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NEH Summer Institute @ MC

NEH Summer Institute @ MC

Concepts of Black Diaspora in the United States: Identity and Connections among African, Afro-Caribbean, and African American Communities

NEH Summer Institute for Higher Education Faculty

June 12 - 25, 2022

Depending on public health guidelines related to COVID-19, plans for a residential offering are subject to change.

 

About the Institute

Out of many, one. The city of Savannah, Georgia recently erected a monument to soldiers from Saint Domingue (Haiti) who traveled to the area in 1779 to make common cause with the American Revolutionary War. Jamaican immigrants contributed to the Harlem Renaissance, the cultural movement that cross-pollinated ideas of African Americans and Afro-Caribbean creatives into a uniquely American flowering. A cause célèbre of Harlem Renaissance was support for Ethiopian resistance to Italian incursions.  Decades later, with the end of quotas in 1965, Ethiopians and Nigerians would make up the largest groups of African immigrants. Tapping into Montgomery College, Howard University, and Washington, DC’s wealth of resources, and interrogating the terms “African American,” and “Diaspora,” this institute will feature scholars from a range of disciplines sharing their research with participants who will acquire insights and resources to support publication or diversification of their curricula.

Participant Expectations

Each participant will receive a $2,200 stipend. This stipend is intended to help cover travel, housing, meals, and basic academic expenses. Stipends are determined according to the format and duration of the summer program and are taxable as income. Half will be paid at the beginning of the program and half at the end. 

Project applicants who accept an offer to participant are expected to remain during the entire period of the program and to participate in its work on a full-time basis. If a participant is obliged through special circumstances to depart before the end of the program, it shall be the recipient institution’s responsibility to see that only a pro rata share of the stipend is received or that the appropriate pro rata share of the stipend is returned if the participant has already received the full stipend.

  • Deadlines:
    • Participant applications are due on March 1, 2022.
    • All applicants will be notified of their status (whether accepted, waitlisted, or not accepted) by Friday, March 25, 2022.
    • Selected participants must accept or decline by April 8, 2022.

Once an applicant has accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (Seminar, Institute, or Landmark), he/she/they may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer. 

Participants will be selected by a committee consisting of three members, including the project director(s). 

Participant Eligibility 

Institutes are designed for a national audience of full-or part-time faculty who teach undergraduate students. Project directors may admit a limited number of others whose work lies outside undergraduate teaching but who demonstrate that their participation will advance project goals and enhance their own professional work.

At least five institute spaces will be reserved for non-tenured/non-tenure-track faculty members. Three institute spaces may be reserved for advanced graduate students.

Participants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. U.S. citizens teaching abroad at U.S. chartered institutions are also eligible to participate. Foreign nationals teaching abroad are not eligible to participate.

A participant need not have an advanced degree in order to take part in an institute. Individuals may not apply to participate in an institute whose director is a family member, who is affiliated with the same institution, who has served as an academic advisor to the applicant, or who has led a previous NEH-funded seminar, institute or Landmarks workshop attended by the applicant. 

Participants may not be delinquent in the repayment of federal debt (e.g. taxes, student loans, child support payments, and delinquent payroll taxes for household or other employees). Individuals may not apply to participate in an institute if they have been debarred or suspended by any federal department or agency.  

Project Team
Cinder Barnes
Co-Director: Cinder Cooper Barnes

Professor of English at MC, Fulbright Liaison, and Director of the GHI, teaches African American Literature, Introduction to Literature, and Women in Literature, all of which have at their center marginalized and “othered” voices. Professor Barnes is the MC liaison to the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), and co-leads trips to West Africa through CAORC for community college and minority-serving institutions’ faculty from around the country.


Dr. Mbye Cham
Mbye Cham, PhD

Served as the Director of the Center for African Studies at HU until 2020. His research interests include oral traditions; modern African literature in English and French; African and Third World cinema and film; and African development. He directs Council of American Overseas Research Centers’ seminars in West Africa and has directed NEH Summer Institutes on African Film and Literature.


Ellen Olmstead
Ellen Olmstead

Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at MC, winner of MC’s Equity and Achievement Award, a CAORC and WARC alum, co-authored the first book on African American young adult fiction and annual annotated bibliographies on Caribbean literature for Callaloo. She chairs the MC-Ethiopian Community Center Work Group.


