Indiana University Bloomington

College of Arts and Sciences
Department Website | Newsletter Archive Volume 24 Issue 1 | Fall 2012


Faculty News

Faculty Updates

A.B. Assensoh retired in December 2011, with a large reception in his honor in April 2012. He remains active with the department as a professor emeritus, and as book review editor of Africa Today.

Claudia Drieling, a visiting scholar in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, was selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar and participated in the 2012 NEH Summer Institute “Contemporary African American Literature.” Drieling was selected from a national applicant pool to attend one of 20 seminars and institutes supported by the NEH. The program, which featured lectures and seminars conducted by renowned scholars of African American literature, was held at Penn State’s University Park campus in State College, Pa., and directed by Lovalerie King, director of Penn State’s Africana Research Center. Drieling was invited to present two research guest lectures earlier this year. At West Virginia University, she spoke on “Stirring the Pot: The Poetics of Brewing, Food, and Space in Gloria Naylor’s ‘Square Foundation’ Novels.” And at Kiel University, Germany, Drieling presented on “The Sea Islands and ‘Home’ in Gloria Naylor’s Quartet,” a lecture sponsored by the Kennedy Infozentrum of the Amerika-Gesellschaft and The Center for North American Studies at Kiel. As a teacher of a series of intensive writing courses in the AAADS’ curriculum over the past years, Drieling was also a recurrent participant in the College’s annual Intensive Writing Roundtable in the spring.

Valerie Grim published in 2012: "Between Forty Acres and a Class Action Lawsuit: Black Farmers, Civil Rights, and Protest Against the U.S. Department of Agriculture," in Beyond Forty Acres and a Mule: African American Landowning Families Since Reconstruction, edited by Debra Reid and Evan Bennett. In February, she provided an invited talk at the university of Illinois concerning the Successes and Challenges of Black Studies in the 21st Century. In March, Grim attended the National Council Councilof Black Studies Meeting in Atlanta where she chaired a session. At Northwestern University in April, she also chaired a session at the conference (A Beautiful Struggle: A Summit of Black Studies Doctoral Programs) concerning the future of Black Studies. At Mississippi State University, Grim provided an invited paper, "Black Land Grant Universities and the Struggles of Black People in Rural and Farm Communities: From the New Deal to a Class Action Lawsuit, 1930s-2010," at the 150th Anniversary of the Morrill Land Grant Act. In October Grim spent 2-3 weeks in India as a member of a team of researchers and scholars engaged in conversation about diversity, inclusion, and equality.  While there, she particpated in two conferences and four round tables. At the conference, "Dalits and African Americans in the 21st Ccentury: Learning from Cross-Cultural Experiences," which was sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Politics," Grim presented a paper, "Home is Where Land Is: A Black Feminist Perspective of rural African american Women's Fight for Justice and Equality in American Agriculture." At the O.P. Jindal Global University, Grim provided a paper, "Lessons From Black Feminism: Struggles of Rural Women on the Land." This paper was presented at the Jindal University's conference on Diversity, Discrimination, and Social Exclusion in Indian and U.S.A.. In addtion, at the Indiana Institute of Dalit Studies in collaboration with the Indian Islamic Cultural Centre of New Delhi, Grim engaged in a round table entitled: Learning from Experiences on Affirmative Action Policies: A Dialogue between IIDS, indiana University, Michigan State University, and the uNiversity of Wisconsin. Her round table specifically addressed Dalit Feminisim and Black Feminism.  Other activities included round table presentations at the Ambekar Institute and the Ambekar Cultural Center in Mumbai, and the Dalit community center in Mohammdabad. She continues to conduct research on rural Blacks in the United States and in the African Diaspora.

Audrey T. McCluskey was one of the six senior professors who participated in a panel discussion hosted by Indiana University Press titled, "Women's Contribution to Scholarship: Researching, Writing, and Publishing."  The standing room only discussion and reception was held in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Office for Women's Affairs. Professor McCluskey gave the charge to faculty and staff at the Freshman Pinning Ceremony at the Neal- Marshall Black Culture Center at the beginning of the fall term. The charge focused on the historical and present day imperative of supporting and encouraging black students' academic success.

John McCluskey,Jr., Professor Emeritus of AAADS, is co-editor of a recently published book, The Black Chicago Renaissance, (University of Illinois Press).  His essay, "Richard Wright and the Season of Manifesto", is included in the collection and examines Wright's development during 1937-1945 through his non-fiction. Professor McCluskey is serving his second term on the Visiting Committee to Libraries, appointed by the Harvard University Board of Overseers.  The committee is currently monitoring a major revision of the university's library system. Professor McCluskey shared the stage role of Reverend Sykes in "To Kill a Mockingbird", a recent production of the Cardinal Theater. Professor McCluskey served on the panel, "Black Chicago History Forum", at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.  The conference was held in Pittsburgh, PA during September 27-29.   

Fred McElroy served as co-editor of the journal, Black Diaspora Review, published by Indiana University Press, served as Director of Undergraduate Studies, mentored a large number of graduate and undergraduate students, and taught the senior seminar course.

AAADS welcomed Walton Muyumba as a visiting professor in the spring of 2012. He is currently an associate professor of English at the University of North Texas and received his BA in English and AAADS as well as his PhD in English from IU. He delivered a public lecture during the semester and taught A380 "Contemporary Black American Writing" and A502 "Seminar on Wright, Baldwin, and Ellison."

