Posted in On The Radar, Resources

Call For Papers-AAIHS 2022 Conference

**REPOST FROM AAIHS SITE**

The African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)’s

Seventh Annual Conference

Everyday Practices, Memory Making, and Local Spaces

March 11-12, 2022 

A Virtual Conference 
Host: University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
Group of Black Lives Matters protesters in front of Sir Winston Churchill Monument statue in London (Sandor Szmutko / Shutterstock.com)

The process of “memory making” is ongoing as activists throughout the African diaspora confront the past and challenge landscapes that pay homage to colonialism and Eurocentrism. Recent debates surrounding the teaching of Critical Race Theory in K-12 classrooms, The 1619 Project, and the position of Confederate monuments in the public square highlight these contemporary trends. The United States is facing a unique moment of national reckoning that scrutinizes how history is interpreted, commemorated, and displayed. 

In the era of social media, local issues can also have immediate global implications. When Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd in the Summer of 2020, protests emerged in cities and towns throughout the United States. But calls for justice and civil rights quickly spread across the globe, as communities throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas condemned anti-Blackness, police brutality, and systemic racism in their own countries. Relatedly, as activists in the United States toppled Confederate monuments and statues of Christopher Columbus last year, people of African descent in Europe also challenged the colonial landscapes displayed in various European cities. In Bristol, for example, activists defaced and destroyed the statues of slave traders such as Edward Colston and in Belgium, activists toppled statues of brutal imperialists such as Leopold II. These national and global activist movements contested the aftermath of enslavement and colonialism in the everyday while also illustrating how memory shapes politics, identities, and communities in the past and present.  

In accordance with this contemporary moment, this year’s theme, “Everyday Practices, Memory Making, and Local Spaces” provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary scholarship that examines how history is told in local, national, and international contexts. Correspondingly, AAIHS has selected Las Vegas, Nevada, for its annual conference. The city’s African American residents are deeply tied to national, international, and local histories. As southern Nevada’s Black population grew through the Great Migration, civil rights activists fought against the city’s rampant inequality, culminating in the “Moulin Rouge Agreement” on March 26, 1960, that desegregated the Strip casinos. And as an international tourism hub, spaces throughout southern Nevada have been shaped and reshaped by transnational influences. 

As panelists consider their proposals, they might consider the following questions: How do “everyday practices” form conceptions of the past? How is memory “made” and “remade” in different eras of history? How can “local spaces” influence broader discussions of societal injustice and prompt calls for social change? What methods have people from past and present generations used in their “memory making” and why did they use those methods? In what way does gender, sexuality, race, and class complicate memory making in everyday locales? Ultimately, what are the stakes of challenging memorialized and deeply invested in spaces and stories in local, national, and international settings?

AAIHS welcomes individual proposals for abbreviated presentations (5-6 minutes) that consider the theme of “Everyday Practices, Memory Making, and Local Spaces” from a variety of perspectives. Each proposal will be considered for inclusion in one of the featured conference sessions, which will be scheduled remotely on Friday, March 11 or Saturday, March 12, 2022. AAIHS invites scholars at various ranks and affiliations (from graduate students to senior faculty and independent scholars) to submit proposals for consideration. Each proposal should include a title and approximately 500 words that clearly explains the paper’s argument; methods and methodologies; interventions; and engagement with the conference theme. Submissions should also include a short CV (1-3 pages in length), highlighting previous publications and presentations, if applicable. Proposals will be accepted on the AAIHS website between September 15, 2021 and November 15, 2021. 

To Submit a Conference Proposal, click here!!

Conference Planning Committee:

  • Chair: Tyler D. ParryUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Hilary N. GreenUniversity of Alabama
  • Tiffany N. FlorvilUniversity of New Mexico 
  • Candace CunninghamFlorida Atlantic University 
  • Adam McNeilRutgers University, New Brunswick

*Please email conference@aaihs.org to reach the conference committee.

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts...

Year 2!! The Journey Continues….New Semester, New Beginnings…

Well today is the day!! Year 2 as an Assistant Professor in African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)!!