James Murray
James Murray

Professor of English Language for Academic Purposes at MC, studies the structure of creole languages and stages of second language acquisition. He has taught academic English to visiting fellows at the Haitian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and works closely with the Haitian Creole Academy to offer community programming.

Visiting Guest Lecturers and Speakers
Nemata Blyden
Nemata Blyden, PhD,

Professor of History at George Washington University specializes in Africa, African American History, Imperialism and Colonialism, and Women and Gender, and is author of African Americans and Africa: A New History (required reading).


Msia Kibona Clark
Msia Kibona Clark, PhD,

Associate Professor of African Studies at Howard University, has written books, book chapters, and articles on both popular culture in Africa and on African migrant experiences, including editing the collection, Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism.


Celia Daniels
Celia Daniel, MLS

Head of Reference and Instruction at Howard University’s Founders Library and conservator of HU’s special collections on Africa.


Ezekiel Ette
Ezekiel Ette, MSW, MDiv, PhD,

The chair of the Department of Social Work at Delaware State University, specializing in Nigerians and Nigerian immigrants in the U.S., and author of Nigerian Immigrants in the United States: Race, Identity, and Acculturation.


Thomas Glave
Thomas Glave, MFA,

Professor at State University of New York-Binghamton, award-winning author of four collections of essays and fiction, and editor of Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles and author of Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent (required reading), appears often in The New York Times and Callaloo. His focus is Caribbean and African American literature, Queer literature, and Jamaican culture. 


Maurice Hall
Maurice Hall, PhD,

Provost at Bennington College and author of Re-Constructing Place and Space: Media, Power, and Identity in the Constitution of a Caribbean Diaspora (required reading).


Terry-Ann Jones
Terry-Ann Jones, PhD,

Director of Africana Studies and Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Lehigh University, studies international and domestic migration in Africa and the Americas. Author of Jamaican Immigrants in the U.S. and Canada: Race, Transnationalism, and Social Capital (required reading).


Terry Rey
Terry Rey, PhD,

Chair of Global Studies/Religion at Temple University, specializes in African and African diasporic religions, and is author of the text, Crossing the Water and Keeping the Faith: Haitian Religion in Miami.


Violet Showers Johnson
Violet Showers Johnson, PhD,

Professor of History and Director of Africana Studies at Texas A&M University, focuses on African American history, African history, and the history of the African Diaspora, and is co-author of African and American: West Africans in Post Civil Rights America (required reading).


Chantalle Verna
Chantalle Verna, PhD,

Associate Professor of History and International Relations at Florida International University, specialist in U.S. Haiti relations, inter-American relations, African diaspora studies, contributor to the Geographies of the Haitian Diaspora, author of Haiti and the Uses of America, and co-author of The Haiti Reader.


Zadi Zokou
Antony Zokou Silvere (Zadi Zokou)

Zadi has worked in movies for over 20 years and is trained in both screenwriting and the technical aspects of film and audio-visual production in his own country of Cote d’Ivoire, as well as in Burkina-Faso, Tunisia, France, Canada and Japan. He has written screenplays for several internationally-funded feature-length dramatic films that were screened throughout the West Africa region to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Since moving to the US in 2005, Zadi has produced several documentaries, including: Eliza My Songbird (A Documentary About Autism,); Praying Town, a feature-length documentary on the history of Native Americans and enslaved African Americans of Southern New England; and Black N Black, his latest documentary, which examines the relationships between African Americans and African Immigrants to the US. Black N Black is currently screening at festivals and universities in the United States and made its international debut in Paris, France, in September 2019. 

Zadi is currently working on his next documentary, Finding Family. It is a story about himself and his newfound African American relatives.

Weekly Syllabus and Schedules

Required Texts Provided by the Institute:

  • Nemata Blyden’s African Americans and Africa: A New History
  • Thomas Glave’s Words To Our Now: Imagination and Dissent
  • Violet Showers Johnson and Marilyn Halter's African and American: West Africans in Post Civil Rights America
  • Dinaw Mengestu’s The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
  • Terry Rey’s Crossing the Water and Keeping the Faith: Haitian Religion in Miami

*Each day’s discussion will be grounded by several questions for the development of syllabi, class assignments, and research.