Iris Rosa directed the African American Dance Company (AADC) in several performances, including a lecture/demonstration at Ivy Tech, the 2012 Spring Concert at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, a performance in Martinsville, IN, Stonebelt, the African American Arts Institute Potpourri of the Arts on Nov 10 at the Buskirk/Chumley Theatre, and the AADC Studio Concert on Dec 6 at the Willkie Auditorium.  She received a grant from Arts Week for a piece entitled “In The Beginning” and collaborated with Bernard Woma, who composed a piece on the Ghanaian Gyil, the xylophone played mainly in the Upper West Region of Ghana.  Evelyn Yaa Bekyore, a senior dancer in the internationally known Saakumu Dance Troup assisted in teaching traditional dance movements to AADC.  Rosa was invited to conduct a dance workshop on the Afro Cuban Rumba for a World Dance Course at Butler University and lectured on Santeria dance and religion for a Latino Folklore course. Rosa and her African American Dance Company students organized a successful 14th Annual Dance Workshop that included dance classes in West Indian, Afro Cuban traditional, Afro Cuban contemporary modern, and Horton contemporary modern dance.  Rosa was also a professor of Record for the Hermano A Hermano overseas study course in the Dominican Republic during the summer of 2012.  She worked with Juhanna Rogers, a PhD. student in the Education Leadership & Policy – Higher Education program at IUPUI. As one of the founders of Top Twenty II, a girls mentoring program in East Chicago, Indiana, Rosa has been involved in providing support to the organization.  Rosa is still active with her ensemble, Sancocho:  Music and Dance Collage, an ensemble that focuses on music and dance from the African Diaspora.  She continues to perform in the Indianapolis Public Schools and other venues.

Gary A. Sailes’ book, Sports In Higher Education: Issues and Controversies in College Athletics was released in September. He received the Bill and Janice Wiggins Faculty Service Award from AAADS in the spring. He was invited to participate as a presenter and counselor at the NBA/NBPA Rookie Transition Program in September as well as at the ATA National Training Academy (Top African American Junior Tennis Players in the Country). One of the chapter’s in Sailes’ recent book was published entitled “Commercialism in College Sports.” He alsoreceived a $15,000 grant from the Summit League to conduct a Leadership and Development Course & training for the student athletes at IUPUI, and he received the Distinguished Service Award from the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.

John Stanfield spent ten days in early January as a Visiting Professor in University Ben-Gurion in Israel near Gaza Strip and met with Israeli and Palestinian peace activists at the University, in Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. From February to July, he served as Strategic Advisor to Republic of Rwanda National Unity and Reconciliation Commission and the Rwanda Governance Board, consulted on home grown participatory democracy initiatives study while working on sabbatical multicultural restorative justice book project. Dr. Stanfield was the invited Keynote Speaker at the World Forum on Vocational and Technical Education, Florianopolis, Brazil, in May. At the Republic of Rwanda Presidential Conference on the Closing of Gacaca, he was the only American invited to present a paper (topic: the global value of gacaca in multiracialized societies), now to be published in October 2012 Vital Speeches International, Kigali, Rwanda. With colleagues in Brazil, Canada,Rwanda, Uganda, and United States, Dr. Stanfield established A-A-E-P--Africans-Americans-Exchanges-Partnerships, being incubated in The Research Project on Transcultural and Intercultural Studies--identifies, cultivates, and resources resident to resident exchanges and institution to institution partnerships between persons in Western Hemisphere cities and rural areas and in African cities and rural areas. He was also invited to participate in and read a paper in the first International Black Seminar hosted by Zumbi College, the first Afro-Brazilian university in Brazil and the first African descendent university in Latin America where I am also honorary faculty member, in November. Dr. Stanfield also hosted Faith and Justice Sunday Conversations, an Internet based ministry without walls for social justice and interfaith oriented Christians without a church home or churched though interested in difficult questions usually not addressed in faith communities now is approaching 1,000 members. Blog:

Dr. Stanfield's publications included "Learning from Rwanda," on-line Tikkun
essay in Genocide in Film, by Raymond Helmick; "The Next Wide 21st Century Corner: Restorative Justice as Science," in Norman Denzin and Michael Gardina,Qualitative Inquiry and the Politics of Inquiry; Issue Editor, New Perspectives on the Sociology of Knowledge, American Behavorial Scientist, essays:"Introduction,"  Rwanda: A Macro-Sociology of Knowledge Perspective, and Taking Care of the Unfinished Business of the Business of the Civil Rights  Movement; "Looking Under the Hood of Society: Post-Genocide Rwanda," published via invitation by the Canadian government Restorative Justice office

Vernon J. Williams, Jr. had his article, "E. Franklin Frazier: Revisited" published in Spectrum: A Journal of Black Men. He also served as a co-editor of the journal, Black Diaspora Review.

AAADS would also like to welcome Ramond Wise as an adjunct faculty member in the department. Dr. Wise came on in 2012 as the new director of the African American Choral Ensemble. As a singer, pianist, composer, director, conductor, lecturer, and teacher, Dr. Wise regularly serves for orchestras, opera companies, and choral festivals throughout the nation and abroad. He went on to Denison University (Granville, Ohio) where he earned a B.F.A. in Music. He did additional studies in Opera, Art, and German at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, Austria, and in African-American History, Music, and Dance at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California. He completed an apprenticeship in the business and recording of Gospel Music with the Walter Hawkins Corporation in Oakland, California. Dr. Wise earned a Masters in Music Education, Ohio Teacher's Certification and Doctorate in Music Education from The Ohio State University.

Rev. Wise has served as a church musician for more than 30 years and has appeared on radio and television, recorded 22 albums, performed with opera singers, orchestras, dance companies, professional recording groups, and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, as a singer, dancer, pianist, composer, choral director, lecturer, and teacher. Dr. Wise has penned more than 600 compositions many of which are available through the Raymond Wise Gospel and Choral sheet music series. His Anthology of 21 Spirituals for the 21st Century has received national and international acclaim.

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