African and African American Studies at 50

first_img Painting unveiled of College’s first African-American graduate Recognizing prominent architect Julian Abele and his role in designing Harvard’s Widener Library In 1968, a black student group placed an advertisement in the Harvard Crimson calling for the College to give black students, faculty, and scholarship more support and greater representation on campus. Following months of negotiations, amid a general atmosphere of student unrest and demands for change, the campaign eventually led to the creation of the Afro-American Studies Department in 1969.In the ensuing decades, the interdisciplinary department has changed its name to African and African American Studies (AAAS), established a strong identity on campus, and expanded in size and influence, nationally and internationally, across fields more numerous than its name might suggest.To mark its 50th anniversary, AAAS will launch a two-day symposium beginning Friday, commemorating its history and celebrating the continuing work of its students and scholars. The events, which include panel discussions, musical performances, gallery displays, and keynote addresses, are free and open to the public.“In many ways, I wanted to emphasize the things that have changed” in the past decades, said Tommie Shelby, Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy. Shelby serves as department chair of AAAS and organized the event with input from its faculty, students, and staff. “This department was initially established as one that was focused on North America, and now it is very much part of our mission that, in addition to African American studies, we also try to cover much of the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa as well. We want to highlight the breadth of what we’re covering and the fact that the department is now so much bigger than it was.”,“No one could have imagined that 30 years ago we’d be where we are now,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, who joined the department in 1991 and served as its chair for 15 years. “African and African American Studies is inextricably intertwined with the intellectual life and culture of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard.”Events will include a roundtable discussion with founders, performances by the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, panels on scholar-activism in the field and the future of graduate studies, and keynote addresses by Columbia University Professor Farah Jasmine Griffin ’85 and Wale Adebanwi, a professor at Oxford University.Today, the department has the largest African languages program in the world, 41 full-time faculty members, more than 40 undergraduate concentrators, and 35 doctoral candidates.Its origin story began with student-led demands for change at all levels of the University. In 1968, an ad hoc committee of black students negotiated with University leadership on a path forward. After further protests and changes to their requests, the faculty approved the students’ demand to establish the department. The first class of 14 Afro-American Studies concentrators graduated in 1972; the graduate program was developed in 2001, and African Studies and African American Studies merged in 2003.,In his 1985 report for the Ford Foundation on the first decades of the department and the struggle for black studies across U.S. campuses, historian and former Afro-American Studies department chair Nathan I. Huggins wrote: “The demand of black students was for a discussion of what they saw to be the inherent racism in … normative assumptions for a shift in perspective that would destigmatize blacks and reexamine the ‘normalcy’ of the white middle class.”This reexamination came in the form of new courses and areas of study that examined the African American experience across history, literature, sociology, and other humanities and social sciences fields. In its first year, the department offered 25 courses. This year students can choose from more than 200, including 18 African language classes.The department was at the forefront of major Harvard milestones in the 1970s and the 1980s, including the hiring of musicologist Eileen Southern, who served as department chair for four years in the 1970s and was the first black woman granted tenure at the University. But it also faced challenges such as declining concentrator numbers and a lack of tenured faculty members, due to the complications of hiring established scholars in an emerging discipline.By the mid-1990s, the department looked very different than it had a decade earlier. There were more than five tenured faculty members, including Gates, historian Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, sociologist William Julius Wilson, and philosophers Kwame Anthony Appiah and Cornel West.,“I say that the ‘church’ of Harvard’s African and African American Studies Department was designed by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and [Lawrence] Bobo, but our pews were filled by Cornel West,” said Gates.Henry Rosovsky, Geyser University Professor, Emeritus, in the Department of Economics, who served as chair of the faculty committee on African and Afro-American Studies in the late 1960s, credited Gates and former Harvard President Derek Bok with being instrumental to the growth and success of the department.Neil Rudenstine, who was president of Harvard from 1991 to 2001, also highlighted the importance of Gates’s recruiting top talent throughout the 1990s. He said the visibility of AAAS illustrates its important role as an intellectual and cultural cornerstone of the Harvard experience.“It was really [Gates’s] vision and the people he brought with him who made the whole thing work, because they had the sense that they were like everybody else in terms of what they wanted for Harvard, and what they wanted for the department,” said Rudenstine. “They did not want to be an enclave that was to be separated out [from the rest of the School]. They wanted their own identity that was special, but they wanted to be integral to the place. The impact was profound, and there was a sense that something had been created, which was not just unusual but really extraordinary, and it was deeply felt throughout the institution.”,Gates also pointed to the work and support of others, including former President Drew Faust, former Edgerly Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith, and Harvard students who lobbied for change throughout the department’s existence, for playing key roles in the growth and development of AAAS.“Having the president behind you gave all the right signals throughout the University that this was not a token effort. This had nothing to do with making noises about ‘diversity.’ This was a very genuine intellectual commitment,” said Gates.Today, the department’s influence can also be seen across Harvard in spaces including the Hutchins Center for African American Research and the Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art. Multiple faculty members hold chair appointments and deanships across the humanities and social sciences, including Edgerly Family Dean of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay, who is a professor in AAAS and government, and Lawrence D. Bobo, W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences and divisional dean of social sciences, a former AAAS Department chair.“It is obvious that African and African American Studies is now recognized as a successful department” both at Harvard and in wider scholarly communities, said Rosovsky.Rudenstine echoed the sentiment, saying, “I think there cannot be any question that what happened at Harvard made a difference to African American studies nationally.”In addition to its standing in the field, the department has also been integral to student life on campus. For Sangu Delle ’10, the department was a crucial social and intellectual space while he was an undergraduate living far from his home in Ghana. “Having the president behind you gave all the right signals throughout the University that this was not a token effort. This had nothing to do with making noises about ‘diversity.’ This was a very genuine intellectual commitment.” — Henry Louis Gates Jr. Shining a light on a genius “The AAAS Department played multiple roles for me. It was my academic home, but more than that, it was a place where I really felt at home as a student of color,” said Delle, an entrepreneur and clean-water activist who received a bachelor’s degree in African studies. “Beyond having the world-class faculty and access to resources, what differentiated the department were the additional benefits of having so many faculty of color who could be great advisers. Many students have an emotional, sentimental attachment to the department that you would probably not find in many other places.”Delle, who also received a law degree and M.B.A. from Harvard, was one of the first students to participate in the department’s Social Engagement Initiative, launched in 2006 under the direction of Higginbotham, Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies. The program served as a way to bridge intellectual pursuits and civic responsibility for students in the department through coursework and theses.“The scholarship that came out of the Social Engagement Initiative is rooted in transforming communities, being embedded in them, and implementing intellectual questions” learned in academic environments, said Higginbotham, pointing to successful thesis projects in places as diverse as Zimbabwe and Detroit, by students with strong connections to the communities in which they worked. Founding director Bunch recounts the creation of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture center_img Portrait of a trailblazer: Richard Theodore Greener, Class of 1870 The story of a museum and of America Related “The department was founded out of a demand for scholarship on the conditions of black people in the United States and around the world, and more scholarship that could be useful in our communities,” said Higginbotham. The Social Engagement Initiative and other community-based scholarship in the department are examples of ways for students “to be successful and do good. We can be generous in helping others with our expertise, and social engagement gives a way to bring knowledge to people on their terms.”As the department celebrates its history, students and faculty are also looking to the future of the discipline and its place at Harvard, as the political and academic landscape shifts again.“We’ve moved beyond the debate over legitimacy for the field in academia, and I want to turn our attention to questions of training, curriculum development, and methodology,” said Shelby. “I’m hoping this event can be an opportunity to talk about some of those things with people in the field, from Harvard and outside. It’s the beginning of a dialogue.”last_img read more