Participants read selections from the following before the Institute:

  • Nemata Blyden’s African Americans and Africa: A New History
  • “Diaspora: Historiographical Debates." Encyclopedia of African History, edited by Kevin Shillington, Routledge, 1st edition, 2004. 
  • Shana L Redmond’s article, "Diaspora." Keywords for African American Studies, Erica R. Edwards, et al., New York University Press, 1st edition, 2018. 
  • Zeleza, Paul Tiyambe. "African Diaspora." New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, edited by Maryanne Cline Horowitz, vol. 2, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005, pp. 578-583. Gale eBooks, link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX3424300202/GVRL?u=rock77357&sid=GVRL&xid=0220e8c1. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021
     

Download the first week's schedule (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)

Week 1 Syllabus and Relevant Resources

6:00 - 8:00 PM: Welcome reception at the Cafritz Center Atrium and Open Gallerynew window (930 King St, Silver Spring, MD 20910), Montgomery College (MC) Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus, MD

The reception will feature a quilt exhibit by the Uhuru Quilting Guild and a performance by Exie J and the Undecided. Exie J. Official Websitenew window

Uhuru Quilters Guild was founded March 1994 in Prince Georges County, Maryland. The word uhuru is Swahili for "freedom." The guild promotes the work and accomplishments of African American quilters and seeks to preserve the tradition, culture, and history of quilting through workshops, exhibits, and the motto “each one, teach one.” When presented with the theme “Concepts of Black Diaspora in the United States,” 15 Uhuru members embraced the challenge and used various techniques to create quilted interpretations of the theme. For more information about Uhuru Quilters Guild, go to the website: www.uhuruquiltersguild.org

The Uhuru Exhibit will be on display in the Cafritz open gallery until July 1, 2022.

June, 13
Time Activities
9:30 AM MC Administrators welcome participants and Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
10:00AM Introduction of Participants/Overview of Institute
10:45AM Break
11:00AM Review of reports from Migration Policy Institute, Pew Research Center, and Schomburg Library on African and Caribbean immigration to the U.S.; Discussion of Institute terminology: “African American,” “diaspora,” “immigrant,” “migrant,” “asylee,” “refugee,” “community formation,” and “identity formation”
12:00PM Lunch at MC provided by Institute
2:00 PM Nemata Blyden, PhD Presentation, Q&A, Discussion-- Overview of the relationships between African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, and Africa from the era of slavery to the present
4:30 PM End of Activities

Reading from the following list will provide background information and a foundation on African diaspora: 
"Diaspora: Historiographical Debates." Encyclopedia of African History, edited by Kevin Shillington, Routledge, 1st edition, 2004. 
Redmond, Shana L. "Diaspora." Keywords for African American Studies, Erica R. Edwards, et  al., New York University Press, 1st edition, 2018. 
Nemata Blyden’s African Americans and Africa: A New History

Questions for day:

  1. What is an “African American” and how does this identity relate to the African continent? 
  2. What is “diaspora”? What is the African diaspora?
  3. How do migration, community formation, and identity figure in the definition of diaspora?
  4. What is the relationship between African Americans and Africa from the era of slavery to the present? 
  5. What roles do region, ethnicity, slavery, and immigration play in investigating African American history and culture?
  6. How can the topics under discussion be used in the creation of (an)assignment(s) for at least one of the courses you teach? 

Cinder Barnes and Mbye Cham, PhD Overview of Institute and discussion of Institute terminology: African American, diaspora, African diaspora, immigrant, migrant, asylee, and refugee; history and demographics of African and Caribbean communities in the US

Guest Scholar: Nemata Blyden, PhD Author of African Americans and Africa: A New History, West Indians in West Africa, 1808-1880: A Diaspora in Reverse, “Relationships among Blacks in the Diaspora: African and Caribbean Immigrants and American-Born Blacks” in Africans in Global Migration: Searching for Promised Lands, and In Motion: The African American Migration Experience 

June, 14
Time Activities
10:00AM Violet Showers Johnson, PhD Presentation, Q&A, Discussion - History of the African diaspora and the impact of race, ethnicity, and immigration on Black identity
12:30PM Lunch at MC Provided by Institute
2:00 PM Viewing of the documentary film Black N Black Q&A, Discussion
4:30 PM End of Activities