Last year was one definitely to remember…I had just moved to Richmond in the middle of a pandemic, VCU had pretty much asked professors and instructors to change their formats for teaching, and my apartment became not a just a place of residence but also a work place. This year, while there is still a pandemic, people are getting vaccinated, students are returning to campus, and majority of the classes are in-person (with mask requirements). The in-person part is really exciting to me because I thrive off being able to see my students live and in living color, it just feeds the soul!!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So this semester, my teaching schedule has one new addition! I have the privilege of teaching the Capstone Seminar course for Africana Studies students and I will also teach the Theories and Foundations in Africana Studies course for the second year! The Capstone Seminar course is definitely going to be a new venture for me as I will be guiding students through a semester long research project. It’s more than just teaching but also serving as a guide for this major undertaking. I have always wanted the opportunity to serve as mentor and I feel like this will be great preparation. In addition to the teaching I have also been tasked with serving as the advisor for the “Black Excellence at VCU” organization for which I am pretty siked! All in all, I am very much looking forward to this Fall semester!!

Now as this new semester begins, I will be honest there are still butterflies in the stomach and a little nervousness, but it is to be expected. I strive to always give 110% to my work, my students, and myself so my daily prayer is that I find that balance with all three and just do my part in being the best person, scholar, and professor that I can be. My one main goal that I always have every semester is that my students leave my classes with at least one thing that they did not know prior to the course. It may seem simple and minimal, but major for me. That one new thing, idea, thought that a student leaves with can be a life-changer and to know that I may play a role in that is a huge accomplishment!

AUGUST 24th, 2021 the journey continues!!

And to all those who are starting today or have already started WELCOME BACK!! As the summer winds down and my favorite month comes to a close (SMILE), it is time to get back into the routine! Time to get those creative juices flowing again…Time to inspire, encourage, and motivate (teachers and students)…Time to make some new memories!!

So let’s blaze some trails and seek new horizons!!

Alright that’s enough for the first day, but make sure you stay tuned periodically for updates and check-ins, because trust me I GUARANTEE there will be some memorable moments shared!!

~Dr. G

Posted in On The Radar, Resources

Internship Opportunity

2021 Black Perspectives Summer Editorial Internship Program

Calling all Graduate Students and Rising Seniors!!

So I am all about sharing opportunities that not only provide meaningful experiences (personally and professionally), but can also build one’s network!!

Black Perspectives, the award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is currently accepting applications for our summer editorial internship program. The internship, which begins on June 1st and ends on August 31st, is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduate students (rising seniors only).

I can personally co-sign on this great opportunity, as I served as Summer Editorial Intern while in my doctoral program. After participating in this program, I would quickly move up in the ranks becoming an Editorial Assistant, then to Assistant Editor for Black Perspectives and currently serving as secretary for the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS).

So for those that may be interested, here is some more information about the internship program.

About the Internship

Interns will work closely with the blog editors on a part-time basis during the summer months and receive practical experience in academic blogging. Each intern will contribute to the publication of the blog in a variety of aspects including research, copy-editing, fact checking, formatting and publicity (via social media). Interns will receive a stipend and a complimentary one-year membership in AAIHS. The internship is virtual, which means that interns only need access to a computer and internet.

The 3-month internship also offers young scholars an opportunity to sharpen their writing skills and receive personalized feedback on their writing. It provides interns with access to a diverse network of early career bloggers (and professors), and the opportunity to publish their pieces on a popular academic blog.

Qualifications

  • Currently enrolled in an accredited academic institution; graduate students (PhD and MA students) and advanced undergraduate students (rising seniors only).
  • Preference will be given to candidates who major/specialize in History and/or African American Studies. However, we welcome applications from candidates in a variety of fields including English, Journalism, Political Science, Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies, International Relations and America Studies.
  • Must be motivated, detailed-oriented, and possess strong writing skills.
  • Must have a strong knowledge base and keen interest in Black thought, history and culture.
  • Must have an interest in public writing and social media.
  • Must be interested in working with a diverse group of scholars who are passionate about Black thought, history, and culture.
  • Must be willing to devote approximately 5 hours per week to assisting with the blog; and be willing to attend mandatory training sessions online (scheduled to take place in mid-to-late May).

Application Materials Needed

  • A cover letter (please introduce yourself; explain why you’re interested in this opportunity; and highlight relevant skills and experience that make you an ideal candidate for the internship).
  • A CV/Resume
  • 5-10 page writing sample
  • One recommendation letter from a professor/mentor. Applicants must arrange to have one recommendation letter submitted via email (editors@aaihs.org) no later than April 1, 2021. 

The application deadline is April 1, 2021 (11:59PM EST)

For additional information and where to apply, go here !! And please feel free to share with your networks!!

Photo by Laker on Pexels.com
Posted in On The Radar, Resources

Internship Opportunity

2021 Black Perspectives Summer Editorial Internship Program

Calling all Graduate Students and Rising Seniors!!

So I am all about sharing opportunities that not only provide meaningful experiences (personally and professionally, but can also build one’s network!!

