Lecture Series honors Black History Month – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Lecture Series honors Black History Month

The History Department is bringing a lecture series to the community in honor of Black History Month. “As historians, we want to help students to understand that African-American experience is an integral part of our country’s history and is of relevance to students in a wide variety of majors,” explains Professor Susanne McNally.

Speakers include Charise Cheney, Monique Patenaude, Franklin Forts and Margaret Washington. The series is in collaboration with the Provost's Office and the Intercultural Affairs Office; all four programs are free and open to the public.

Cheney, associate professor of history and Africana studies at SUNY Binghamton, will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 in the Geneva Room. She will explore themes of politics, identity and activism through the medium of hip-hop and rap in her lecture titled “From Activism to Raptivism: Can Hip Hop Inspire Social Change?”

She is the author of “Brothers Gonna Work It Out: Sexual Politics in the Golden Age of Rap Nationalism,” “In Search of the 'Revolutionary Generation': (En)gendering the Golden Age of Rap Nationalism,” “'We Men Ain't We?' Mas(k)ulinity and the Gendered Politics of Black Nationalism,” and “Representin' God: Masculinity and the Use of the Bible in Black Nationalist Rap Music.” She holds a Ph.D. and master's from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor of science from Northwestern University.

Patenaude will present “Forging Steel: New York State Historical Markers and the Underground Railroad, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13 in the Sanford Room.

A doctoral candidate at the University of Rochester, Patenaude is particularly interested in antebellum African Americans and communities in the North. She is currently researching the regional disparities and connections between the Burned-Over District's African-American communities of the Erie Canal between 1840 and 1870. Her work has been published in The Historian, and her article, “The Rescue of Jerry Henry: Antislavery and Racism in the Burned-Over District was awarded that journal's article prize for 2001. Patenaude holds degrees from LeMoyne; Cornell University and Onondaga Community College.

Forts, an assistant professor of History at Allegheny College, will come to HWS on Wednesday, Feb. 20; his dissertation, “Cool Like Dat: Compulsive Masculinity in the African American Community: 1965-2005,” will be the focus of the lecture, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Coxe 8.

His work is concerned with the intersections of identity, history, sociology, anthropology, psychology and memory. Through his writings, he explores the ways identity is constructed and the echoes of African-American images which ripple across today’s landscapes. Forts received his A.B.D. from the University of Georgia, an M.A. from Loyola University in Chicago, an M.Div. from St. Mary Seminary and University, and a B.A. from St. John Vianney College Seminary.

The series will conclude on Thursday, Feb. 28, when Washington, a professor at Cornell University, discusses the life of the women's and civil rights activist Sojourner Truth, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Coxe 8.

Washington recently served as an adviser to — and was featured in — the American Experience presentation of “Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided,” a three-part, series on PBS. The author of “Meaning of Scripture in Gullah Religion,” Washington holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis, an M.A. from New York University, and a B.A. from the University of California at Sacramento.