In Search of Annie Parker

UntitledThanks to support from the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, the IU New Currents program, and several campus offices and departments as well as Indiana Humanities (the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities), the Frederick Douglass Papers will sponsor a gathering of scholars, teachers, students, and the general public to examine the historical and literary significance of Douglass’s novella, “The Heroic Slave” (1853), on our campus in October.

In preparation for this symposium, several members of the Douglass Papers staff have been engaged in a small piece of literary detective work. Douglass’s “Heroic Slave” was originally published as a contribution to the short “gift book” entitled Autographs for Freedom, published in Boston by the firm of John P. Jewitt. Besides Douglass, this collection of essays, poems, and short fiction features many well-known mid-nineteenth century writers and political and reform leaders including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Sumner, Horace Greeley, John G. Whittier, and Caroline Dall.

Among the diverse collection of black and white, male and female, American and British contributors to Autographs is the writer Annie Parker who published a poem “Story Telling” and the separate story, “Passages in the Life of a Slave Woman.” In the latter, the narrator, a slave woman, recounts the tragic outcome of a master/slave sexual relationship. In the past few decades this piece has been anthologized several times as one of the earliest works of fiction by an African American author. But who was Annie Parker? None of the anthologies or scholars writing about the story have ever been able to supply any biographical details about her.

Project assistant editor Jeffrey Duvall, graduate research assistant Rebecca Pattillo, and I have been at work trying to answer that question this summer. Frederick Douglass’s own Rochester-published newspaper contains a piece under Parker’s byline in the early 1850s and two other short journalistic pieces by her appear in a Geneva, New York-based temperance newspaper in that same era. Then the trail gets cold, very cold.

Genealogical sources turn up a few possible “Annie Parkers” in the upstate New York region but none of them has any known connection to the antislavery movement and all were white. Perhaps Annie Parker was not a runaway slave as others have speculated. This raises the possibility that “Annie Parker” was a pen name–but whose?

The most intriguing possibility is that Parker is none other than Harriet Jacobs, the author of the famous 1859 autobiography of her horrifyingly abusive career as a South Carolina slave. Jacobs had escaped slavery in the early 1840s and worked as a maid for the Massachusetts journalist Nathaniel Parker Willis, who is referred to twice obtusely in Parker’s own writings. In 1849-50, two years before the publication of the Autographs, Jacobs lived in Rochester and actually worked in the same building where Douglass edited his newspaper. While Jacobs had returned to working for Willis in Massachusetts by the time Autographs was compiled, those earlier connections might have led the gift book’s editor, Julia Griffiths, to have solicited a piece by Jacobs, although no evidence of such a solicitation has yet been found. The same year, Harriet Beecher Stowe also asked Jacobs to write a summary of her slave experiences to include in her Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a response to critics of her condemnation of slave mistreatment in her earlier novel. The Douglass staff is exploring whether Jacobs might have wanted to tell her personal story herself in a safer fictional form in the pages of Autographs.

The product of this research will just be a small part of the upcoming symposium, where Douglass papers staff will be joined by seven widely-published scholars from several disciplines to explore various contexts of “the Heroic Slave.” The event is free and open to the public and we hope will be well-attended by many persons from the central Indiana community interested in Frederick Douglass and his campaign against slavery.

by Jack Kaufman-McKivigan

Frederick Douglass scholars, IUPUI to celebrate publication of Douglass’ ‘The Heroic Slave’

thCAHJ0V6YINDIANAPOLIS — University scholars from the U.S. and Europe will gather at an Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis event next month celebrating a new publication of an “underappreciated gem” – a novel authored by famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

The Frederick Douglass Papers Edition, a documentary editing project of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, will host the conference, “Frederick Douglass’s ‘The Heroic Slave’ and the American Revolutionary Tradition” on Oct. 9 and 10. The conference takes place in conjunction with the Second Annual Madame C.J. Walker/Frederick Douglass Public Lecture.

The two-day event will observe and assess the significance of the Frederick Douglass Papers’ publication of the first scholarly edition of “The Heroic Slave” by Douglass (1818-95), a runaway slave who became an internationally recognized orator, reformer, journalist and diplomat.