Black Perspectives, the award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is currently accepting applications for our summer editorial internship program. The internship, which begins on June 1st and ends on August 31st, is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduate students (rising seniors only).

I can personally co-sign on this great opportunity, as I served as Summer Editorial Intern while in my doctoral program. After participating in this program, I would quickly move up in the ranks becoming an Editorial Assistant, then to Assistant Editor for Black Perspectives and currently serving as secretary for the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS).

So for those that may be interested, here is some more information about the internship program.

About the Internship

Interns will work closely with the blog editors on a part-time basis during the summer months and receive practical experience in academic blogging. Each intern will contribute to the publication of the blog in a variety of aspects including research, copy-editing, fact checking, formatting and publicity (via social media). Interns will receive a stipend and a complimentary one-year membership in AAIHS. The internship is virtual, which means that interns only need access to a computer and internet.

The 3-month internship also offers young scholars an opportunity to sharpen their writing skills and receive personalized feedback on their writing. It provides interns with access to a diverse network of early career bloggers (and professors), and the opportunity to publish their pieces on a popular academic blog.

Qualifications

  • Currently enrolled in an accredited academic institution; graduate students (PhD and MA students) and advanced undergraduate students (rising seniors only).
  • Preference will be given to candidates who major/specialize in History and/or African American Studies. However, we welcome applications from candidates in a variety of fields including English, Journalism, Political Science, Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies, International Relations and America Studies.
  • Must be motivated, detailed-oriented, and possess strong writing skills.
  • Must have a strong knowledge base and keen interest in Black thought, history and culture.
  • Must have an interest in public writing and social media.
  • Must be interested in working with a diverse group of scholars who are passionate about Black thought, history, and culture.
  • Must be willing to devote approximately 5 hours per week to assisting with the blog; and be willing to attend mandatory training sessions online (scheduled to take place in mid-to-late May).

Application Materials Needed

  • A cover letter (please introduce yourself; explain why you’re interested in this opportunity; and highlight relevant skills and experience that make you an ideal candidate for the internship).
  • A CV/Resume
  • 5-10 page writing sample
  • One recommendation letter from a professor/mentor. Applicants must arrange to have one recommendation letter submitted via email (editors@aaihs.org) no later than April 1, 2021. 

The application deadline is April 1, 2021 (11:59PM EST)

For additional information and where to apply, go here !! And please feel free to share with your networks!!

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com
Posted in A Professor's Thoughts...

A Professor’s Thoughts…

“First Week of Class…”

So I just finished my first week of class for the Spring 2021 semester here at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, and let me just say I am looking forward to an exciting semester!

This semester I get the pleasure of teaching one of my favorite classes, Black Sites and Sights: Blackness in Popular Culture. I have taught this course on multiple occasions and every semester it’s like uncovering a new treasure. The students always bring a ton of energy and not only do they learn things, push their thinking, and transform their thoughts; but, I also am able to reap some rewards.

One of things that I do to start out the semester is have the students complete a “Course Survey”. Included in this survey is a list of questions which include their top films/movies, favorite songs and artists, and one topic they would like to discuss this semester. As it relates to the songs and artists, I typically create a Course Playlist on Spotify. And let me tell you that compiling that playlist is like getting a new lesson in music. Now some of the artists I am familiar with not necessarily a fan of, some are even on one of my own personal playlists (i.e. Nas, Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, SZA, Jazmine Sullivan, J. Cole, D’Angelo, The Internet, and more) and then there are others who I am not as familiar with (i.e. Joji, M-83, Earthgang, Koi Childs, among others). Every semester that I teach this course I learn new artists and/or songs, and realize that my taste in music always adds a new flavor. Creating this playlist offers me an opportunity to look through my student’s eyes and ears, while at the same time understand what they vibe to through their AirPods.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

That’s just the beginning, because once the class really gets going the fireworks really go off. Once I gather the student’s preliminary information, then we dive in and start with the theorization of popular culture and its relationship to Blackness. This first week we covered everything from Audre Lorde’s “The Master’s Tools Cannot Dismantle the Master’s House,” bell hooks-“Loving Blackness as Political Resistance”, Stuart Hall’s-“What is This ‘Black’ in Black Popular Culture?”, and Angela Nelson’s-“The Repertoire of Black Popular Culture”. To no surprise my student’s were all in!! This was a good sign and great start to the semester!

Needless to say, this semester much like my personal and professional journey is a ride I am excited to be on! I very much look forward to what is ahead, and I am sure you will hear more stories as the semester progresses, so stay tuned!

Cheers to a new semester!!

~Dr. G