Required Reading: 
Selections from Violet Showers Johnson’s African & American: West Africans in Post-Civil Rights America 

Questions:

  1. What role has post-colonialism played in the recent history of Black America?
  2. What do the evolving global ties with Africa and the US mean for cultural identity formation and socioeconomic incorporation among a West African and Afro-Caribbean diaspora?
  3. What do the evolving translocal connections among West African and West Indian enclaves in the US mean for cultural identity formation and socioeconomic incorporation among a West African and Afro-Caribbean diaspora?
  4. How are Afro-Caribbean and West African immigrants changing the meaning of “African Americanness”?
  5. How can the material under discussion be used in the creation of assignments in your discipline /field?

Guest Scholar: Violet Flowers Johnson, PhD
Author of The Other Black Bostonians: West Indians in Boston, Deferred Dreams, Defiant Struggles: Critical Perspectives on Blackness, Belonging, and Civil Rights, Western Fictions, Black Realities: Meanings of Blackness and Modernities, and African & American: West Africans in Post-Civil Rights America

View and discuss the documentary film Black N Black by filmmaker Zadi Zokou

June, 15
Time Activities
9:00 AM Chantalle Verna, PhD Presentation, Q&A, Discussion - 20th century History of relationship between Haiti and US and Haitian diaspora in the US in 20th century
12:00PM Lunch at MC Provided by Institute
1:00 PM Terry Rey, PhD Presentation, Q&A, Discussion- African religions and religions of the African diaspora, especially Haiti
2:45 PM Break
3:15 PM Thomas Glave, MFA Reading of his work, Presentation, Q&A, Discussion- Afro-Caribbean diaspora gay and lesbian writing in the US
6:00 PM Optional dinner at Port au Prince or Gisele's Creole restaurant

Required Reading:
Thomas Glave’s Words To Our Now: Imagination and Dissent
Selections from Terry Rey’s Crossing the Water and Keeping the Faith: Haitian Religion in Miami
Selections from Chantalle Verna’s Geographies of the Haitian Diaspora

Questions:

  1. What has been the relationship between the US and Haiti from the eighteenth century to the present?
  2. What has been the relationship between Haitians and African American communities from the eighteenth century to the present?
  3. How have African Americans responded to events happening in Haiti from the eighteenth century to the present?
  4. How does language--French and Haitian Creole--relate to Haitian identity in both Haiti and the US?
  5. What role does religion play in Haitian diaspora communities?
  6. How have religious practices of Haitians changed after their immigrating to the US?
  7. How is Haitian religion a manifestation of the globalization of Nigerian (Yoruba) religion?
  8. How have issues of gender and sexuality been addressed in the works of African and Afro-Caribbean writers?
  9. How have queer African American writers influenced African and Afro-Caribbean queer writing?
  10. How can the material under discussion be used in the creation of assignments in your discipline /field? 

Guest Scholar: Chantalle Verna, PhD 
Author of Haiti and the Uses of America: Post US-Occupation Promises and a chapter in Geographies of the Haitian Diaspora 

Guest Scholar: Terry Rey, PhD 
Author of Crossing the Water and Keeping the Faith: Haitian Religion in Miami 

Guest Scholar: Thomas Glave, MFA 
Whose Song? and Other Stories, Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent, The Torturer’s Wife, Among the Bloodpeople: Politics & Flesh, and editor of Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles

June, 16
Time Activities
9:00 AM Terry Ann Jones, PhD Presentation, Q&A, Discussion - History of Jamaican immigration to the US, with focus on the racial and ethnic settings of labor markets and political participation of Afro-Caribbeans in the US
12:00PM Working lunch at MC/ Discussion about Facilitating African and Afro-Caribbean Students’ Success in Our Schools, featuring MC students from these communities, Curated and Catered Jamaican lunch from Negril Restaurant
2:30 PM Maurice Hall, PhD Presentation, Q&A, Discussion - Overview of Jamaican immigrants’ creation and maintenance of Culture through organizations and media
5:00 PM Requests from participants for meetings with HU faculty not presenting at Institute; if desired, organizing of discussion-/work-groups outside of Institute
6:00 PM End of activities

