Penn Center for Africana Studies Announces 30th Anniversary Program Series

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Media Contact: | | October 23, 2002
PHILADELPHIA -- Writers, artists and scholars of African-American and African Diasporic studies will come to the University of Pennsylvania for a year-long series of programs celebrating 30 years of African-American studies at Penn.

The free, public programs are sponsored by the Center for Africana Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences.

The Center for Africana Studies, formerly the Afro-American Studies Program, examines the factors that created and shaped the African-American and African Diaspora experience.

"The Center for Africana Studies places primary emphasis on the ways that African Diaspora experiences and traditions have functioned on a global scale and resonated within the spaces of a variety of national projects. We provide an intellectual setting in which interdisciplinary dialogues are encouraged," said Tukufu Zuberi, director of the Center.

The 30th-anniversary programs include a series of five moderated panel discussions entitled "Back to the Future of Civilization: 30 Years of African American Studies at Penn."

The first program will be the Literature Panel Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. in the Zellerbach Theater of the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St.

The panel includes Farah Griffin and Maryse Conde of Columbia University; Ishmael Reed of the University of California, Berkeley; Herman Beavers and Lorene Carey of Penn; Samuel Delany of Temple University and author Gloria Naylor. The program will be moderated by Joan Dayan of Penn.

The Society Panel will be held Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in Harrison Auditorium of Penn's Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, 33rd and Spruce streets. Panelists are Michael Hanchard of Northwestern University, Patricia Hill-Collins of the University of Cincinnati, Cathy Cohen of the University of Chicago and Elijah Anderson of Penn. The moderator will be Camille Charles of Penn.

The Culture and Art Panel will be Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m. in the Zellerbach Theater of the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St. The panelists are William Banfield of the University of St. Thomas, Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum in Harlem and Guthrie Ramsey and Terry Adkins of Penn. The moderator will be Tim Rohmmen of Penn.

The Art Exhibit, "Darkwater," a sculpture-recital on the art and thought of W.E.B. DuBois, created by Adkins, will be on display at and co-sponsored by Penn's Arthur Ross Gallery, 220 S. 34th St., Dec. 14-March 2.

The Critical Theory Panel will feature Tricia Rose of the University of California, Santa Cruz; Michael Eric Dyson of Penn; independent scholar Barbara Smith; Molefi Asante of Temple; Cornel West of Princeton University; and T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting of Hamilton College. Zuberi will moderate the discussion Feb. 20 at 5 p.m. in Harrison Auditorium of Penn's Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, 33rd and Spruce streets.

The History Panel will feature Nell Irvin Painter of Princeton; Mary Frances Berry of Penn; and Michael Gomez of New York University. The panel will be moderated by Barbara Savage of Penn. The program will be held March 20 at 5:30 p.m. in Harrison Auditorium of Penn's Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, 33rd and Spruce streets.

In addition to the anniversary programs, the Center for Africana Studies has a full schedule of other events and activities including the Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial Lecture given by Kimberle Crenshaw of the University of California, Los Angeles, Nov. 13; the Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture; the Africa in the Americas conference and a film-screening and discussion series organized by Louis Massiah, the Center's 2002-2003 Artist-in-Residence.

Additional information is available at 215-898-4965, africana@sas.upenn.edu or http://www.sas.upenn.edu/africana.