Dillard University hosts Rising from the Depths of Slavery

Legacies of Cultural Expression Two-Day Symposium

Data News Staff Edited Report

NEW ORLEANS — Dillard University Ray Charles Program in African American Material Culture invites you to join us on Friday, October 28th and 29th (Friday-Saturday) for Rising from the Depths of Slavery: Legacies of Cultural Expression (Food, Music & Tourism) – Two-Day Symposium.

Rising from the Depths of Slavery: Legacies of Cultural Expression is a two-day symposium on October 28th and 29th, 2022, hosted by the Dillard University Ray Charles Program in African American Material Culture in partnership with the Council of Independent Colleges and Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University. The regional collaboration is supported by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation with supplemental funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The symposium will bring together local and national scholars from a variety of disciplines and expertise. As a regional collaboration partner, Dillard University was selected for the cultural creativity theme. The CIC Legacies of American Slavery grant defines cultural creativity as the cultural expression in all its forms as a way to understand and cope with slavery and its aftermath, including artistic legacies in theater, art, dance, music, poetry, and fiction, but also in popular culture, folklore, and folkways. We examine cultural expression as a way to understand and cope with slavery and its aftermath. Through the cultural creativity theme, Dillard University will explore three sub-themes at the symposium as it relates to the Legacies of American Slavery: Food, Music, and Tourism. We invite you to join us this October 28th and 29th, 2022, at Dillard University in New Orleans, LA.

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Peggy Brunache and Dr. Ibrahima Seck in conversation: “Sacred Resistance: Finding Black Joy through the Culinary Aesthetics of an Enslaved Past.”

This presentation hopes to progress critical dialogue on Black agencies and choices by engaging place, material culture, and space, through an alternative understanding of conceptual sites of conflict and resistance. Specifically, I contemplate sites and spaces associated with the slave economy to consider new transformative theories on Black resistance as liminal space for identity formation and societal transformation via strategies of cultural aesthetics such as foodways. Enslaved and free Black communities actively participate(d) in foodways and other strategies to either escape or circumvent gendered and racialized systems of oppression. These forms of aesthetics can also be understood as productions of knowledge and serve as an exploration for re-historicizing our difficult heritage as one of resilience, joy, and community building by enslaved Africans and their descendants.

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