Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Two More Interviews on First Lady Michelle Obama

Living with Lynching is a study of successful black familiesfamilies whose success inspired violence from white supremacistsAs I continue to examine the reception of successful black families, Michelle Obama has become an interesting figure.  I have had two more opportunities to discuss her in the public realm.  On Friday, January 25, 2013, I was a guest on Karamu with Dr. Richard Cooper, which airs on Philadelphia radio station 900 AM WURD.  

On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, I was part of an even more in-depth conversation on Minnesota Public Radio show The Daily Circuit.  I was honored to share the airwaves with a writer I have long admired, Tami Winfrey Harris.  

The Daily Circuit called this segment "How Michelle Obama Divides Feminists" and you can listen HERE.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Keynote Lecture at Bucknell University

On Monday, February 4, 2013, I delivered a keynote lecture to help kick off Bucknell University's programming for Black History Month.  The event was sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Services and the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and GenderThe details that made the visit so lovely were handled by Dr. Vincent Stephens, Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services.  He is an American Studies scholar whose analyses have been quite influentialAside from numerous music reviews in publications such as Popular Music & Society, his essay “Pop Goes the Rapper: A Close Reading of Eminem’s Genderphobia” appeared in the journal Popular Music and was reprinted in the popular culture textbook Common Culture.  For more on Dr. Stephens' publications, including free downloads, visit his Selected Works page.


Time spent with faculty members and students made this a particularly productive visit.  Conversations with theatre scholar Meenakshi Ponnuswami were particularly warm and invigorating.  We found much common ground through dramatists James Baldwin and Amiri Baraka, and Dr. Ponnuswami gave me wonderful suggestions for an essay with which I have been struggling.  I also had a great time meeting Dr. Michael Drexler who specializes in nineteenth-century American literature.  Fortunately, a few students also made time for me outside of the lecture!  I had a great tour from Paul and a nice lunch with Juanita and Trayvon.  Also, Darby stayed after the lecture to share his ideas about the issues with which we both struggle as we try to remain true to our ideals in a society that sometimes seems reluctant to reward that kind of integrity.  I came back to Columbus energized!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Lecture at Ohio State

On Thursday, January 24, 2013, I presented as part of the DISCO lecture series. 

DISCO stands for Diversity & Identity Studies Collective at Ohio State, and Professor Debra Moddelmog (pictured above) created it.  Thanks to its existence, cutting-edge work in the various fields represented by the Collective have more visibility on OSU's campusDebra has been a tireless champion of diversity and inclusion and the intellectual richness that diversity brings.  She has also been a crucial part of the success of Living with Lynching because she guided mestep by step and draft by draftthrough the process of responding to reader reports.  I was honored to be invited to speak in the series.  It was the first time I presented on my research in that room since I interviewed for the job in 2005.

Debra is a renowned Ernest Hemingway scholar, an excellent role model, and a generous friend.

Professor Joe Ponce, author of Beyond the Nation: Diasporic Filipino Literature and Queer Reading, introduced me.  We started at Ohio State together, and he has been a true friend on this remarkable journey.  I was much more emotional during and after his introduction than I expected to be.  (I couldn't hold back the tears or keep my voice from quivering.)  One of the things he shared was that I declared years ago that he and I would be stars.  Well, this endorsement of his book is more confirmation that I was right! 

Beyond the Nation is one of the most original, scrupulous, and moving books in Asian American literary criticism that has been published in the past fifteen years. -Sarita See

It was lovely to see people from all over campus and from the community. 

 It's always a joy to share the work!

For a nice feature on the DISCO website about my book and related activities, click here.