Columbia Announces New Outdoor Dream Job

first_imgAre you looking for a new gig? Sure, you could go the traditional route—maybe find a nice office job with a short commute—or you could apply for a fully paid six-month adventure to test gear around the world.It sounds too good to be true, but that’s exactly the position that Columbia Sportswear is now hiring for.Aptly named ‘The Director of Toughness’, this esteemed post will require selected candidates to travel the world on Columbia’s dime, testing gear in some of the world’s most iconic wild places.Among other skill sets, qualified candidates (two of whom will ultimately be hired) are expected to posses a proficiency in skiing or snowboarding, trail navigation of varying degrees, and Instagram-worthy photography skills.The new ‘Directors of Toughness’ will also need to be media savvy and comfortable in front of a camera, because they’ll become brand ambassadors of sorts for the iconic outdoor company, appearing on TV shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live throughout the course of the six month gig.According to the job post, Columbia plans to pay the new employees $26k for the dream job and put them up in the outdoor hub of Portland, Oregon—when they’re not traveling the world testing the latest and greatest Columbia gear of course.Think you’re up to the challenge? Apply here now!last_img read more

Zlarin is the first Croatian island without disposable plastic

first_imgWithin Adriatic Plastic Challenge (APC), an initiative organized by Terra Hub, selected the best innovative solutions that will help stop the further influx of plastic waste into the Adriatic Sea.In a fierce anti-plastic fight, the team “Zlarin – an island without plastic” whose vision is to make Zlarin the first Croatian island without disposable plastic won. Originally from Zlarin, Ana Nataša and Ivana have developed a model that will stop the flow of disposable plastic to the island in the next year.”Zlarin is an island with about two hundred inhabitants, which makes it an ideal place to try this experiment. We only have one supermarket and a few cafes and restaurants which significantly reduces the number of people who need to support our idea. The local community gives us great support and we can’t wait for Zlarin to come to life without plastic”Winning team member Ana Robb told Morski.hrPlastic bags will be replaced by paper and canvas ones, straws will be thrown out, and plastic cups and cutlery will also be replaced with more environmentally friendly solutions. The project is supported by the local population and the tourist board of the island of Zlarin.“We are looking for innovative solutions to the problem of accumulating plastic waste in the sea. Solutions that will work better and faster than normal. Or which will accelerate the emergence of completely new models. Or that will dramatically change the way we do or imagine something possible now. ” point out the organizers of the APC.During the two-day bootcamp, the selected teams, with the help of a mentor, turned the project solutions into business models using design thinking and lean start-up methodologies, and presented their ideas to an expert jury.The implications of this great idea, in addition to environmental awareness and sustainability, can certainly be transferred to tourism, and through a specific ecological tourism product to turn Zlarin into a destination that offers minimal or no impact on the environment with maximum use of local food and resources. If we look further, Zlarin can become the best ambassador of sustainable tourism, because it will become the first island without plastic. And not only through tourism but also through the implementation of all other industries that nurture sustainability and ecology, to the development of the city and the whole community, etc.… Opportunity for development, which was created from a small but powerful idea and vision of development.last_img read more

