Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women: An International Conference

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 1:00pm to Saturday, April 30, 2011 - 6:00pm

This conference features emerging work on black women's contributions to black thought, political mobilization, creative work and gender theory.  Scholarly Panels, Roundtables, and Keynotes delivered by Professors Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham and Elizabeth Alexander will focus on black women as intellectuals across a broad geography including Africa, the Caribbean, North and South America, and Europe.  Over a period of three days we aim to piece together a history of black women's thought and culture that maps the distinctive concerns and historical forces that have shaped black women's ideas and intellectual activities. 

The conference is sponsored by Columbia University's Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference (CCASD), Institute for Research in African American Studies, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Office of the Provost, and History Department.

Thursday, April 28th

Welcome:  1:00pm
Farah J. Griffin

Panel 1:       1:15pm - 3:00pm
"READING CLASSIC THINKERS ANEW"

  • Browne, Tsekan i - "Anna J. Cooper, Public Intellectual: Feminism, Nationalism & Diaspora, 1892-1925
  • Cooper, Brittney C - "Mary Church Terrell as Intellectual Intermediary: Black Women's Paradigmatic Use of Mediation as a Strategy for Public Engagement"
  • Curry, Tommy J. - "The Fortune of Wells: Ida B. Well's Use of T. Thomas Fortune's Philosophy of Social Agitation and Civil Rights for Transformative Activism"
  • Schuller, Kyla - "Woman's Evolution: Frances Harper and the Sciences of Civilization"
  • Davis, Thadious - Respondent
  • Bay, Mia - Moderator

Panel 2:      3:15pm - 5:00pm
"REDEFINING THE SUBJECT"

  • Brunson, Takkara - "Conceptualizing La mujer negra (The Black Woman): Towards and Intellectual History of Afro Cuban Women, 1925-1939"
  • Leeds, Asia - "West Indians, Garveyism, and Redemptive Womanhood in Limon, Costa Rica, 1921-1949"
  • Mkandawire-Valhmu, Lucy, Peninnah Kako and Patricia E. Stevens - "The Innovative and Collective Capacity of Low-Income East African Women in the Era of HIV/AIDS: Contesting Western Notions of African Women"
  • Stein, Melissa N - "From Objects to Subjects: The Racial Thought of Black Female Scientists in the Age of Jim Crow"
  • Soumahoro, Maboula - Respondent
  • Farah J. Griffin - Moderator

Dinner Break:       5:00pm - 6:00pm  *List of local restaurant will be provided.

Lecture:     6:15pm   *Annual Zora Neale Hurston Lecture

  • Professor Evelyn Higginbotham - "Thinking Off Key: Contrarian Voices in Black Women's Intellectual  History"

Friday, April 29th

Opening:  8:45am
Panel 3:     9:00am - 10:45am
"ENCOUNTERING THE STATE"

  • Clark-Wiltz, Meredith - "Recognizing Jane Crow: Pauli Murray, the "Doubly Victimized," and the Race-Sex Analogies in Jury Service Policies of the 1960s and 1970s"
  • Gallagher, Julie - "Mobilizing for Justice: A History of Black Women and the State"
  • Gebhard, Caroline - "Jessie Parkhurst Guzman: Tuskegee's Forgotten Scholar-Activist for "Civic Democracy"
  • Harley, Sharon - "Reimagining Citizenship: Gender Formation and Black Women's Laboring Bodies"
  • Savage, Barbara - Respondent"
  • Duncan, Natanya - Moderator

Panel 4:    11:00am - 12:45pm
"INTERNATIONALISM"

  • Baumgartner, Kabria - "Across the Trackless Ocean": Mary Highland Garnet Barboza in Brewerville, Liberia, 1880-1890"
  • Gill, Tiffany M. - "We Could Turn this Whole World Over": Black Women, International Travel, and the Making of Postwar Black Internationalism"
  • Gumbs, Alexis Pauline - "Dark Rich Land:  From a Poetics of Relation to an Economics of Solidarity Between Black Women in the United States, the Caribbean and South Africa"
  • Ramdani, Fatma - "Challenging the Human Rights Discourse: Afro-American Women at Work During the 4 United Nations Conferences on Women"
  • Cornelius-Diallo, Alexandra - Respondent
  • Lightfoot, Natasha - Moderator

Lunch:      1:00pm - 2:00pm

Panel 5:    2:00pm - 3:45pm
"ENGAGING THE POLITICAL"

  • Andrew-Essien, Elizabeth and Bisong, Nonso - "Women, Conflicts and Politics: Assessing Margaret Ekpo's Approach to Political Emancipation and Liberation in Nigeria"
  • Bergeson-Lockwood, Millington - "Contending Race and Party: Pauline Hopkins and the Politics of Partisanship in Boston, Massachusetts"
  • Boisseau, T.J. - "Coming of Age in an Age of Black Consciousness: Anne Moody's Daughterly Definition of Self"
  • Brimmer, Brandi C. - "Recovering the Political Vision of Working-Class African-American Women"
  • Abosede George - Respondent
  • Gregg, Veronica - Moderator

