You are cordially invited to participate, present, and attend at The 1st BiAnnual African American National Conference, The Black Scholar and the State of Black America sponsored by the African American and African Studies Program (AAAS), and Sankofa Black Studies Graduate Association, College of Arts & Letters, Michigan State University, Thursday, Friday, Saturday on April 6, 7, and 8, 2006.
The Conference will address:
1)Confronting currents issues with regards to methodology and best practices in African American and African Studies
2)Creating a forum for dialogue on Black Studies programs in the United States regarding the future of the discipline
3) Exploring whether Black Studies has displayed a commitment to the African American community as espoused in the vision of the Black Studies discipline
Merging best practices and methodologies in African American and African Studies discipline historical, contemporary and futuristic will better ensure positive partnerships globally among Academia and the community. Diversing perspectives will enrich the challenges and opportunities for collaboration for developing awareness, knowledge and skills for addressing The Black Scholar and the State of Black America.
Simultaneously and somewhat paradoxically, major U.S. media outlets have devoted much time and space to portray Black Studies as irrelevant and in decline. Most recently, two high profile articles in mainstream publications this year asserted that Black Studies is a dying, failed endeavor. It stands to reason, then, that traditional Black Studies language of academic “relevance” is no longer efficient. Rather, as we move further into the new millennium, a new rhetoric is needed to disrupt the new forms of structural racism that makes Black Studies more relevant today than ever before. We need, in the words of sociolinguist and Black Studies pioneer Geneva Smitherman, “A New Way of Talkin”.
The objectives of the conference are (1) to create a forum for dialogue among the graduate students in African American and African Studies Programs in order to engage in a polemic regarding the future of the discipline ; (2) to create a forum for students and faculty in African American and African Studies to discuss particular and current issues in Black America; (3) to discuss the future of African American Studies within the academy; and (4) to revisit the vision and goals of African American and African Studies and its commitment to the African American community.
Speakers will include Dr. Tony Martin, Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Dr. Abdul Alkalimat, and various invited scholars, doctoral candidates and undergraduate students in African American and African Studies, and more.
Ms. Mary Phillips
Dr. Gloria S. Smith
Co-Chairs, AAAS 1st Biannual Conference
Michigan State University
African American and African Studies
1 Morrill Hall
East Lansing, MI
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