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President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

African-American Studies Symposium is April 3

By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist

(April 2, 2009)--The UTSA Department of English will host the second annual UTSA African-American Studies Symposium with the theme, "The Obama Presidency: The Last 100 Years, The First 100 Days," from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, April 3 in the University Center Denman Room (2.01.28) on the UTSA Main Campus.

Free and open to the public, the symposium will feature presentations and panel discussions examining the impact President Barack Obama's election will have on local and global communities. At 9 a.m., the first morning panel discussions will cover the historical and cultural environments over the last century leading up to Obama's election.

The next session at 10 a.m. will address the religious and political climates of the era. Starting at 1 p.m., afternoon sessions will address the new administration's first 100 days in office, as panelists discuss contemporary issues and what lies ahead for Obama in his first term.

Topics of discussion will include African-American music, black women's club movements, religion, interracial parentage, black masculinity/femininity, 21st century African-American identity, racism and politics.

Guest speakers will include:

  • Andrea Williams, Ohio State University
  • Mae Henderson, University of Washington
  • Gaye Theresa Johnson, University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Rachael Murphy-Brown, University of North Carolina
  • Derek Hicks and Stephanie Camp, Rice University
  • Kimberlyn Montford, Trinity University
  • Richard Lewis, Mel Laracey and Gabriela Gonzales, The University of Texasat San Antonio

The symposium is one of 12 proposals approved this spring as part of the UTSA Provost's Core Values Initiative. The initiative is designed to foster UTSA's core values of integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation.

Faculty members interested in the core values initiative for fall 2009 can submit proposals (through the deans' and vice provost offices) to Terry Wilson at (210) 458-4110. Eligible to receive up to $1,500 in funding, proposals can include workshops, performances or programs highlighting any of the six characteristics listed in the UTSA Core Values Initiative. The deadline for funding consideration for fall 2009 programs is Sept. 1.

Sponsors of the symposium include the Black Faculty/Staff Association, Brackenridge Endowed Chair in Literature and the Humanities, College of Education and Human Development, College of Liberal and Fine Arts Office of the Dean, Department of English, Department of History and the Sue E. Denman Distinguished Chair in American Literature.

For more information, visit the African-American Studies Symposium Web site or e-mail Joycelyn Moody or Sonja Laneheart.

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UTSA African-American Studies Symposium
"The Obama Presidency: The Last 100 Years, The First 100 Days"

8:30 a.m.
Welcome: Daniel Gelo, dean, UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts and John Frederick, UTSA Provost

9 a.m.
"African American Music: Singin' and Shoutin' Culture"
Kimberlyn Montford, Trinity University

"His Beautiful Family"
Stephanie Camp, Rice University

10 a.m.
"Imagining a Black President: Political Leadership, Racial Identity and the Cultural Work of African-American Literature"
Andrea Williams, Ohio State University

"Religio-Politics of Death and the Transformed Prey: The Nature of Black Religious Experience Before the Obama Presidency"
Derek Hicks, Rice University

"Last 100 Years and the Election of Barack Obama: A Promise of Democracy Fulfilled"
Gabriela Gonzales, The University of Texas at San Antonio

11 a.m.
"Urban Images in Hispanic Maps and Views"
Richard Kagan, professor of early modern European history, Johns Hopkins University

1 p.m.
"Interracial Marriage and Its Impact of Contemporary Race Relations"
Richard Lewis, The University of Texas at San Antonio

"Mammies, Mules, and Jezebels but, Never a Lady: Michelle Obama, 'Lady' of the House"
Mae Henderson, University of Washington

2 p.m.
"From 40 Acres to 8 cents: Freedom Dreams of Color B(l)inds in Obama's America"
Gaye Theresa Johnson, University of California at Santa Barbara

"Promise and Reality: The First Hundred Days"
Mel Laracey, The University of Texas at San Antonio

3 p.m.
Plenary: Overview/Looking Forward
Rachael Murphy-Brown, University of North Carolina

4 p.m.
Student Performance

4:30 p.m.
Closing Remarks: Bridget Drinka, chair, UTSA Department of English

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