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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 1, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 24
Celebration Begins for Center for Africana Studies

Daylong symposium to be held Friday; Toni Morrison will give lecture next week

By Amy Cowles

A daylong symposium on the state of Africana studies will bring leaders in the field to Johns Hopkins on Friday, March 5.

The symposium is the first of two events celebrating the creation of the university's Center for Africana Studies, established in fall 2003 in response to interest from students and faculty and as part of the university's efforts to "diversify the intellectual footprint on campus," said Daniel Weiss, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, which houses the center.

Undergraduates may pursue a major or a minor from the center, which has a threefold focus: African studies, African-American studies and the study of the African diaspora.

The second event will be a lecture by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison on Wednesday, March 10.

This week's symposium will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 160 of the Mattin Center on the Homewood campus. Exploring the theme "Intellectual and Institutional Directions in Africana Studies," the panelists will discuss the shape and role of such programs in university settings. Speakers are Kim Butler, professor in the Department of Africana Studies, Rutgers University; Manthia Diawara, professor in the Institute for African American Affairs, New York University; Farah Griffin, professor in the departments of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University; Eileen Julien, director of the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora, University of Maryland, College Park; and Tufuku Zuberi, director of Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

The day will begin with a welcome and introductions of the speakers, followed by two roundtable workshops. At each session, speakers will give a brief presentation on the session topic, followed by general discussion among the speakers and members of the audience.

The first session, "New and Promising Intellectual Directions in Africana Studies," will run from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Following a lunch break, "Institutionalizing Africana Studies in the University" will run from 2 to 4 p.m.

For more information about the symposium, contact Andrea Jones at 410-516-8722.

Seating for Toni Morrison's lecture, which will be at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10, in Homewood's Shriver Hall Auditorium, was made available by reservation and was filled shortly after the event was announced.


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