Required Reading:
Selections from Maurice Hall’s Re-constructing Place and Space: Media, Culture, Discourse and the Constitution of Caribbean Diasporas
Selections from Terry-Ann Jones’s Jamaican Immigrants in the United States and Canada: Race, Transnationalism, and Social Capital

Questions:

  1. What has been the history of Jamaican immigration to the US?
  2. What role has US immigration policy and labor needs played in the (im)migration of Jamaicans to the US?
  3. How have Jamaican immigrants created and maintained culture through organization-building and media production?
  4. How is Jamaican Creole being perceived in Jamaica and the US?
  5. How can educators act as a bridge to surrounding African and Afro-Caribbean immigrant communities?
  6. How can information and insights from the institute be used to enhance the success of African and Afro-Caribbean immigrant students in the classroom?
  7. How does class, language, and family educational background impact the educational achievement of first and second generation African and Afro-Caribbean students?
  8. How can the material under discussion be used in the creation of assignments in your discipline /field? 

Guest Scholar: Terry-Ann Jones, PhD
Author of Jamaican Immigrants in the United States and Canada: Race, Transnationalism, and Social Capital, Mass Migration in the World-System: Past, Present, and Future, and Undocumented and in College: Students and Institutions in a Climate of National Hostility

Guest Scholar: Maurice Hall, PhD
Author of Embodying the Postcolonial Life and co-editor of Re-Constructing Place and Space: Media, Power, and Identity in the Constitution of a Caribbean Diaspora

June, 17
Time Activities
9:00 AM    Depart for guided tour of National Museum of African American History and Culture. Lunch at Sweet Home Café in Museum (Agricultural South, Creole Coast, North States, Western Range) – Participants on their own to explore the rest of the museum
4:30 PM Depart museum/End of Activities

  • Guided tour of National Museum of African American History and Culture

Questions:

  1. What are some artifacts that attest to the direct and indirect cultural connections between West and Central Africa, the Caribbean, and the US?
  2. How does examining the artifacts of African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants illuminate their influence on African American history and culture?
  3. How does examining African American history and culture through the lens of African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants change one’s perspective on African American history and culture?
  4. How do African American foodways reflect African and Afro-Caribbean foodways?
  5. How can the material under discussion be used in the creation of assignments in your discipline /field?

Download the second week's schedule (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)

Week 2 Syllabus and Relevant Resources

June, 20
Time Activities
10:00AM Depart for Guided Tour of Smithsonian Museum of African Art, focus on Ethiopian and Nigerian arts and crafts and African art dedicated to the diaspora
12:00PM Lunch--participants on their own in Penn Quarter, DC
1:30 PM Guided tour of Smithsonian Museum of American Art, focus on African and Afro-Caribbean influences on American art and African diaspora artists
4:30 PM Group Departs for Curated and Catered Nigerian Dinner at Zion West African Restaurant, Washington, DC
6:30 PM Return/End of Activities

  • Guided Tour of National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution 
  • Guided Tour of Smithsonian American Art Museum

Questions:

  1. What are some consistent themes in Ethiopian artwork?
  2. What are some consistent themes in Nigerian artwork?
  3. What themes important to African artists have analogues in diasporic cultures?
  4. What themes by African artists pay tribute to the diaspora?
  5. What themes and styles by African artists have influenced American art?
  6. How prevalent is an immigrant background for artists identified solely as African American?
  7. How can the material under discussion be used in the creation of assignments in your discipline/field? 
June, 21
Time Activities
10:00AM Depart from MC for Howard University (HU) Center for African Studies (CAS) Msia Clark, PhD Presentation, Q&A, Discussion of Black identity globally; historical and contemporary migrations of African peoples; diverse ways race, ethnicity, and culture are experienced, debated, and represented
1:00 PM Lunch—participants on their own in U and 14th Street corridor, DC
2:30 PM Celia Daniel, African Studies Conservator, Guides participants in research at Howard University’s Founders Library
5:00 PM Return/End of Activities

Required Reading:
Selections from Msia Clark’s Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism

Questions:

  1. What have been the experiences of first- and second-generation Afro-Caribbean and West African immigrants and refugees in the US during the second half of the twentieth century?
  2. What do the terms “borderless non-racial African ancestry,” a "traveling" identity for African people, and “post-blackness” mean, and how real are they?
  3. Are there particular considerations in conducting research on African and Afro-Caribbean communities in the US?
  4. How can the material under discussion be used in the creation of assignments in your discipline /field? 

