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On Monday, January 26, the Humanities Institute at Wake Forest University will host a “Teach-In on Race and Human Community.”

The Humanities Institute describes the event:

The evening event will be organized around faculty-led teaching sessions running simultaneously on campus. Each session will focus on a topic and short reading that the faculty member has chosen because it has been especially insightful or even transformative for students studying race and its many iterations. The aim is for faculty and students to examine and learn from critical academic discourse on race, racial formation and related topics as we strive to move forward as a campus.

The Anna Julia Cooper Center founding director and two Center Steering Committee members will be participating in the Teach-In.

AJC Center director Melissa Harris-Perry will lead a discussion of Kimberle Crenshaw’s “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics and Violence Against Women of Color.”

From Professor Harris-Perry:

This is the foundational article that articulated the academic concept of intersectionality, which insists that race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and other core political identities intersect to create forms of oppression and domination that are invisible if identities are considered only one at a time. This piece will prompt discussion about complex analyses of problems and coalition based strategies for action.

Steering Committee member and Presidential Endowed Professor of Southern History Michele Gillespie will lead a discussion of Vivian M. May’s article “Anna Julia Cooper: Black Feminist Scholar, Educator, and Activist” and Anna Julia Cooper, “Discussion of the Same Subject.”

From Professor Gillespie:

Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), a self-described “ black woman of the South,” dedicated her life to the pursuit of social justice. She was deeply committed to articulating and especially to critiquing hierarchical and exclusionary practices, especially in respect to race and gender. Her ideas continue to resonate in contemporary debates about race relations, feminism, and rights, both in domestic and international contexts. Too few people know the full complexity of Cooper’s ideas even as Wake Forest is the new home of Professor Melissa Harris-Perry’s Anna Julia Cooper Center on Race, Gender and Politics in the South. I want to use the attached Cooper speech and an essay that examines Cooper’s life and thoughts by noted Cooper scholar Vivian May to introduce this powerful and important historical figure to Wake Forest students.

Steering Committee member and assistant professor of religion and culture Derek Hicks will lead a discussion of the chapter “The Debasement Campaign” from his book Reclaiming Spirit in the Black Faith Tradition.

From Professor Hicks:

This chapter considers the issue of racial formation during the antebellum period and slavery in this country. Notably, it considers the ways black bodies were paradoxically framed as detestable and “esteem worthy” as sources of profit. We will discuss the significance of this dually constructed racial identity and what it means for our contemporary understanding of racial experience in America.

Students can sign up to participate in the Teach-In here.

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