“I am very excited that the forthcoming symposium will generate public attention for this underappreciated gem in early African American literature,” said John R. Kaufman-McKivigan, editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers. “Douglass’ achievements as an orator, autobiographer and political leader are well-remembered but not his important accomplishment as a fiction writer.”

“The Heroic Slave” was inspired by the actions of Madison Washington, a cook on a ship sailing to New Orleans. Washington led an 1841 slave rebellion on a ship that then sailed instead to the Bahamas, allowing 128 slaves to find freedom.

The Douglass Papers’ publication of the book received funding as part of a $52,060 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Conference presenters will provide special insights and tools to educators to help them better explain Douglass’ life and times to their modern-day students, Kaufman-McKivigan said.

The Oct. 9 conference sessions will take place at The Tower, 850 W. Michigan St., on the IUPUI campus. The Oct. 10 sessions, along with the Second Annual Madame C.J. Walker/Frederick Douglass Public Lecture and Workshop, will meet at the Jewel Center, 3333 N. Illinois St.

Robert S. Levine, professor of English at the University of Maryland, will deliver the Oct. 9 keynote address, “Heroic Slaves: Madison Washington and ‘My Bondage and My Freedom,’” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Tower.

V.P. Franklin, chair and professor of history and education at University of California Riverside, and editor of the Journal of African American History, will deliver the second conference keynote address, “The Power to Define: History, Scholarship, and Social Change,” from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Jewel Center.

Symposium sponsors include the IU School of Liberal Arts, the IUPUI departments of English and history, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, the IUPUI Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Indiana Humanities and the Africana Studies Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Additional conference details, including a complete syllabus, bios of speakers and online registration, are available on the conference website. For additional information, email douglass@iupui.edu.

Randa Jarrar, Award-Winning Novelist, Coming to IUPUI

A Map of HomeAs part of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Symposium, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute in collaboration with the IUPUI Library and the Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series invites you to join us on the evening of November 17 for a presentation by Randa Jarrar.

Time: 7:00-8:30 pm
Date: November 17, 2014
Location: Basile Auditorium, Eskenazi Hall (Herron School of Art and Design)
Tickets are free, but registration is required.

Randa Jarrar is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist, and translator. In 2010, a collaborative project between the Hay Festival, Beirut UNESCO’s World Book Capital 2009 celebrations, Banipal magazine and the British Council recognized her as a member of the Beirut39 — 39 of the world’s most promising Arab writers under the age of 39.

Jarrar grew up in Kuwait and Egypt, and moved to the US after the first Gulf War.  Her first novel, A Map of Home, has been published in half a dozen languages and won a Hopwood Award, an Arab-American Book Award, and was named one of the best novels of 2008 by the Barnes and Noble Review.

Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Utne Reader, Salon.com, Guernica, The Rumpus, The Oxford American, Ploughshares, Five Chapters, and others. She has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Hedgebrook, Caravansarai, and Eastern Frontier.

About Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here at IUPUI

On March 5, 2007, in the middle of the Iraq war, a car bomb killed dozens and injured over a hundred people.  It also devastated al-Mutanabbi Street, a busy avenue of cafés and bookstores that had served as a meeting place for generations of writers and thinkers.  In response to the attack, San Francisco bookseller Beau Beausoleil rallied a community of international artists and writers to produce “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here,” a collection of letterpress-printed broadsides (poster-like works on paper), artists’ books (unique works of art in book form) and an anthology of writing focused on expressing solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers and readers.

“Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” includes 260 artists’ books; a publication titled “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5, 2007, Bombing of Baghdad’s ‘Street of the Booksellers,’” plus 130 broadsides — one for every person killed or injured in the bombing.  Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will serve as one of only three repositories in the world to hold the complete collection.  It will also sponsor three biennial conferences to explore the themes and implications of the collection through papers, panels, posters and presentations with international scholars, artists and writers from a range of disciplines.

 

IU McKinney School of Law symposium to address Indiana water issues

Water access and water quality challenges associated with Indiana’s riverways and watersheds are the focus of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s seventh annual spring symposium on the environment, energy and natural resources.

The symposium, “Indiana Rivers: Water Access, Water Quality & Water’s Future,” will take place at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in the Wynne Courtroom of Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York St.

