We’ve just passed the mid-way point in February, which means that there have already been a number of interesting events celebrating Black History Month. Students and faculty have been planning lectures, concerts, and social events that commemorate important events in the history of African Americans and other groups in the African Diaspora. This Sunday at 5 pm at Crowell Concert Hall is Jubilee, an annual event that celebrates the talents of students, faculty and community members. Wesleyan’s Center for African American Studies has a long, distinguished history of scholarship and activism, and you can find out more about events in Black History Month by visiting the Malcolm X House at 343 High Street.
I had lunch today with Ann duCille, Professor of English, who for more than two decades has been teaching students about literature, race, history, gender and theory. We talked about the changing landscape for Black Studies, and about the potential for doing some exciting things at Wesleyan in this field, in creative writing, and in our diversity efforts across campus. Ann’s interests range from Barbies to black feminist theory, and she has deep roots in the arts and academia. Ann has decided to retire at the end of this year, and she will be sorely missed by students and faculty alike. Only after I left the lunch did I realize that it was Ann’s birthday! To make up for this gross oversight, I’ll extend these birthday wishes publicly!!