Dietrich HR sparks Rangers in 6-2 win over ML-best Dodgers

first_img FOLLOW US Written By WATCH US LIVE SUBSCRIBE TO US Associated Press Television News The Los Angeles Dodgers were away from home for a later-than-usual Jackie Robinson Day.On the road for the first time in six years to mark Major League Baseball’s annual observation of Robinson breaking the sport’s color barrier, the Dodgers tied the game right before Derek Dietrich’s tiebreaking leadoff homer that started a four-run seventh inning. The struggling Texas Rangers then finished off a 6-2 victory Friday night over the team with the best record in the majors.“We’re a second-half team. I don’t know what to tell you,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “Overall it was a really good team effort right there, something that we needed.”Texas had lost 10 of its previous 11 games to wrap up the first half of its 60-game schedule. That included losing two of three games to AL-best Oakland before the Athletics decided not to play the scheduled series finale Thursday to show support for calls for racial justice.The Dodgers and San Francisco Giants didn’t play Wednesday night for that same reason. They made up their postponed game with a doubleheader Thursday, when Los Angeles (24-10) won both games with shutout victories to avoid its first series loss of the season.Jackie Robinson Day is traditionally held April 15, the date in 1947 that he made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, but had to be altered because of the coronavirus pandemic pushed back the start of this season nearly four months.The Dodgers, whose last loss on Jackie Robinson Day had been in 2014 at San Francisco the last time they weren’t at home for that game, were set to be at home again this season before the schedule had to be shortened and shuffled. The day when all players and coaches wear No. 42 was instead held on 75th anniversary of the day that Branch Rickey told Robinson he had been chosen to be the first Black player in the majors. Robinson spent the 1946 season with Triple-A Montreal before opening the 1947 season with Brooklyn.After Los Angeles got even in the top of the seventh, Dietrich’s opposite-field shot to left off reliever Jake McGee (2-1) put Texas up 3-2. Shin-Soo Choo and Nick Solak added RBI hits, and Jose Trevino a sacrifice fly.Mike Minor, the Texas lefty still without a win this season, pitched six scoreless innings and exited with a 2-0 lead that was gone almost immediately. Reliever Joely Rodriguez allowed doubles to Will Smith and Corey Seager before Justin Turner’s tying RBI single.“We just didn’t get that one hit early to get a lead and kept those guys in it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Justin and Corey, both had really good at-bats with two outs. And, you know, unfortunately, we gave the lead back up.”Turner was robbed of a home run in the top of the third when rookie center fielder Leody Taveras made a leaping catch on the warning track in front of the Dodgers’ bullpen in left-center. Taveras extended his glove above the 8-foot fence to make the catch, while Turner held both arms over his head and could only smile.Turner left the game after a head-first slide into second base on a stolen base after his game-tying hit in the seventh.“He was running or sliding, at some point he just felt something in his hamstring,” Roberts said. “We’re thinking more cramp versus mild strain. I do know that he’ll be down tomorrow and we’ll we’ll reevaluate, reassess on Sunday.”ALMOST HOMEDustin May, the 22-year-old Dodgers right-hander grew up about 30 miles away in Justin, Texas. He struck out three and walked two while giving up two runs over six innings. “It was an awesome feeling being back in my home state of Texas,” May said. “Playing a team that I grew up watching and rooting was a pretty phenomenal, an awesome experience for sure.”Woodward said May has “got some nasty stuff. He’s throwing upper 90s to 100, with sink, cut, everything in between.”TRAINER’S ROOMRangers: CF/INF Danny Santana (strained right elbow) was put on the 10-day injured list for the second time this season. … 2B Rougned Odor missed his third game in a row because of an infection in his right eye.UP NEXTRangers right-hander Lance Lynn (4-0, 1.59 ERA) leads the majors with 107.4 pitches per game. Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling (3-1, 3.46), a Texas native, is winless in his last three starts after winning his first three starts this season.Image credits: AP center_img Last Updated: 29th August, 2020 10:03 IST Dietrich HR Sparks Rangers In 6-2 Win Over ML-best Dodgers On the road for the first time in six years to mark Major League Baseball’s annual observation of Robinson breaking the sport’s color barrier, the Dodgers tied the game right before Derek Dietrich’s tiebreaking leadoff homer that started a four-run seventh inning. The struggling Texas Rangers then finished off a 6-2 victory Friday night over the team with the best record in the majors COMMENT LIVE TV First Published: 29th August, 2020 10:03 ISTlast_img read more

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