Carol Comer, general counsel for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, will present “Indiana’s Water Priorities” as the keynote luncheon address at noon.

Recent events in West Virginia — where more than 300,000 people lost access to basic drinking water following a chemical release into the Elk River — and in Indiana — where almost two-thirds of assessed state waters have been designated as “impaired” under the Clean Water Act — show that even the most complex and carefully managed regulatory system can still fail, and that more can be done to address challenges to Indiana’s water system.

In addition to Comer’s address, panels of experts and leaders at the symposium will:

  • Describe the state of water access and water quality law and challenges in Indiana.
  • Examine recent efforts to protect water quality affected by coal combustion.
  • Assess the measures that exist to prevent an Elk River-type disaster in Indiana.
  • Explore water access and water quality as an Environmental Justice Concern.

Expert panelists include the co-director of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights in New Orleans; the managing principal of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., in Washington, D.C.; the water and ag policy director for Hoosier Environmental Council; the conservation director of Sierra Club’s Hoosier Chapter; and the executive director of the Conservation Law Center in Bloomington.

Speakers from the Indiana House of Representatives, the Indiana Senate, Earthjustice, Prairie Rivers Network, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, IU Maurer School of Law at IU Bloomington and the McKinney School of Law will also participate.

A detailed listing of symposium panelists and topics for discussion is available online.

Online registration is available for high school and university students, faculty, staff and non-profit employees; and for other attendees. The cost is $75 for attorneys registering for 6 hours of CLE credit; $25 general admission.

For questions, please contact: enlaw@iu.edu.

Taylor Symposium marks 25th year by exploring “Politics. Race. Place.”

The 25th Joseph T. Taylor Symposium, hosted by the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will focus on how 25 years of demographic and social change has shaped Indianapolis while exploring the topic, “Politics. Race. Place.”

The symposium will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd.

Registration deadline is Feb. 18, but guests are encouraged to register early to reserve a seat.

A schedule and registration are available on the School of Liberal Arts website. To register by phone or for more information, call 812-855-4224 or 800-933-9330, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email iuconfs@indiana.edu. Symposium attendance is free and open to the general public, but conference registration is required. Lunch is available for a fee: Single luncheon tickets are $40 each or $35 if purchased by Feb. 3. Single sponsor tickets are $75, and patron tables of 10 are $550.

Leading local practitioners, politicians, policy-makers and researchers will come together with symposium attendees to examine how shifting demographics and an increasingly diverse population have contributed to the direction of the city and its future path.

The event begins with a conversation between William Blomquist, professor of political science and dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, and Rozelle Boyd, retired president of the Indianapolis City County Council, discussing “Understanding the Evolving Indianapolis Electorate.”

“The Taylor Symposium has been a signature event drawing campus and community together for a remarkable 25 years now,” said William Blomquist, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. “I’m looking forward to this year’s symposium in particular, talking about political change in our city over the past quarter-century with Rozelle Boyd, and listening to the other participants—it’s a terrific line-up.”

Panel discussions follow on the topics of “White Flight and the Politics of Place” and ” Building a Multicultural Community.”

Panelists and moderators include:

  • Amos Brown, director of strategic research, 100.9 Radio Now.
  • Patricia Castaneda, cultural consultant, SosaGroup.
  • Olgen Williams, deputy mayor of Indianapolis.
  • David Coats, associate director, The Polis Center.
  • Terri Morris Downs, executive director, Immigrant Welcome Center.
  • Johnny Goldfinger, associate professor of political science, director of prelaw studies, Marian University.
  • Lun Kham Pieper, attorney at law.
  • John Ketzenberger, president, Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute.

Byron D’Andra Orey, professor and chair of political science at Jackson State University, will deliver the keynote address, “Contemporary Topics in the Study of Race and Politics,” during the symposium luncheon. Luncheon activities also include IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz’s presentation of the Joseph T. Taylor Excellence in Diversity Award and a performance by the Indianapolis improv group ComedySportz.

In the days leading up the event members of the campus community and visitors will also be able to share their views on race and politics in Indianapolis on the IUPUI Democracy Plaza walls.

LEU continuing credits are available to Indiana’s library professionals for select workshops and, pending approval, CLE credits to attorneys for this event.

