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.

An academic course is offered to students in conjunction with the series. The series seeks to explore and examine the various questions of concern to Africana Studies interdisciplinarily in terms of their historical and contemporary resonances and significances. The series interrogates these questions from multiple disciplinary perspectives and employs the expertise and artistry of guest lecturers and performers in order to navigate their intellectual nuances and moral and ethical dimensions.

The series is open to the University community and the general public. Most events are followed by a question and answer session and a book signing by the guest lecturer or artist.

African-American Art, Activism, & Aesthetics/Honoring the Legacy of James Baldwin - Spring 2016

In spring 2016, we invite the campus community to participate in a lecture/conversation series that marks the first major series partnership between the Griot Institute for Africana Studies and the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender.  The series is rooted in questions about the intersections of identity, race, gender, sexuality, aesthetics, and activism as they affect and inform a wide range of African American artistic expressions.The series has two main focal points.  One is a scholarly conversation showcasing James Baldwin's astute and uncompromising analysis of institutional forms of racism, heteronormative sexuality, and anti-body sentiments found in dominant religious systems and tenets of his day.  The other is an extended conversation with leading African-American artists about their creative journeys in light of the contemporary structural realities of the United States, particularly as they concern artistic expression and racism and the intersections of aesthetic, economic, sociological, and psychological inequality.  Each of the artists presenting will use Baldwin's legacy as a springboard for conversations about their own work and processes and their intersections with social justice.

Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson - Spring 2012

The Griot lecture and event series Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: An American Origin Story explored and examined the various narratives of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson in terms of their historical and contemporary resonances and significances. The series offered multiple disciplinary perspectives and employed the expertise and artistry of guest lecturers and performers in order to present the various nuances and dimensions of the tale. 

FACEing Race - Spring 2010

Visiting artist E. Patrick Johnson (Chair of the Performance Studies Department at Northwestern University) led students and staff in a three-day performance workshop. The workshop resulted in participants performing monologues concerning issues of race, gender, and identity in the 21st century as part of an interactive artistic installation. Another main feature of the installation was visual art and poetry on the same theme, created by students in the courses of Professors Fennell, Gillespie, Long, Martincich, McCallum, Peterson, Ponnuswami, and Williams. E. Patrick Johnson closed the event with a performance of his one-man play, Pouring Tea.


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