Guest Scholar: Msia Kibona Clark, PhD 
Author of Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism

June, 22
Time Activities
10:00AM Ezekiel Ette, MSW, MDiv, PhD Presentation, Q&A, Discussion History and diversity of Nigerian immigration to US; adaptation, and integration
12:30PM Working lunch - Discussion about how to use Institute knowledge and resources beyond Institute residential period
2:30 PM End of activities
  Participants may return to Howard University Library to engage in further research or explore the campus and community more

Required Reading:
Selections from Ezekiel Ette’s Nigerian Immigrants in the United States: Race, Identity, and Acculturation
Selections from Toyin Falola’s The African Diaspora: Slavery, Modernity and Globalization

Questions:

  1. What has been the experience of Nigerians’ immigration to and acculturation in the US?
  2. What effect does socioeconomic status and level of education have on the experience of Nigerian immigrants?
  3. What role does religion play in Nigerian diaspora communities?
  4. How does religious identity affect Nigerians’ immigration or asylum?
  5. How can the material under discussion be used in the creation of assignments in your discipline/field? 

Guest Scholar: Ezekiel Ette, MSW, MDiv, PhD 
Author of Nigerian Immigrants in the United States: Race, Identity, and Acculturation

June, 23
Time Activities
10:00AM Discussion of Literature Facilitated by Mbye Cham, PhD, and MC Staff
12:00PM Break Participants on their own for lunch
2:00 PM Discussion of Documentary and Feature Films, facilitated by Mbye Cham, PhD, and Ellen Olmstead (MC)
4:00 PM Break
4:30 PM Panel of Representatives from Ethiopian community
6:30 PM End of Activities

Required Reading:
Dinaw Mengestu’s The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

Mbye Cham, PhD, and MC Faculty: Discussion of Literature 
Discussion of the works of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nicole Dennis Benn, Staceyann Chinn, Edwidge Danticat, Tope Folarin, Dinaw Mengestu, and Lenelle Moise
Mbye Cham, PhD, and MC Faculty: Discussion of Feature Films
Dr. Cham, editor of Blackframes: Critical Perspectives on Independent Black Cinema; Exiles: Essays on Caribbean Cinema; and African Experiences of Cinema
Focus on Patricia Benoit’s Stones in the Sun, Andrew Dosunmu’s Restless City or Mother of George, Guetty Felin’s A Rooster on the Fire Escape, Haile Gerima’s Sankofa, Merawi Gerima’s Residue, Messay Getehun’s Lambadina, Salome Mulugeta’s Woven, Faraday Okoro’s Nigerian Prince, and Julius Onah’s Luce

Questions:

  1. Who is the audience of literature created by African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants in the US?
  2. What are patterns in the choices made by African and Afro-Caribbean writers in the US at different stages in their careers?
  3. In what ways do African and Afro-Caribbean writers incorporate their native language and locales into their art?
  4. Who is the audience of film created by African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants in the US?
  5. What are patterns in the choices made by African and Afro-Caribbean filmmakers in the US at different stages in their careers?
  6.  In what ways do African and Afro-Caribbean filmmakers incorporate their native language and locales into their art?
  7. What does using the theory of “migratude” bring to readings of literary and film texts in the diaspora?
  8. How can the material under discussion be used in the creation of assignments in your discipline/field? 
June, 24
Time Activities
9:30 AM Group Departs for Visits with Ethiopian, Haitian, Jamaican, and Nigerian embassies
1:30 PM Lunch – Participants on their own in Dupont Circle/Embassy Row neighborhood, DC
3:00 PM Group Returns to MC for Brief Presentations by Participants on Institute Project Plans
5:30 PM Break
7:00 PM Closing dinner And reception provided by MC

Questions:

  1. From the perspectives of the countries of origin are the most important issues facing immigrant Ethiopian, Haitian, Jamaican, and Nigerian communities in the US?
  2. From the perspectives of the embassies, how is the relationship between the US and Ethiopia, Haiti, Jamaica, and Nigeria, and how does the relationship impact immigration to the US?
  3. What resources for further research can the embassies provide?

