sessions take place on the second floor of The Muske Archives,
1 - 9:30– 10:50 a.m.
“Of the Passing”
Karla F. C. Holloway, Duke University
In one of the most
poignant autobiographical chapters of The Souls of Black Folk,
Du Bois comes to the lamentable conclusion that it was better
for his infant son to have died than to have grown up in racist
America. This session examines the intersections of the public
cultures of melancholy and the private spaces of grief. Dr.
Holloway explores this topic in her most recent book, the
award-winning Passed On: African American Mourning Stories
(Duke University Press, 2002).
A. Taylor, Department of English, Bates College
2 - 11:00–11:55 a.m.
of Black Folk”
Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Colby College
Du Bois was one
of the architects of the modern discipline of sociology. Professor
Gilkes assesses his significance to the development of the
social sciences in America. Prof. Gilkes, a sociologist and
an ordained Baptist minister, is preparing an introduction
for the re-publication of Du Bois’s 1924 book The Gift
of Black Folk: The Negro in the Making of America.
Ruffin, Department of English, Bates College
3 - 1:10 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
The Life of Claudia Jones”
Carole Boyce Davies, Florida International University
Claudia Jones (1915
1964) feminist, black nationalist, political activist, community
leader, and journalist was profoundly influenced by W. E.
B. Du Bois and his work. Jones was born in Belmont, Port of
Spain, Trinidad and at the age of eight moved to Harlem, New
York with her parents and three sisters. In 1955 she was deported
from the United States and given asylum in England, where
she spent her remaining years working with London's African
Caribbean community. Claudia Jones helped launch London’s
Notting Hill carnival in1959 as an annual showcase for Caribbean
talent. This annual
celebration is epitomised by the slogan, “A people's
art is the genesis of their freedom.” Professor Boyce
Davies is completing Left of Karl Marx, a book on the Caribbean
feminist activist and an edition of Jones’s essays,
Beyond Containment: Claudia Jones, Activist Politics and Vision.
I. Hill, Political Science, Bates College
4 - 2:40 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Folk South Figure in Pauline Hopkins’s Fiction”
Barbara McCaskill, University of Georgia at Athens
of Two Johns: White Riot and Black Preclusion in DuBois's
The Souls of Black Folk”
Sheila Smith McKoy, North Carolina State University
This session examines
The Souls of Black Folk in the context of black literary traditions.
Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins was an African American female writer
and a contemporary of Du Bois. Prof. McCaskill examines the
mutual interests that Hopkins and Du Bois shared in representing
the plight of African American women in the post-Civil War
south. White violence against African Americans has been a
persistent fact of American life and culture. Prof. McKoy,
who has examined the relationship between violence and black
literatures in her book When Whites Riot: Writing Race and
Violence in American and South African Cultures (University
of Wisconsin Press 2001), pays attention to the legacy of
violence in The Souls of Black Folk.
Creighton, History and Chair of American Cultural Studies,
5 - 4:10–5:45 p.m.
In one of the most
famous statements from The Souls of Black Folk Du Bois declared
that “One ever feels his two-ness,–an American,
a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings;
two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength
alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” The award-winning
Brooks Quimby Debate Council takes this famous remark as the
subject for their debate to examine which come first–loyalty
to race or to nation.
6 - 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Gannett Theater
(Located in Pettigrew Hall)
Of the Coming
of John: A Reader's Theater Performance
This session explores
through dramatic form the discussion of violence that Du Bois
began in The Souls of Black Folk. Charles I. Nero adapted
and staged for performance “Of the Coming of John,”
the only work of fiction in Souls. The subjects of this
short story include interracial male desire, lynching, and
of Black Women Folk: Voices of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921
Idriss Davis of Arizona State University presents a one-woman
performance in several voices based upon her interviews with
survivors and their descendants of the Tulsa race riot of
are made possible through the generous support of the Theatre
and Rhetoric Department at Bates College.
7 - 10:00 a.m.–11:20 a.m.
of the Unseen: William James, W.E.B. Du Bois and The Souls
Marcus Bruce, Bates College
Germany Have to Do with The Souls of Black Folk?"
Sieglinde Lemke, Free University of Berlin
This panel examines
the academic and intellectual foundations of The Souls of
Black Folk. Du Bois studied at Harvard University with the
philosopher William James and did post-graduate work at the
University of Berlin. Both panelists bring to their presentations
extensive research on the relationships between Europeans
and American cultures. Prof. Bruce, who teaches advanced seminars
on Du Bois and James, recently published a biography of the
African American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner, who achieved
his greatest successes as an expatriate in France. Prof. Lemke
explores the interpaly of European and American culture in
Primitivist Modernism; Black Culture and the Origins of Transatlantic
Modernism (Oxford University Press, 1998).
Houchins, African American Studies, Bates College
8 - 1:10 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
the Color Line: Du Bois, African Americans and Asia"
Gerald Horne, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
and Brown Color Lines: Du Bois and Latina/o Identities”
Claudia Milian, Brown University
This session examines
the significance of Du Bois and his ideas about the color-line
and double-consciousness among peoples of color. Prof. Milian
discusses the intersection of Du Boisian double consciousness
and Gloria Anzaldua's borderlands, and how these two theories
advance news ways for re reading African American, Latina,
and Latino literatures.
Brasuell, Director of Multicultural Affairs, Bates College
9 - 2:40 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
University of the Sciences of Philadelphia
“Dialectical Idealism, Double Consciousness and the
Reconstruction of African American Philosophy.”
This session examines
the significance of Du Bois’s work to current scholarly
practices within the academy and their relationship to democratic
cultures. Prof. McClendon examines The Souls of Black Folk
and prior works such as The Conservation of Races, which point
to a radical formulation of a philosophy of history.
10 - 4:10–5:30 p.m.
Critical Theory and the Politics of Black Radicalism.”
Anthony Bogues, Brown University
This session focuses
on the ways in which Du Bois’s work challenges the western
knowledge regime and its importance for contemporary radical
thinking. Prof. Bogues extends the arguments that Du Bois
made in Souls by examining some of his later works, including
the majestic Black Reconstruction in America (1935).
V. Carnegie, Anthropology and Chair of African American Studies,
11 - 8:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Olin Arts Concert
“W. E. B.
Du Bois and African American Sacred Music”
Joyce M. Jackson, Louisiana State University
A Concert of Spirituals
and Jubilees from The Souls of Black Folk
Chauncey Packer, tenor
Each of the fourteen
chapters of The Souls of Black Folk contains an epigram consisting
of an excerpt from a European or Euro-American writer and
a mysterious staff of music. These staffs were melodies from
African American spirituals. This session examines Du Bois’s
celebration of African American sacred music. Prof. Joyce
Jackson, an ethnomusicologist, has conducted extensive research
on African American religious music, including southern gospel
quartets and African cultural retentions in church celebrations
in Louisiana and Texas. Chauncey Packer most recently performed
in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Gershwin’s Porgy an Bess
with New Orleans Opera.