Monday, April 1, 2013
On Friday, March 22, 2013, I had the honor of delivering a keynote lecture at a Women's History Month banquet at Marietta College. Dr. Richard Danford serves as their Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, and he earned his PhD at Ohio State University. He therefore receives ASCENT magazine and saw the feature in which they highlight my scholarly and community activities. Because I emphasize the role that women played in initiating lynching drama, he immediately recognized my investment in building on the legacy that women in the United States have left us.
The visit was a joy from beginning to end. I met with a literary research methods course taught by my SSAWW colleague Professor Nicole Livengood; I met with an organization for black women students; I spoke to a group of English majors and History majors interested in archival research; and I met with members of Marietta's newly formed Lesbian and Gay Task Force to share the findings of my forthcoming essay on anti-LBGT violence.
This incredibly productive day ended with the lecture itself, a generative Q&A session, and a book signing that their bookstore generously arranged and attendees graciously supported.
Still, there was yet another element that made this trip special. I stayed in an "executive suite" in one of the dorms. Turns out, it was a brand new dorm built in honor of the institution's first black alumnus, Charles Sumner Harrison, Class of 1876. (He also earned an M.D. in 1895 from Howard University.) Two of his brothers later graduated from Marietta as well. It was an humbling treat to walk past these portraits throughout my stay.