June 18

  • Time for resting, reading, streaming, researching
  • Participants on their own for meals
  • Optional tour of diaspora communities in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, MD, and Washington, DC

June 25

Participants depart

June 12

Participants arrive
7:00 - 8:30 PM: Welcome reception at the Cafritz Center Atrium and Open Gallerynew window (930 King St, Silver Spring, MD 20910), Montgomery College (MC) Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus, MD


June 19

Time for resting, reading, screening, researching
Participants on their own for meals

Location and Accommodations

The Courtyard by Marriott Silver Spring Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Silver Spring and less than one mile from the Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus, where most of our activities will be held. The hotel offers space for socializing and eating and is in near proximity of a variety of restaurants, shopping centers, and entertainment including the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and the Filmore. In addition, the hotel is readily accessible by car and mass transit and offers amenities including free high-speed internet, on-site café, mini-fridges, (microwaves on request), and a fitness center.  
 
The Institute will provide complimentary rides from the hotel to and from the college for those who would prefer not to walk or drive. Parking is available at a hotel-adjacent city owned-garage for $15 per day. Free parking will also be available on campus for those who would like to leave their cars there.

 

Institutional Resources

Montgomery College is within walking distance of both downtown Silver Spring, and Takoma Park, Maryland, with Metro stations at each. Howard University, is in the heart of Washington, D.C., and a five minute walk from a Metro station. The MC and HU meeting locations are smart classrooms with space for laptop connection, free high-speed WIFI, adjacent space for meals and small group discussions, and state of the art work and study space. 

Participants will have access to both institutions’ libraries and computer labs. Part of the grant will fund transporting participants to HU and off-site locations.

Participants will have housing at the Courtyard Marriot in Silver Spring at a reasonable rate of $159/night, not including taxes and fees. Information regarding booking reservations will be provided on the GHI website. The location in downtown Silver Spring is within walking distance of MC and in close proximity to a vibrant African and Afro-Caribbean immigrant community that will allow participants to have an immersive experience. The hotel has space available for socializing and working collaboratively. MC will provide four lunches and refreshments, and the Institute will provide four curated ethnic meals to help foster an atmosphere of collegiality and ground participants in the foodways of the groups under study.

Cultivating the Participant Group

Participants will come from a wide variety of humanities fields, including U.S., African, African American, and Caribbean history; literature and film; ethnic studies; gender and sexuality studies; art history; communication studies; human geography; political science; sociology; and religion. The Institute should appeal to both generalists with little background in the areas of focus and specialists excited to engage with experts in their specific fields.

The Institute seeks to expand the pool of educators who will infuse African- and Afro-Caribbean-related content into their curricula. All participants will benefit from the breadth and depth of knowledge that some advanced participants can inject into the discussions. Successful applicants only need to demonstrate an interest in learning about the history of African diaspora identity in the U.S. While the focus of this Institute is on the Black diaspora, the strategies for research and lessons learned can be applied to other diasporic immigrant communities. As a community college and a Minority Serving Institution, MC is committed to vigorously promoting the program to community college faculty and MSI faculty.

 

Equal Opportunity Statement

Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. TDD: 202-606-8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).


Principles of Civility for NEH Professional Development Programs

NEH Seminars, Institutes, and Landmarks programs are intended to extend and deepen knowledge and understanding of the humanities by focusing on significant topics, texts, and issues; contribute to the intellectual vitality and professional development of participants; and foster a community of inquiry that provides models of excellence in scholarship and teaching. NEH expects that project directors will take responsibility for encouraging an ethos of openness and respect, upholding the basic norms of civil discourse.

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Seminar, Institute, and Landmarks presentations and discussions should be:

  • firmly grounded in rigorous scholarship, and thoughtful analysis;
  • conducted without partisan advocacy;
  • respectful of divergent views; 
  • free of ad hominem commentary; and
  • devoid of ethnic, religious, gender, disability, or racial bias.

NEH welcomes comments, concerns, or suggestions on these principles at questions@neh.gov.

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