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Discarded Legacy: Politics and Poetics in the Life of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Event Details

Discarded Legacy: Politics and Poetics in the Life of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Time: February 23, 2011 from 6pm to 7pm
Location: The Historical Society of Philadelphia
Street: 1300 Locust Street
City/Town: Philadelphia, PA 19107
Website or Map: http://www.hsp.org
Phone: 215-735-6200
Event Type: panel, discussion
Organized By: Historical Society of Philadelphia
Latest Activity: Jan 28, 2011

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Event Description

A Panel Discussion with:  

Lena Ampadu – Professor of English and former Director of African and African American Studies Program at Towson University. Ampadu’s specialty is oral traditions in African and African American women’s novels. She has lectured on the Poetic Voice of Frances E.W. Harper and the Prose, Poetics, and Politics of Frances E. W. Harper. 

Melba Joyce Boyd – Distinguished Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at Wayne State University. She is the author of thirteen books, including Discarded Legacy: Politics and Poetics in the Life of Frances E. W. Harper, 1825-1911, the only book of criticism available on Frances E.W. Harper. 

Sonia Sanchez – Author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems. Sanchez was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she began teaching in 1977, and held the Laura Carnell Chair in English there until her retirement in 1999. She has taught and lectured around the world and embodies in her life and work the legacy of Frances E.W. Harper.

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Comment by Former Settled Minister on January 27, 2011 at 10:01pm

ABOUT THE PANEL

 

Melba Joyce Boyd is Distinguished Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at Wayne State University. She is the author of thirteen books, including Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press which received the 2005 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Book Honor for Nonfiction, and the editor of Roses and Revolutions: the Collected Writings of Dudley Randall, which received the 2010 Library of Michigan Notable Books Award and was a finalist for a 2010 NAACP Image Award in Literature. Her 1994 book, Discarded Legacy: Politics and Poetics in the Life of Frances E. W. Harper, 1825-1911, was widely reviewed and praised by critics. Eight of her books are collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Death Dance of a Butterfly. She has won a number of awards including a Michigan Council for the Arts Individual Artist Award, and in 2009 she was a Nominee for the Kresge Eminent Artist Award. She is the series coeditor of the African American Life Series at WSU Press, and a contributing editor for The Black Scholar: The Journal of Black Studies and Research.

“Harper’s insight, developed during an era rife with violent enforcement of racism, sexism, and classism, constitutes a viable ideological framework for contemporary radical thought.” – Melba Joyce Boyd

 

Frances Smith Foster is Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Emory University. She regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in African American literature and culture and in women’s literature and culture. Recent course offerings have included “The Profession of English,” “Family, Marriage and (Sexual) Morality in 19th century America,” “Slavery and the African American Literary Imagination, “Becoming a Woman,” and “African American Prize-winning and Prize-worthy Literature.” She has edited or written more than a dozen books, including Love and Marriage in Early African America, Written By Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1746-1892 and Witnessing Slavery: The Development of the Ante-Bellum Slave Narrative. She has edited, alone or jointly, works that include The Oxford Companion to African American Literature and The Norton Anthology of African American Literature as well as editions of several African American women’s texts including Minnie’s Sacrifice, Sowing and Reaping, and Trial and Triumph: Three Rediscovered Novels by Frances E.W. Harper. She is the editor of A Brighter Coming Day: A Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Reader.

“One of the most interesting things about Frances E.W. Harper is her continued optimism in light of the less than inspiring realities with which she lived. She vowed to sing songs for the people and those songs were less light-hearted than light-giving.” – Frances Smith

 

Sonia Sanchez is a poet, mother, activist, professor, and international lecturer on black culture and literature, women’s liberation, peace and racial justice. She has written over 16 books, including most recently, Morning Haiku. Sanchez was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she held the Laura Carnell Chair in English. The recipient of numerous awards, Sanchez has been honored by: the National Endowment for the Arts; the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women; the National Black Caucus of State Legislators; the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities; the Peace and Freedom Award; and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Sanchez’s exemplary writing skills have earned her the American Book Award and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award. Her book, Does Your House Have Lions?, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Having lectured and read poetry to over 500 universities, colleges and organizations in the United States, Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, Norway and Canada, Sanchez has established a reputation as a highly renowned author and scholar.

“This abolitionist black woman writer weaves the literary and political in her poems, novels, newspaper columns and essays. In doing so her life and writings were one and the same.” – Sonia Sanchez

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