IN 2020, UMD was awarded a two-year, $500,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch an interdisciplinary African Diaspora studies research seminar. Led by Dr. Sharon Harley, the seminar, hosted by the Department of African American Studies, “Race/Ethnicity and Gender Identity in a Shifting Cultural, and Racial Climate: African/Black Diaspora Academic and Public Discourse” continues virtually.
The seminar addresses a central question: How are nationality and the specifics of diverse ethnicities and gender formations reshaping the framing of identity among first- and second-generation African immigrants and their relationships with native-born U.S. African American populations in the 21st century?
Related public events have included:
- “Conversations and Visual Representations of Race/Ethnic/Gender Identity” with Curlee R. Holton and Deborah Willis, co-hosted with The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora;
- “Student Perspectives: Conversations in African/ Black Identity,” featuring students from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, UMD, Baltimore County, and Howard University—a similar event was held with New York University (NYU) students;
- “Rooted: Black Women, Southern Memory, and Womanist Cartographies,” co-hosted with NYU, featuring artists Michelle Lanier and Allison Hamilton;
- “Race/Ethnicity and Gender Identity in a Shifting Cultural, and Racial Climate: African/Black Diaspora Academic and Public Discourse,” an introduction to the research seminar for the UMD community.
A public event is planned for the fall at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and a culminating conference will be co-hosted at the University of Ghana in 2022.