This Friday from 2-4 p.m. in the Marvin Center Amphitheatre, GW MEMSI will be sponsoring a spring symposium titled “Race?” Presenters include English Department faculty Jennifer James and Tony López. This is a chance to participate in an interdisciplinary discussion about race that crosses over traditional lines of literary periodization and national tradition.
Race is a term fraught with contradiction and incoherence. Is race skin color? Physiology? Susceptibility to certain diseases? Geographic origin? Genetic variation? The impress of climate on body? Born or made? A bodily, ethical, legal, cultural or moral state? An inheritance? A performance?
Scientifically speaking, race does not exist … and yet race endures.
Please join us for a GW MEMSI symposium examining the long history of race. Our guest speakers will map the changes in how race has been understood, as well as its surprising constants, from the medieval period to the modern. Short presentations will be followed by a lively conversation.
· Jennifer James (English and Africana Studies, GW). Jennifer is the author of A Freedom Bought with Blood: African-American Literature of War, the Civil War-World War II and has published essays in the African American Review and other venues. Her next book explores black Catholicism and post-Reformation sectarianism in the early Americas.
· Thomas Guglielmo (American Studies, GW). Tom received his PhD in history from the University of Michigan in 2000. His book White on Arrival won the Allan Nevins Prize from the Society of American Historians and the Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians. He is presently at work on a second book tentatively entitled Race War: World War II and the Crisis of American Democracy.
· Andrew Zimmerman (History, GW). Andrew is the author of Anthropology and Antihumanism in Imperial Germany and Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South.
· Antonio López (English, GW). Tony teaches Latino Studies and critical theory. His work has appeared in Latino Studies and the The Afro-Latin Reader. He is writing a book on the diaspora cultures of Afro-Cuban America.
· Ayanna Thompson (English, Arizona State University). Ayanna is the author of Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America and Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage. She edited Weyward Macbeth: Intersections of Race and Performance and Colorblind Shakespeare: New Perspectives on Race and Performance.
The symposium takes place on Friday March 5 in the GW Marvin Center 3rd floor Amphitheatre from 2-4 PM.
The event is free and welcomes all who would like to attend.