African & African-American Studies Pre-doctoral Research Symposium

Dartmouth Events

African & African-American Studies Pre-doctoral Research Symposium

AAAS symposium featuring the doctoral research of this year's Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellow and 2 Visiting International Fellows. Light refreshments provided at 4 pm. FREE.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
4:15pm-5:30pm
Occom Commons, Goldstein Hall
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars, Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Re-conceptualizing Rights and Union Politics at the Intersection of Race, Class, Gender through Domestic Workers in Brazil

  • Jaira Harrington, 2013-14 Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellow
  • University of Chicago. Political Science

While the present literature often abstractly cites earlier post-authoritarian legislative change as an indicator of democratic consolidation, my study takes up the late narrative of domestic workers' unions whose voices emphasize race, class and gender as salient factors for concrete rights-based democratic inclusion. I draw from 16 months of semi-structured interviews and participant observation at municipal and the federal labor unions of Brasília, São Paulo and Salvador, Brazil. My research expands the current literature to complicate the relationships among rights legislation, transitional governments and marginal groups. 


A Study of Gloria Naylor’s Utopian Thoughts

  • Yulian Wu, Visiting International Pre-Doctoral Fellow
  • Beijing Foreign Studies University, China. American Literature.

Situating her works within the context of African American utopia, this study intends to map out the evolution of Gloria Naylor’s utopian thoughts. Her first novel The Women of Brewster Place sets the tone of her later writings, that is, the perpetual utopian “desire for a better way of being.” If the patriarchal northern suburban utopia in Linen Hills goes wrong and reverses to its dystopian opposite, and the matriarchal southern utopia in Mama Day also has its self-deconstructive factors. In Bailey’s Café, Naylor turns to blutopia –  the liminal space which converges different geographies, ethnicities, cultures and philosophies. Further, she constructs a utopia of the two sexes where men and women achieve mutual understanding and reconciliation in The Men of Brewster Place. The preferable alternatives represent significant contributions to the African American utopian imagination. 


Staging Authenticity: Race, Language, and Nation in J.M. Synge’s and Zora Neale Hurston’s Theatre

  • Chante M. Kinyon, Visiting International Pre-Doctoral Fellow
  • National University of Ireland, Galway. English Literature.

Grotesque and ludicrous depictions of African-Americans, and the Irish, were commonplace in early twentieth century popular culture. In an attempt to reclaim or form an identity that would be seen as “authentic,” participants of both the Irish and Harlem Renaissances created art against such caricatures hoping more “authentic” representations would help to shape a countering identity to the degrading racial and ethnic stereotyping each group experienced in that era. I examine how Synge and Hurston ignored concepts of social reform, unlike many of their contemporaries, and concentrated more on documenting their various journeys and anthropological-esque research trips. Consequently, their work attempts to create theatre that challenges the historically constructed categories of race, language, and nation.

For more information, contact:
Adrienne Clay
646-3397

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.