Announcement: ‘Mapping the Afro-Imaginative’ symposium this week

This Thursday and Friday, the Black Queer Diaspora Collective at UT will present a symposium that convenes activists, artists and scholars from throughout the African Diaspora to discuss “creative strategies for black queer world-making.” The symposium kicks off with a keynote lecture from Nalo Hopkinton tonight, Thursday, March 5 at 6:30 in BLS 2.206. On Friday, March 6, there will be a series of panels in the same room. The symposium features panels with E. Patrick Johnson, Alexis Deveaux, Ana Maurine Lara, and more – find the full schedule at the Fabebook event here.




Announcement: Ethnic and Third World Literatures Sequels Symposium This Week!

This Thursday and Friday at UT, Ethnic and Third World Literatures (E3W) and the Department of English will be hosting the 13th Annual Sequels Symposium. Sequels is an annual event that features E3W alumni and their recently published books. The symposium also includes graduate student panels, highlighting research that intersects with the work of our featured keynote speakers. This year’s guests are Dr.  Eve Dunbar and Dr. Kenneth Kidd. The symposium will feature keynote addresses by Dr. Dunbar and Dr. Kidd on Thursday evening at 7pm in the Eastwoods Room of the Texas Union. Panels will be held Friday from 8:30 to 3:30 in the Eastwoods Room.


Eve Dunbar graduated from UT in 2004.  She is currently Associate Dean of the Faculty and Associate Professor in the Department of English at Vassar College, where she is also an active contributor to the Africana Studies, Women’s Studies, and American Culture programs.  Her areas of specialization include African American literature and cultural expression, black feminism, and theories of black diaspora. Kenneth Kidd graduated from UT in 1994.  He is currently a Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Florida. His areas of specialization include children’s literature studies, nineteenth- and twentieth century American literature, psychoanalysis, queer theory, and cultural studies.

Check out the full schedule here.


Foodways TX: Dispatches from the Annual Foodways TX Symposium

Image by Kelly Yandell

Image by Kelly Yandell

Last week, College Station played host to Foodways Texas’s Annual Symposium, centering on the theme “Farm to Market 2014.” In case you missed it – and we hope that this will serve as a call for you folks to attend the next! – enjoy this fascinating and detailed write-up of the symposium from Kelly Yandell. We’ve pasted an excerpt below that explains what the symposium offers; the full post detailing some of the conversations that occurred (and some more of her wonderful photos) can be found here.

We meet yearly in support of a greater academic archiving project run through the University of Texas to document the diverse cultures of Texas. In fact, Foodways Texas just became a permanent part of UT’s American Studies Department. The panels, talks, and discussions this year were centered on the topic of agriculture at the aptly titled Farm to Market 2014: 4th Annual Foodways Texas Symposium. This alone would have been enough to hold my attention for two days. And, the meals at the symposium would have been enough to justify the cost of admission had there been no discussions at all.

But the enduring draw of this event is the fascinating group of people that it brings together.  We are scholars, writers, farmers, ranchers, chefs, food lovers, entrepreneurs, photographers, scientists, and all manner of other professionals and people who simply love Texas, Texas food and foodways, and Texas history and cultures. This is not to say by any means that we all share the same point of view on some of these thorny agricultural topics.  In fact, with a group this diverse it is virtually guaranteed that our interests, backgrounds, and opinions will diverge. But the very convivial nature of the gathering ensures that we all seek each other out and use it as an opportunity to think, more so than to merely form opinions. The time limitations and the number of topics covered mean that we barely scratch the surface of the topics we approach; however, for many of us it is the first time we have ever considered the lives and businesses of some of our peers.

Announcement: Performing Blackness Symposium Today!

The Department of Theatre and Dance’s Performance as Public Practice program and John L. Warfield Center’s Performing Blackness Series will host a discussion today of Charles O. Anderson/dance theatre X’s TAR, with conversation about Black dance, producing Black art, and the role of art in generating social change. The symposium will take place in the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre in the Winship Building on the UT campus from 1:30-5:00p.m.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Thomas Frantz, Professor of African and African American Studies/Dance/Theatre Studies, Duke University

Featured Panelists:
Ms. China Smith, Founder and Executive Artistic Director, Ballet Afrique, Austin
Dr. Omise’eke Tinsley, Associate Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin
Dr. Michael Winship, Professor, Department of English, The University of Austin


The symposium is in conjunction with two public performances of dance theatre X’s TAR on April 12 and 13 at 8:00 p.m. in the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre. Both performances are free and open to the public.

Hope to see you there!

Announcement: CMAS Fall Sexuality Studies Symposium This Weekend

This Friday and Saturday, the Center for Mexican American Studies will be hosting their Fall Sexuality Studies Symposium – “Sexing the Borderlands: From the Midwest Corridor and Beyond.”  The keynote address will be delivered by José Esteban Muñoz, Professor of Performance Studies at New York University, who will speak on “The Brown Commons: The Sense of Wildness.”

