The Humanities Forum presents Theresa Runstedtler, associate professor of history at American University, who will discuss “The Punch”: NBA Basketball and Constructions of Black Criminality. On December 9, 1977, the Los Angeles Lakers’ African American power forward Kermit Washington punched the Houston Rockets’ white guard Rudy Tomjanovich, knocking him out with season-ending injuries. Theresa Runstedtler argues that the NBA became an important pedagogical space where racial common sense not only was shaped and debated, but also came to inform wider assumptions about the appropriate policy solutions to the problems confronting Black urban communities.
The Humanities Forum presents Mejdulene B. Shomali, assistant professor, Department of Gender, Women's, + Sexuality Studies at UMBC, who will speak on Between Banat: Queer Arab Critique and Transnational Arab Archives, examining homoeroticism and nonnormative sexualities between Arab women in transnational Arab literature, art, and film.
In conjunction with the exhibition Lost Boys: Amos Badertscher’s Baltimore, the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents a panel discussion, LGBTQ+ Oral Histories: Ethics and Practice. The discussion will feature Kate Drabinski (UMBC), Joseph Plaster (Johns Hopkins University), Hunter O’Hanian (independent scholar and curator), and students of the 2023 Interdisciplinary CoLab, “LGBTQ+ Oral History Project.”
One of the griots of Black radical tradition in Brazil, Diva Moreira is a political scientist and activist on social issues primarily concerning race, feminism, and the working class since the 1960s. She founded Casa Dandara, a cultural center promoting black self-esteem and leadership, for which she was awarded an Ashoka Fellowship.
The Black in the Americas Series presents Maya Quilolo, a Maroon artist and researcher whose investigations address and explore the intersections between art, anthropology, and black and indigenous cosmologies through film, photography, drawing, performance, literature, and sculpture. She will host a four-part workshop series, Beyond the Eyes: Embodied Methodologies into an Environmental Image.
As the computer, the printing press, or the quill pen was to the book culture of other eras, slavery was to ancient Rome. From the Late Republic through the High Empire, members of Rome's literate elite made use of enslaved research assistants and stenographers to write books, enslaved copyists and binders to make new copies and maintain old ones, and enslaved readers to read aloud for convenience or in social settings. This talk by Joseph Howley ’06, ancient studies, will examine enslaved reading in Rome, situate that practice in histories of reading and of slavery, and look at how the questions this practice raises relate to the current moment of interest in generative AI.
Today, the figure of the guide dog has become a ubiquitous cultural symbol signifying blindness perhaps best shown by the fact that guide dog emojis commonly appear alongside those for wheelchairs and prosthetics. This talk will explore the role of popular culture in reshaping public responses to the figure of the guide dog and the human handler.
Using Congolese philosopher V.Y Mudimbe’s concept of the invention of Africa as a point of departure, Moses E. Ochonu explores the ways in which African Americans, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, invented, and reinvented ideas, semiotics, and tropes of Africa to respond to evolving circumstances, challenges, and aspirations in America and beyond.
The long months between the Munich Crisis of fall 1938 and the spring 1940 end of the eight-month period at the start of World War Two, in which there were few armed engagements, has been called the Phoney War. The battlefields were psychological and imagined as much as they were physical and material. This talk will consider a variety of sources that reveal visceral experience and allow us to explore the internal and internalized history of the War.
This talk explores the story of the official American expedition to Japan in 1852-54 to “open” the far-flung country to trade and a western-based diplomatic order. In examining the role that civilians played on the mission, Constantine Vaporis considers their work not only during the trip but also afterwards, as they disseminated information about the mission to a broader American and international audience.