For questions about the educational credits or event program, contact Lauralee Wikkerink, lstel@iupui.edu or 317-278-1839.

For the past quarter century, the Joseph T. Taylor Symposium has tackled issues of concern to Indianapolis residents. The symposium is named for the late Joseph T. Taylor, the first dean of the School of Liberal Arts. Taylor is remembered for his commitment to dialogue and diversity. The 2014 symposium is presented by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI in partnership with the Department of Political Science and the Polis Center, with support from the Spirit & Place Festival, IUPUI Democracy Plaza, and the IUPUI Common Theme Project.

Call for papers: 2014 Purdue American Studies Symposium: American exceptionalism in the 21st century

Call for Papers: 39th Annual American Studies Graduate Symposium
“The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly: American Exceptionalism in the 21st Century”
Purdue University, April 17-18, 2014

Keynote Speaker: Kevin Gaines, Robert Hayden Collegiate Professor of History and Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan

The election of our nation’s first Black president ushered in a discourse of Post-Blackness, suggesting that America’s race problems were behind us. Likewise, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the unconstitutionality of DOMA seem to suggest that discrimination against LGBT and queer persons was a thing of the past. However, recent political attacks on women’s rights, renewed fights to prevent LGBT persons from marrying, the government shutdown, the GOP war on voting rights aimed at disenfranchising people of color, as well as our extended global “war on terror,” have dispelled the notion that we are “post” anything. American exceptionalism, including intra-American exceptionalism, is in full effect. Still, we must ask, what’s good about America? What narratives of belonging, nation, and freedom bind us to our American identity? Is there anything left to love about America?

In accordance with this theme, we would be interested in tracing the resurgence of imperialism, white supremacy, economic disparity, and otherness within the turn of the century. Other possible sub-themes include:

  • Identity: What constitutes an American? Who is excluded and why?
  • Post-race, post-feminism, post-Civil Rights?
  • Commodification/Cooptation of American identity
  • Music/sound
  • Technology/Innovation
  • Media/Popular Culture/Representation
  • American Exceptionalism in a transnational context
  • Religion/spirituality
  • LGBT/Queer: Progression (or regression) of movements, visibility, etc.
  • Ecology/geography
  • Immigration and American identity
  • Urban/rural landscapes and communities
  • Dis(ability)
  • University/Public Education System
  • Nostalgia (Longing for a “halcyon” past, 1950s, The Old South, etc.)
  • How are these concepts tied to exceptionalism?
  • Love and Affect: How do we feel about America? What’s left to love? What constitutes a “good” life/nation?

The Symposium Committee invites all those interested to submit proposals no longer than one page in length for panels, individual papers, workshops, and performances no later than January 10, 2014. Please also submit a biography of no more than 250 words, a current CV with contact information, especially your email address, and a list of any audio and/or visual equipment necessary for presentation. Submissions may be made electronically to Stephanie A. Allen at amstsymposium@purdue.edu. Inquiries regarding the symposium may be made to the same email address.

The full flyer can be seen here.

Contact information: Stephanie A. Allen, Purdue University, 100 N. University St., (765) 496-9629, email: allen65@purdue.edu

Ethnomusicologist, conductor, and activist André de Quadros keynotes symposium on global health and music

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Lily Auditorium in University Library – UL0130

Professor André de Quadros, Boston University, will deliver the keynote address at the 2013 pre-conference symposium of the Society for Ethnomusicology. His presentation is titled “Music, the Arts, and Global Health–in Search of Sangam, its Theory, and Paradigms.”

Music and the other arts have the potential to mobilize poor communities and provide meaningful contexts for health education and empowerment. Artists have a social justice responsibility to work together with public health professions to explore the power of personal and community agency, self-knowledge, and social change in the face of widespread health concerns. André de Quadros will discuss music’s capacity, with other arts, to communicate in uniquely complex and subtle ways that offer significant potential for health.

Professor de Quadros has conducted research in over forty countries. His research and practitioner interests are in health literacy in sites of urban dispossession, incarceration, and conflict. He is a member of the Scientific Board of the International Network for Singing Hospitals, the International Advisory Board of the Asian Institute of Public Health, the Board of the International Federation for Choral Music, the Editorial Board of the peer-reviewed journal Arts and Health, and the steering committee of Conductors without Borders.