Panel 6:    4:00pm - 5:45pm
"LITERARY GENEAOLOGIES"

  • Cooper, Melissa - "Re-Working Roots: Black Women Writers Re-Imagine the Gullah Identity"
  • Joseph, Delide - "For a Review of the Intellectual Production of Virginie Sampeur (1839-1919)"
  • Ramirez, Dixa - "Letter to an Absence: A Dominican Women's Literary Genealogy"
  • Watson, Veronica - "Challenging the Anglo-Saxon Monstrosity": Race, Rape and the Construction of the White Home in Zora Neale Hurston's Seraph on the Suwanee"
  • Wall, Cheryl - Respondent
  • Glover, Kaiama L. - Moderator

Keynote:   6:00pm - 7:45pm

  • Elizabeth Alexander - "A Prehistory of African-American Studies"


Saturday, April 30th

Panel 7:          8:30am - 10:15am
"ACTIVISTS INTELLECTUALS"

  • Davis, Adrienne - "Callie House & Queen Mother Audley Moore: Reparations as a Social Movement"
  • Gore, Dayo F. - "Driving the Freedom Train: Black Women's Radical Theorizing and Activism During the Cold War"
  • Jackson, Nicole - "For All of Us:  Black Women's Community Activism, Children, and Post-Imperial Britain"
  • Moore, Mignon R. - "The Church and the Streets": Black Lesbians' Influences on the 1950s and 1960s Black Gay Culture"
  • Randolph, Sherie - Respondent
  • Frund, Arlette - Moderator

Panel 8:            10:30am - 12:15pm
"CONFRONTING THE CARCERAL STATE"

  • Jones-Rogers, Stephanie - "To buy what I had already a right to possess": The Slave Market, Self-Purchase and Enslaved Women's Quests for Freedom in the Antebellum South"
  • Krauthamer, Barbara - "Enslaved Women and the Politics of Self-Liberation in the Antebellum United States"
  • Romero, Mercy - "Black Radical Movements and Courtrooms Drawings, 1971"
  • Sweeney, Megan - "Readings As If for Life: Reflections from Women Prisoners"
  • Murch, Donna - Respondent
  • Bay, Mia - Moderator

Roundtable Lunch: 12:30pm - 2:00pm
"EDUCATION"

  • Evans, Stephanie Y. -"My Passport Made me Persona Non Grata: Quest and Insubordination in Black Women's Study Abroad Memoirs"
  • Helton, Laura - "Collections and Their Publics: Vivian G. Harsh and the Special Negro Collection in Chicago, 1932-1958"
  • Lathan, Rhea Estelle - "Another Days Journey": Black Women's Critical Intellectual, Political, Social and Spiritual Literacy Activism 1955-1962"
  • Perkins, Linda M - "The Black Female Professoriate at Howard University: 1926-1968"
  • Ramsey, Sonya Yvette - "The Struggle Continues!": Bertha Maxwell-Roddey's Educational Activism, Reconfiguring Civil Rights and Black Power in the Desegregated South, 1969-1986"
  • Wright, Stephanie R. - "As a woman professor I have suffered deep humiliation ... and great financial loss": The Institutional and Intellectual Work of African American Women at Historically Black Colleges 1930-2000"
  • White, E. Frances - Moderator

Panel 9:            2:15pm - 4:00pm
"THE PUBLIC SPHERE"

  • Cobb, Jasmine Nichole - "The Politics of Visibility: A Cultural History of Black Women's Spectatorship"
  • Semley, Lorelle - "Public Motherhood in Theory and Practice"
  • Wynter, Cadence - "What made me keep my fingers, From choking the words in their throats?"
  • Zackodnik, Teresa - "Recirculation and African American Feminism in the Press"
  • Jones, Martha - Respondent
  • Field, Corinne - Moderator

Panel 10:         4:15pm - 6:00pm
"AESTHETIC INTERVENTIONS"

  • Barros de Castro, Mauricio - "The Daughters of Samba: The Intellectual Trajectory of Lydia Santos"
  • Hardin, Tayana L., and Grace Sanders -"The Future is Feeling: Emotions, Tenderness, and Black Women's Intellectualizing"
  • Murchison, Gayle -"Meshell Ndegeocello's Pentateuch: Peace Beyond Passion Preaching Hip-hop Gospel of Power, Gender, and Black Queer Resistance"
  • Tillet, Salamishah -" 'Black Bodies Swingin': Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and The Gender Politics of Sampling Nina Simone"
  • Griffin, Farah J. - Respondent
  • Sorett, Josef - Moderator

CLOSING REMARKS: - Mia Bay           6:00pm