2008 Herman C. Hudson Symposium
"Lifting the Veil: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Identity and Responsibility in Global Societies"
March 22, 2008
The fifth Herman C. Hudson Symposium, on the theme "Lifting the Veil: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Identity and Responsibility in Global Societies," was produced by graduate students in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies with faculty member Professor Audrey McCluskey. Each year the symposium brings together students from a variety of disciplines at Indiana and other universities to present scholarly papers.
Professor Valerie Grim, chair of the department, opened the conference, and Professor Matthew Guterl, co-director of graduate studies, closed it. Graduate student Katie Dieter introduced Sonia Sanchez, the keynote speaker, while the audience partook of a light lunch.
From asking "What does it mean to be human?," Sanchez spoke of human history in its glory and its excessive abuses. In reacting to the current wars being waged by this country, she reviewed earlier periods in U.S. history when protest and activism made a difference. She asked, "Can we reverse this history of genocide?" and insisted that we have the courage to resist oppression in all forms. She suggested that recruiters for the armed forces be met with "push-ups for peace." In concluding her talk, Sanchez recited several of her poems with the dramatic cadence and delivery that she is well known for.
Following lunch and the keynote talk, a musical interlude titled "Color Line," written and composed by Justin Merrick, was performed. Preceding the panel presentations, Sanchez autographed books and chatted informally with conference attendees.
In an interesting twist, several of the panelists, inspired by Sonia Sanchez, geared their presentations to the thematic content of some of Sanchezâ€™s books. Four panels, each with a faculty chair and student panelists, addressed the theme of the symposium.
They were, in order of presentation:
- "It's a New Day: Undergraduate Spotlight"
Chair: Frederick McElroy - Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies
LaDortha Mitchell - "An Analysis of Domestic Violence in the Black Community"
Mariah Moore - "Interracial Relationships and Society in Literature"
Shawn Major-Winston - "Identity Politics in Rap Music"
Max Drucker - "A Study of the Afro-Brazilian Diaspora"
- "We a Bad People: Social Consciousness and the Diaspora"
Chair: Stephen Selka - Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies
Lanier Holt - "Cause and Defect: A Closer Look at the 2005 French and 1992 Los Angeles Riots"
Donald Davis - "21st-Century Black Collective Society: Global Hip-Hop Culture and Perception Management"
Phyllisia J. Gant - "Employment Discrimination, Former Felony Offenders, and the Disparate Impact Theory"
Nsaka Septuf Ntepua Sesepkekiu - "Employment Discrimination, Former Felony Offenders, and the Disparate Impact Theory"
- "Shake Loose My Skin: Sociocultural Observations in the Diaspora"
Chair: Micol Seigel - Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies
Antonio Garcia - "The Gangsta Curriculum: Exploring Pedagogies in Gangsta Rap Music"
Byron Craig - "Engaging White Hegemony: Communicating World Views Through False Memories"
Siobhan Carter-David - "Let Us Speak About the Motherland: Africa in the Hip-Hop Worldview During Rap's Golden Age of Black Nationalism"
Jean-Christophe Henry - "Being Black in France: A Contemporary Analysis of Politics and Struggles"
- "Liberation Through My Words: Humanities and the Black Diaspora"
Chair: John McCluskey - Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies
Clark Whitlow - "Black Urban Literature: Pimp Thug's Life, from Exploitation to Glorification"
Sara Bagby-Farmer - "The Greek Gods: Race and Privilege in Undergraduate Greek Organizations"
Katelyn Hipskind - "Breaking Down the Black Autobiography: The Role of Movement in Defining a Racial History"
Regina Barnett = "Warriors Don't Cry, They Juba: An Analysis of Joe Turner's Come and Gone"
This year's symposium was supported and co-sponsored by AAADS; the departments of English, Comparative Literature, History, and Theatre and Drama; the American Studies Program; The Project on African Expressive Traditions; Office of the Provost; Office of Academic Support and Diversity; Residential programs and Services; the IU Student Association; and the IU Libraries.