Last night I attended SAU’s Kathleen Mallory Lecture. The series was named in honor of a long-time Professor of English and Foreign Languages at SAU who has been instrumental in the National Writing Project program, the Youth Writing Festival hosted by SAU among other important contributions.
The lecture series is meant to bring scholars working in the fields of African diasporic and African-American studies to Southern Arkansas University to share their scholarship with students and members of he greater community. . .sounds right up my alley, eh?
At any rate, this spring’s lecture was a breath of fresh air…Dr. Melissa Harris-Lacewell (Assoc. Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University) provided a thoughtful analysis of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with an emphasis on how the actual disaster was not the hurricane, but the structural inequalities that the hurricane highlighted–a long history of environmental racism, differential access to transportation, resources and political voice.
Even better is the fact that Dr. Harris-Lacewell kept a great sense of humor in her presentation that made discussions about race a bit more approachable for those who are usually uncomfortable with the topic…Dr. Harris-Lacewell is a fine example of what I think a public intellectual should look & sound like…and exactly what I needed to feel a bit more excited about SAU.
Kudos to her, kudos to the Kathleen Mallory series and kudos to SAU.
Find out (a lot) more about Dr. Harris-Lacewell at:
Of course, I like her even more when I see that she shares my inexplicable urge to put my whole life on the web.