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Jackie Robinson: A Game Apart, Sun, Feb 15 at 3:00 pm

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Hutchins Lecture by Sophie White, Thurs, Feb 19 at 4:30 pm

sophiewhiteIn her lecture, “Beyond the Slave Narrative,” Sophie White showcases the judicial testimony of enslaved Africans in criminal trials in French colonial Louisiana. Drawing on her current research project, White locates the verbal and non-verbal stories which enslaved individuals, forced into a global African diaspora, sought somehow to narrate. Reading past the details of the criminal cases, and interspersing her analysis with excerpts from their testimonies, she focuses on individual slaves’s subjectivity as conveyed through their inflections and uses of imagery, their choice of words and their silences. This lecture will be held in the Kresge Foundation Room (039 Graham Memorial Hall).

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Sophie White is Associate Professor of American Studies, Africana Studies, and History at the University of Notre Dame. She describes herself as an “historian of early America with an interdisciplinary focus on cultural encounters between Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans, and a commitment to Atlantic and global research perspectives.” Professor White is the author of Wild Frenchmen and Frenchified Indians: Material Culture and Race in Colonial Louisiana (University of Pennsylvania Press, McNeil Center for Early American Studies series, 2012), which demonstrates that material culture–especially dress–was central to the elaboration of discourses about race in French colonial Louisiana. Her current book project, “Voices of the African Diaspora Within and Beyond the Atlantic World,” is centered on the analysis of an extraordinary body of testimony by enslaved Africans in colonial Louisiana and beyond. Both book projects were supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Tell About the South: Emilio del Valle Escalante, Wednesday, March 25 at 12:30 pm

EmilioWhat role have Maya writers and their literatures played in the affirmation of indigenous cultural identity and the struggle for indigenous rights and self-determination in Guatemala since the 1960s? Please join us for a lunchtime discussion with Emilio del Valle Escalante, Assistant Professor of Spanish in UNC’s Department of Romance Studies, on “Maya Literary Resurgence in Guatemala.”

Professor Escalante will answer the question above by offering a critical discussion of the poetry of Kaqchikel Maya authors Francisco Morales Santos and Luis de Lión. Given that the context of the 1960s defines the beginning of a 36-year-long civil war, he argues that Morales Santos and Lión respond to that experience as well as the interest of the Guatemalan left in incorporating the Maya population into the armed struggle. These Kaqchikel authors embrace the socialist ideal proposed by the Guatemalan left while using the left to propose and build a political space to articulate their own Maya national liberation; that is, their poetry speaks of revolution and socialism as well as Maya cultural/national vindication and decolonization.

This event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Patrick Horn at pathorn@unc.edu.

Southern Cultures Double Issue Release Party, Thursday, December 4 at 5:30 pm

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Please join us at the Center as we celebrate the release of two new issues of Southern Cultures! The Winter 2014 issue examines southern politics, dashboard poets, the caning of Charles Sumner, and the “harmless, humorous hick” persona of Gomer Pyle (as well as the actor who came to inhabit that persona). You’ll find photographs by Michael W. Panhorst, poetry by Joseph Bathanti, and important pointers for how to catch and smoke the tastiest eels.

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We’re simultaneously launching our first-ever Best of Food issue, which collects some of our favorite writing on southern food and foodways. Inside you’ll find essays on Native food in the Native South, eating with “molasses-colored glasses,” an early twentieth century “Girls’ Tomato Club,” and more. Order your copy today, or go all out and order the whole tote bag!

April McGreger of Farmer’s Daughter Brand pickles & preserves (featured in the “Best Of” issue) will cater the event. Phil Blank, who painted the cover (left), will provide tunes with his rocking klezmer band, Gmish. And the one and only Bernie Herman, whose writing is featured in both issues, will discuss how he came to eat Hog Island sheep barbacoa. What better way to get in the holiday spirit?

Film Screening: Getting Back to Abnormal, Full Frame Theater, Wednesday, November 19 at 7:00 pm

Join us at the Full Frame Theater in Durham’s American Tobacco Campus for a provocative exploration of Southern race and politics on film, followed by a Q&A with Directors Paul Stekler and Andrew Kolker.

abnormalstillNew Orleans’ long history of political dysfunction and complicated racial dynamics gets a new lease on life when Stacy Head, a polarizing white woman, wins a seat on the city council after the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Four years later, she needs black votes to get reelected. But will her record of blunt racial talk doom her chances? GETTING BACK TO ABNORMAL follows the unlikely odd couple of Head and her irrepressible black political advisor, Barbara Lacen-Keller, as they try to navigate New Orleans’ treacherous political scene. With its cast of only-in-New-Orleans characters, Getting Back to Abnormal is a provocative and amusing look at race in America, set against the backdrop of the city’s rich culture. The film had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival and was nationally broadcast on the PBS series POV in August 2014. You can view a behind-the-scenes discussion between the producers about portraying New Orleans on film here.

This event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Southern Oral History Program, the Southern Documentary Fund, and Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.