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Humanities Symposium

2015 Humanities Symposium: Race in America

February 24-27

Keynote Lecture: Michele Norris, "Eavesdropping on America's Conversation About Race"

Michelle NorrisAn award-winning journalist, Michele Norris is currently a host and special correspondent for NPR. Previously, Norris served as co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” public radio’s longest-running national program. Norris and “All Things Considered” received many of journalism’s highest honors, including a Peabody Award, duPont Award, an Overseas Press Club Award, and she was named the 2009 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Before joining NPR, she served as a correspondent for ABC News, where she reported extensively on education, inner city issues, the national drug problem and poverty. While at ABC, Norris earned an Emmy Award and Peabody Award for her contribution to the network’s coverage of 9/11.

Norris is the author of the 2010 best-selling memoir, “The Grace of Silence,” which began as a quest to uncover how America talked about race in the wake of the 2008 presidential election and became an eye-opening family history lesson revealing Norris’ family’s racial legacy and a window on America’s complicated racial history. The book also led to “The Race Card Project,” a blog that asks people to submit their thoughts and observations about race in six words.

Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. in Parmer Hall.

Call for Participation

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, when over 700 students of diverse ethnicities, faiths, and economic backgrounds traveled to Mississippi to join local activists in the struggle for civil rights. Despite the progress we’ve made since Freedom Summer 1964, Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, and the protests that have followed, make it clear there is still much to learn about the complexities of race in America. This symposium will serve as a forum where scholars, artists and activists with diverse perspectives and resources can engage in meaningful and transformational conversation about “Race in America.”

With hopes of a rich dialogue across disciplines, we welcome proposals for sessions or events from all departments, faculty members, campus offices, community members, college alumni and student groups. Presentations may be held both individually or jointly by departments, faculty groups, student groups, and centers/institutes, as well as by individual faculty members.  Past symposiums have included student colloquia, film and discussion, lectures, poster sessions, multimedia presentations, and artistic performances. 

To download a more detailed description and proposal form, click here.

Proposals are due September 29, 2014.