URI announces Dana Shugar Colloquium schedule

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Women & the Civil Rights Movement talk kicks off series, Feb. 10

KINGSTON, R.I — January 27, 2009 — The University of Rhode Island Women’s Studies Program announces its annual Dana Shugar Colloquium series schedule of lectures by distinguished URI faculty members. The talks, free and open to the public, are held at 4:30 p.m. in Room 402, Lippitt Hall, 5 Lippitt Road, Kingston. The talks are also part of coursework for the Women’s Studies Graduate Certificate Program for matriculating and non-matriculating students.

Rob Widell, an assistant professor of history, will kick off the series Tuesday, Feb.10. His talk, “Familiar Issues, New Directions: Black Women and the Long Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham,” will explore the ways black women of the late 1960s and 1970s were at the forefront of a “new phase” of the Civil Rights Movement in which African Americans sought to address longstanding concerns related to housing, health care, poverty, and police brutality.

Widell is currently revising a book manuscript entitled, To Stay and Fight: Birmingham, Alabama, and the Modern Black Freedom Struggle. The manuscript focuses on the grassroots organizing efforts of African Americans in Birmingham, Ala., during the years following that city’s well-known civil rights protests of 1963. In so doing, it contributes to the ongoing reassessment 20th century black protest based in the concept of a “Long Civil Rights Movement.”

Using police surveillance files, alternative media, court papers, municipal government records, and oral interviews with participants, Widell documents this continuing movement and situates it within a longer 20th Century black freedom struggle.

He received his bachelor of arts in religion and African-American Studies from Duke University and his master of arts and doctorate in history from Emory University. He grew up in Alabama and has lived and taught in North Carolina, Atlanta, Colorado, and New Orleans before settling in Rhode Island in 2004.

The schedule for the rest of the series follows:

Tuesday, Feb. 17, Vanessa Quainoo (African and African American Studies): “‘Cry Elmina’: A Reader’s Theatre”
TO BE RESCHEDULED, Stephen Barber (English): “Pacifism between Politics and Ethics: Virginia Woolf’s Last Acts”
Tuesday, April 21, Annemarie Vaccaro (Human Development and Family Studies): “Using Critical Race Theory and Feminist Perspectives to Explore the Intersections Between the Race, Gender, and Educational Engagement of Non-Traditional Age Undergraduate Women.”