AMS professor and Associate Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies, Dr. Nicole Guidotti-Hernández, will be moderating a panel on Saturday, “Shameless Sex: From Porfirian Ruins to the UFW” at 11:00 a.m. in the Santa Rita Suite (3.502) of the Texas Union.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Mexican American Studies; the LGBTQ/Sexualities research cluster in the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies; the Teresa Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies; the Performance as Public Practice program in the Department of Theatre and Dance; the Latino Media Studies program in the College of Communication; and the Department of English.


Announcement: Symposium This Week on “Creativity in the Face of Death”

This week, the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies and Texas Performing Arts will be hosting a 3-day symposium called “Creativity in the Face of Death: The Contemporary Resonance of Terezín.” The symposium will include performances, panels, lectures, and a photography exhibition. A number of the events feature AMS Professor and Director of the Schusterman Center, Dr. Robert Abzug, as well as AMS affiliate faculty member Dr. Rebecca Rossen.

The following is a description of the event from the Schusterman Center’s website:

“Creativity in the Face of Death: The Contemporary Resonance of Terezín,” a three-day symposium, will explore the enduring influence of music and art created by prisoners at Terezín (Theresienstadt), the “model ghetto” near Prague designed by the Nazis as a sham showcase to mask their murderous campaign against Europe’s Jews. The inmates, mostly Jews from Germany and Czechoslovakia and among them many notable artists, writers, composers, and musicians, acted out their parts for unsuspecting visitors even as, in the shadow of death, they raised the spirits of their fellow prisoners. Only 12 percent of the 140,000 Jews originally sent to Terezín survived. Virtually all of the members of the artistic community perished in the death camps or at Terezín itself.

Their heroic example has served as a haunting challenge for later artists to create what Kafka declared books must be—“an axe for the sea frozen inside us.” “Creativity in the Face of Death: The Contemporary Resonance of Terezín” will bring together world-class musicians, dancers, choreographers, photographers, and scholars whose work has been touched by the legacy of Terezín.

The following events feature Dr. Abzug and Dr. Rossen in conversation with artists and scholars on the symposium theme:

Wednesday, October 10

Creativity in the Face of Death
Daniel Hope | Jeffrey Kahane | Donald Byrd
Moderated by Robert Abzug and Rebecca Rossen
12:00 – 1:30 p.m. | Harry Ransom Center, Prothro Theater

Thursday, October 11

Veronika Tuckerova and Robert Abzug
History and Memory: The Emergence of Terezín in Historical Artistic Consciousness: Czechoslovakia and America
4:00 – 5:30 p.m. | Garrison 1.102

The Theater of Needless Talents
Donald Byrd, choreographer and director

PRE-PERFORMANCE LECTURERebecca Rossen and Robert Abzug
7:00 pm | Bass Concert Hall, Lobby Level 4

8:00 p.m. | Texas Performing Arts’ Bass Concert Hall

Spectrum Dance Theater’s The Theater of Needless Talents, an evening-long work choreographed by Donald Byrd, pays homage to the Jewish artists who, though imprisoned in Nazi death camps, managed to create, perform, and bring hope to themselves and fellow inmates. The work is a series of powerful and eloquent sequences comprising modern dance, theatrical vignettes, cabaret, and commentary drawn from the words of artists and others of the time. These searing and evocative segments resonate with the horror and the absurdity of the situation in which these artists found themselves. The dance is set to the music of composer and death camp victim Erwin Schulhoff. The Theater of Needless Talents strives to make connections between the Holocaust and present-day sufferings brought on by prejudice, oppression, and persecution.

More information and a complete schedule can be found here.

Announcement: Food for Black Thought Symposium This Weekend!

This Friday and Saturday, head on over to the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (UT Austin) and the George Washington Carver Cultural Center for the Food for Black Thought Symposium. This event features presenters from UT Austin, including our own Dr. Elizabeth Engelhardt, as well as members of the wider Austin community.

Here is a description of the symposium from the event website:

Critical discussions of food and the food system are on the rise in academic research, public policy, and in popular media. Food for Black Thought (FFBT) will explore how these issues involve, impact, and engage Black populations from transdisciplinary and community-based perspectives. FFBT will explore Black experiences with food and the food system, past and present, in Austin and beyond.

The 2-day community + action symposium will take place at the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (UT Austin) and at the George Washington Carver Cultural Center. Facilitators and presenters include youth and adults, from the University of Texas at Austin, the greater Austin community, and from across the United States.

The two-day symposium will feature interactive workshops, roundtables, film screenings, and keynote talks with Dr. Naa Oyo Kwate (director of the research lab for Race, Neighborhoods, and African-American Health) and Toni Tipton Martin (chef, culinary historian, and Founder and Director of the SANDE Youth Project). The symposium is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, the Advertising and Public Relations Department, the Geography and The Environment Department, the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, the Black Media Council, and Foodways Texas.

More details and a complete schedule can be found here.