Those who participated marched to show our strength, power and courage and demonstrate our disapproval of the hate and bigotry exemplified in the 2016 election. The march was a show of solidarity to demand our safety and health in a time when our country is marginalizing us and making sexual assault an electable and forgivable norm.

National Museum of African American History & Culture Trip

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017

Join the Griot Institute on Saturday, Feb. 11 for a bus trip to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington DC. The museum opened in September 2016. It features a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape our nation. Tickets and transportation provided.

Black Solidarity Conference

Feb. 16-19, 2017

The Black Solidarity Conference at Yale seeks to bring undergraduates of all colors together to discuss issues pertaining to the African Diaspora. Through discussions, panels, networking, and social gatherings, over 700 students from across the country analyze issues affecting our community and explore solutions to undertake at their respective college campuses (adopted from www.blacksolidarityconference.com).

Annual Lecture and Performance Series

Each academic year, the Griot Institute offers the Bucknell Community a series that focuses on a question or issue of concern central to Africana Studies. In spring 2017, we invite the campus and community to participate in a lecture/conversation series entitled, The Black Body (Re)Considered.

This series will engage the campus community and beyond in an extended conversation about the black body from multiple disciplinary perspectives. The series, Black Body (Re)Considered, is rooted in questions about the intersections of identity, race, gender, sexuality, historical context, and agency, particularly as they concern representations and realities of the black body as impacted by racism, as well as aesthetic, economic, sociological, and psychological inequalities.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 1 - Bayo Holsey; 7 p.m., Gallery Theatre (ELC)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 8 - Nona Faustine Simmons; 7 p.m., Gallery Theatre (ELC)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 22 - Rosamond King; 7 p.m., Gallery Theatre (ELC)
  • Wednesday, March 1 - Harriet Washington; 7 p.m., Gallery Theatre (ELC)
  • Wednesday, March 8 - Nyle Fort; 7 p.m., Gallery Theatre (ELC)
  • Wednesday, March 22 - Harvey Young; 7 p.m., Gallery Theatre (ELC)
  • Wednesday, March 29 - Abby Dobson; 7 p.m., Gallery Theatre (ELC)
  • Tuesday, April 4 - Dorothy Roberts; 7 p.m., Forum (ELC)
  • Wednesday, April 12 - George Yancy; 7 p.m., Gallery Theatre (ELC)

Griot Book Groups

In addition to the evening Spring Series events, the Griot Institute is holding two book reading groups associated with the series.

March 1, 2017 at noon: ​Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, by series guest Harriet Washington. Harriet Washington is an award-winning medical writer and editor, and the author of the best-selling book Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. Her work focuses on bioethics, the history of medicine, African-American health issues and the intersection of medicine, ethics, and culture. Medical Apartheid, the first social history of medical research with African-Americans, won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

March 22, 2017 at noon: Embodying Black Experience, by series guest Harvey Young. Dr. Harvey Young is a Professor of Theatre, Performance Studies, African-American Studies, Radio/Television/Film and the Chair and Director of the Theatre Department at Northwestern University. His research focuses extensively on performance, broadly defined, and race.

Ethics and Aesthetics of Stand Up Comedy Conference

April 5-8, 2017

The Griot Institute is a co-sponsor of the Ethics and Aesthetics of Stand-Up Comedy Conference. This conference will bring together scholars and practitioners interested in stand-up comedy from a range of academic disciplines, including but not limited to philosophy, performance studies, women’s and gender studies, African-American studies, theatre, art history, and culture studies. Free for Bucknell faculty and students, although registration is required.

Freedom in the Air Project

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Griot Institute is a co-sponsor of the Freedom in the Air Project. Using freedom songs and historic photography as source material for interdisciplinary collaboration, the Freedom in the Air project gives modern witness to the courageous work of Civil Rights activists...ordinary men and women that accomplished extraordinary change amidst unimaginable tumult. Responding to themed sets of images, reactive improvisers recall music's vital contributions to the Movement and draw aural attention to the enduring power contained within these moving images. Musicians include Bucknell faculty members Barry Long, trumpet and flugelhorn, and Phil Haynes, percussion, as well as Joshua Davis, bass, and David Pope, woodwinds.

Bucknell in the Caribbean

Study abroad with the Griot. Through readings, lectures, field trips, volunteer projects, attendance and participation in cultural performances, ethnographic interviews, as well as analytical reflections on their experiences, Bucknell in the Caribbean provides first-hand information about the literatures, histories, and cultures of the Caribbean. Students will explore the long-term cross-cultural impacts of slavery, colonization, independence, and tourism. The three islands of Antigua, St. Kitts, and Nevis will serve as our classroom.



Recent Events

Fall 2016

Diversity Opening
Saturday, Aug. 27

The Opening Event will be a celebration of diversity to welcome students, staff, and faculty into the new academic year. The event will be held on the ELC lawn from 10-2. Food will be available and entertainment will be provided by The Akwaaba Traditional African Drum and Dance Ensemble beginning at 12 noon. The Griot Institute, as well as several other University programs, will be sharing information about their program offerings in the 2016-2017 academic year.

African-American Arts: Activism and Aesthetics
Wednesday, Sept. 28 - Saturday, Oct.1

Join us for the fall 2016 Griot Institute Symposium, African-American Arts: Activism and Aesthetics. Engage in critical conversations as an activist, scholar, and/or artist and reflect on the intersections between African-American art, activism, the creative process, and questions of aesthetics. Saxophonist Jimmy Greene will provide Friday evening entertainment, and keynote speaker, Carrie Mae Weems, will present on Saturday.

Step Afrika!
The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence
Saturday, Nov. 5

Travel with Griot Institute to Philadelphia's Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts to see this high-energy step performance based on the iconic painting series of Jacob Lawrence. Tickets and transportation provided. To reserve a space, please contact us at griot@bucknell.edu.

National Museum of African American History & Culture Trip
Saturday, Nov. 12

Join the Griot Institute on Saturday, Nov. 12 for a bus trip to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington DC. The museum is scheduled to open in September 2016 and will feature a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape our nation. Tickets and transportation provided. To reserve a space, please contact us at griot@bucknell.edu.

Learn more about events from past semesters.

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