This lecture is open to the public. For more information about this talk, please see the flyer, or email medhum@iupui.edu.

Inaugural symposium, “The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker: The Historical Development of a Business Empire”

The Africana Studies Program at IUPUI and the Frederick Douglass Papers invites the public to attend the upcoming inaugural symposium that is part of the Madame C.J. Walker/Frederick Douglass Annual Lecture Series. This lecture series is designed to celebrate the brilliance, accomplishments and ingenuity of two African American global icons, namely Madame C.J. Walker who was the first African American female millionaire entrepreneur in America and Fredrick Douglass, a great orator, abolitionist, and political statesman. Our first public symposium will take place on Friday, December 6, 2013 at the Jewel Center from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM. Please see the event flyer.

The theme of this year’s symposium is “The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker: The Historical Development of a Business Empire.” The events of the day are as follows:

  • Registration and continental breakfast is at 8:00 AM-9:00 AM
  • Welcome Remarks: 9:15 AM by Dr. Karen Dace, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Welcome Remarks: 9:20 AM by Dr. Jack Kaufmann-McKivigan, Editor and Founder, The Frederick Douglass Papers, IUPUI
  • The first panel discussion starts around 9:30 AM on the theme of “The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker”
  • Our keynote speaker for noon is Dr. Juliet E.K. Walker, the foremost scholar and expert on Black business history in America and distinguished Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin, who will discuss “African American Businesses in the Arc of History: Culture, Innovation and Black Business Success.”
  • Introduction of the Keynote Speaker: Dr. William Blomquist, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI
  • At 2:00 PM, Professor Bessie House-Soremekun will make a research presentation on “Lessons Learned from History: The 10 Personality Characteristics of African American Entrepreneurs and How to Achieve Them.”

The event is free and open to the public. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Dr. Bessie House Soremekun at beshouse@iupui.edu or cmorlan@iupui.edu.

Symposium continues exchange between schools of education at IUPUI and Moi University

The latest in a continuing exchange of ideas and best practices between the Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI and the Moi University School of Education in Eldoret, Kenya, takes place next week in Indianapolis.

Faculty from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Moi will hold the second annual Faculty Symposium on Research and Teaching on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 29 and 30, at the Lilly Auditorium on the lower level of the IUPUI University Library, 755 W. Michigan St. The symposium runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The purpose is to bring together faculty from the two schools of education to share their research, teaching interests and scholarship, related to this year’s theme “Interrogating Educational Policy and Practice in Kenya and the U.S.” Through face-to-face presentations and discussions, Moi and IUPUI faculty will hear from each other and explore opportunities for joint scholarship and initiatives.

The first symposium took place in Kenya in August 2012. Pat Rogan, executive associate dean of the IU School of Education at IUPUI, led a group of four faculty who traveled to Eldoret, which is almost 200 miles northwest of Nairobi. Seven faculty from Moi will travel to Indianapolis.

“We are committed to a mutually beneficial partnership that enhances faculty collaboration and student exchanges,” Rogan said. “The symposium will advance our internationalization efforts while strengthening relationships between Moi and IUPUI faculty.”

The symposium is an extension of IU and Moi University’s long-standing relationship, which began with the IU School of Medicine and Moi teaming up on the AMPATH Center, or Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare, a clinic that helps treat Kenyans with HIV and AIDS. In addition, the IU and Moi schools of journalism recently agreed to continue their partnership, and Kenya is now home to the IU Alumni Association Kenya Chapter.

The IU School of Education at IUPUI signed a memorandum of understanding with Moi University to formally partner for continuing professional exchanges. Last year’s symposium in Kenya allowed faculty from both universities to share best practices and research on a variety of topics. The Moi faculty presented on the teacher preparation practices at Moi, how the Moi faculty uses research to inform policy and practice in higher education, and science curriculum. Faculty from IUPUI spoke about teaching techniques with the latest technology, issues surrounding the education of urban youth, and women in education.

“This year’s symposium will offer a wide range of leading edge topics among the seven Moi and seven (IUPUI) School of Education presenters,” Rogan said. “It promises to be a highly informative and exciting event.”

The sessions are free and open to the public. Organizers request attendees pre-register online.