#AAIHS2016: New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Day One)


Today is the first day of our conference, “New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition,” at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The papers and panels featured at this two-day event represents some of the newest and most innovative work in the field of global black intellectual history. The presentations foreground individual and group contributions to black intellectual history and also offer new approaches to excavating the ideas and philosophies of these black activists and intellectuals across the African Diaspora. Here is a rundown of today’s schedule. For those in attendance, we strongly encourage you to live tweet the event using the hashtag #AAIHS2016. We invite all of our readers to join the conversation and follow along via Twitter and/or Facebook.

**10:00-11:45pm- Session 1 (Concurrent Panels)
Performance, Space and Movement in Africa and the Diaspora

Location: University Room

Chair: Quito Swan, Howard University

  • Jessica A. Krug, George Washington University
    • “Fugitive Modernities and the Performance of Self: Fashioning Subjectivities Beyond the State in West Central Africa and the Americas, c. 1594-Present”
  • Greg Childs, Brandeis University
    • “Benedicta’s Cabin: Gender, Space, and Rebellion in Late Eighteenth-Century Brazil”
  • Jessica Marie Johnson, Michigan State University
    • “Sex and Freedom in a World of Slaves”

Commentator: Quito Swan, Howard University

W.E.B. Du Bois and American History

Location: Seminar Room

Chair: Christopher Cameron, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

  • Edward Carson, The Brooks School
    • “W.E.B. Du Bois’s Editorial Influence on Negro Migration and the Western Color Line”
  • Vondre D. Cash, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
    • “Unresolved Problem of the 20th Century: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Continuing Struggle for the Social Regeneration of African Americans”
  • Phillip Luke Sinitiere, Sam Houston State University
    • “Environmental Intellectual: W. E. B. Du Bois and Nature”
  • John D. Wilsey, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
    • “What, Then, Is The American? Crèvecoeur and Du Bois on American Identity”
Nineteenth Century Black Political and Social Thought

Location: Incubator Room

Chair: Chris Bonner, University of Maryland, College Park

  • Jonathan Lande, Brown University
    • “The Black Badge of Courage: The Intellectual History of Black Soldiers in the Civil War”
  • Carla L. Peterson, University of Maryland, College Park
    • “Rethinking Black Modernity: Urbanity and Taste in the Antebellum North”
  • Lacey Hunter, Drew University
    • “Made in His Image: The Origins of African American Women’s Jeremiad”

Comment: The Audience

11:45-12:50pm: Lunch Break

**1:00pm – 2:45pm – Session 2 (Concurrent Panels)
Radical Diasporas: Transnational Blackness, Pan-Africanism, and Liberated Spaces

Location: University Room

Chair: Adriane Lentz-Smith, Duke University

  • Russell Rickford, Cornell University
    • “Black Americans and Guyana in the 1970s: Seductions of the Nation-state”
  • Quito Swan, Howard University
    • “Melanesia’s Way: Black Internationalism in the South Pacific”
  • E. Tsekani Browne, Montgomery College
    • “Much More than ‘Cold Intellectual Success’: Anna Julia Cooper’s Revolutionary Pan Africanist History in the 19th Century”

Commentator: Adriane Lentz-Smith, Duke University

Intellectuals and the Work of Many Freedoms from the Antebellum to the Civil War Era

Location: Incubator Room

Chair: Manisha Sinha, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

  • Peter Wirzbicki, University of Chicago
    • “Alexander Crummell as Philosopher: Slavery, Elevation, and the Creation of Freedom”
  • Jordan T. Watkins, Utah Valley University
    • “‘Each Name and Every Past Has its Use’: Historical Argument and Appeal in William C. Nell’s Struggle for ‘A Second Revolution’”
  • Justin Leroy, University of California, Davis
    • “Frederick Douglass on Slavery and its Afterlives”
  • Kristin Waters, Brandeis University
    • “Maria W. Stewart and Black Revolutionary Liberalism”

Historical Preservation and Black Intellectual Leadership during the Interwar Period

Location: Seminar Room

Chair: Brenda Tindal, Levine Museum of the New South

  • Don S. Polite, University of South Carolina
    • “Arturo A. Schomburg: Redefining the Revolutionary Ideology of a Afro-Puerto Rican Historian”
  • Brittany Hall, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
    • “A Legacy for the Ancestral Arts: Alain Locke and the Harlem Museum of Art”
  • Annalisa Mogorovich, University of Trieste
    • “The Black Cabinet and the Political Challenges of the New Deal: Race, Rights, and the Leadership of Mary McLeod Bethune, 1936-1943”

Commentator: Brenda Tindal, Levine Museum of the New South

2:45pm-3:00pm Break

**3:00-4:45pm– Session 3 (Concurrent Panels)
Roundtable–Edward Wilmot Blyden and the Racial Imagination

Location: University Room

Chair: Stephen G. Hall, Alcorn State University


  • Manisha Sinha, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Ibrahim Sundiata, Brandeis University
  • William Seraile, CUNY, Lehman College
  • Teshale Tibebu, Temple University
Black Youth and Campus Activism in the Twentieth Century

Location: Incubator Room

Chair: Jerry Gershenhorn, North Carolina Central University

  • Paula Austin, California State University, Sacramento
    • “‘I would like to have a room all to myself’: Black Young People and Inferiority in Washington, D.C. 1919 – 1942”
  • Lindsey Jones, University of Virginia
    • “Reverence and Joy: Religion and Girlhood at the Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls, 1915-1940”
  • Ibram X. Kendi, University of Florida
    • “Black Power and the Redefinition of Racist Ideas in the 1960s”

Commentator: Jerry Gershenhorn, North Carolina Central University

Film Screening and Discussion: “Audre Lorde–The Berlin Years, 1984-1992”

Location: Seminar Room

  • Discussion led by Tiffany N. Florvil, University of New Mexico
5:00pm-6:30pm Keynote Address

Mark Anthony Neal, Duke University

Title: “Love in the Stax: Black Nationalism and Rebuilding the Archive in Post Apocalyptic Memphis”

Location: University Room

7-9pm: Reception (RSVP Required)

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