Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SMAD Spring Diversity Lecture 4/5, 7pm, 1261 Harrison

"A Space for Hate: The White Power Movement’s Adaptation into Cyberspace." The white power movement is steadily adapting its racist agenda into "user-friendly" cyber formats, ranging from social network websites to information databases. Adam Klein will discuss his research on twenty-six leading white power websites and their use of the Internet. Klein is SMAD Diversity Fellow for the spring 2010. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Mass Communication & Media Studies program at Howard University. He is the author of numerous research articles and papers and the forthcoming book, A Space for Hate (Litwin Books). The presentation is sponsored by the Office of Diversity, the Honors Program, and the School of Media Arts & Design.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Like Water for Chocolate & Magical Realism

Assignment: By Monday, 3/29, at 5:00 p.m., please post a reply to this blog entry that will serve as your commentary for next week. Your commentary should address the film Like Water for Chocolate, in particular the work it does through novelist Esquival's and director Arau's uses of magical realism. Your commentary must either quote the film or describe a visual element as per the usual commentary assignment. Your commentary may either advance an original idea or respond to one previously posted here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gandhi Center Internship for Fall 2010

The Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence at JMU invites rising Juniors and Seniors (and exceptional rising sophomores) with strong leadership and academic backgrounds to be part of affecting change at the local, regional, and national levels by promoting non-violence understanding, appreciation, and practice. Application materials and details are on the Center's website.

Race, Gender, and Unwanted Touch

Allison Keye's essay on National Public Radio, "Keep Your Hands Off the Hair," is about the frequent and strange compulsion of others to touch her hair. An African American who does not chemically straighten her hair, Keyes seeks to understand and explain the relationship of a 400-years-old racialized history of assumed permission to her recoil. The essay does not discuss the aspect of gender as another assumption of free access to her body, but it surely exists and is germane to our discussions in class. I am particularly reminded of Diego de Landa's detailed description of Mayan women's bathing and beauty rituals in his Account of Things in Yucatan. What connections do you make?

Monday, March 22, 2010

East Meets West conference 3/24-26

March 24, 7:00 p.m., Memorial Hall Auditorium: Concert edition of Puccini's Madame Butterfly by the American Center for Puccini Studies. Free and open to the public.
March 25-26, beginning at 9:00 a.m., Taylor Hall: conference sessions.
Sponsored by the JMU Department of Foreign Languages and Literature.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Women in Government: Liberia

This New York Times article reports on Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa. Six of the twenty-two cabinet posts are held by women. What can we learn from this government's model?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to Write About Africa: a Parody

Thanks to classmate Meredith Sizemore for sharing Binyavanga Wainaina's parodic essay "How to Write About Africa." The full-text article is available on Granta. How does Wainaina's essay engage with our discussions about shattering cultural lenses before reading literatures that depict cultures or historical periods that differ from the readers'?

Furious Flower Collegiate Poetry Summit 3/18-20

Mark your calendar for the Furious Flower Collegiate Poetry Summit, March 18-20! Explore African American poetry with college students from around the country in workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, and an open mic night. Sponsored by the Furious Flower Poetry Center and the Center for Multicultural Student Services.


Crafting a Poetic Future: M.F.A. Programs, Publishing, and Fellowships -- 6:30p.m. CISAT NTellos Room 259

Poetry Reading by Claudia Emerson, Virginia Poet Laureate -- 8:00p.m. CISAT NTellos Room 259

Open Mic Night: Bring some poetry to read or slam! Co-sponsored with Word Is Born Poets’ Society -- 9:30p.m. Taylor Down Under

FRIDAY MARCH 19, 2010 Workshops:

“A Community of Spirits: The Familial and Ancestral” Instructed by Kevin Young -- 8:45-10:00a.m. Ntellos Room* Learn how to weave your ancestry into your poetry, and how to relate your family’s pasts to your present experiences. Advanced sign-up required.

“The Rose that Grew From Concrete: The Urban Landscape & the Black Experience” Instructed by Major Jackson -- 10:15-11:30a.m. Ntellos Room* The urban world has been a setting where writers have explored their sense of identity. Learn to do the same in your poetry, using your own familiar landscape. Advanced sign-up required.

“Love Me True: Passion and Poetry” Instructed by Lyrae Van-Clief Stefanon -- 12:30-1:45p.m. Ntellos Room* Explore the language necessary to express feelings that are perceptible to the senses, and rich in ideas and meaning. Advanced sign-up required.

Poets’ Panel -- 2:00p.m. Ntellos Room* Advanced sign-up required.

Virginia Festival of the Book Reading & Reception featuring Nikki Giovanni, Major Jackson, Haki Madhubuti, Lyrae Van-Clief Stefanon and Kevin Young -- 6:00p.m. University of Virginia in Charlottesville** Advanced sign-up required.


The Word on Campus: The College Literary Magazine -- 8:45-9:45a.m. Showker Hall G5

Poetry Readings by Jon Pineda and Quraysh Ali Lansana -- 10:00a.m. Showker Hall G5

*Some events require sign-up in advance due to limited space. To sign up, contact K. Williams at (540)568-2694 or willi4ka@jmu.edu. **Transportation and reserved seating for the Virginia Festival of the Book reading is available on a first-come, first-served advanced sign-up basis.

TAKE BACK THE NIGHT 3/23, 6-10pm: The Commons

Take Back the Night is a night dedicated to raising awareness about ending sexual assault and violence against both men and women on college campuses and around the world. The event increases community awareness about sexual assault, serves as a voice for men and women to speak out about their experiences, and empowers each of us to take action.
6pm: Musical and dramatic performances
6:45pm-7:30pm: Dr. Rachel Griffin, Keynote Speaker. The speech is a PASSPORT EVENT.
7:30pm: Speak-out and a candle-lit march around campus.