Dear Rice community,
February is Black History Month, a commemoration that began as a weeklong observance in the late 1920s but was never meant to be confined by days on a calendar, and even though it was indeed a celebration it was also always meant to highlight the kinds of critical reflection and contemplation fundamental to the recovery of Black history. In that spirit, I want to briefly relay a calendar of events related to work in African American life and history — occasions taking place virtually at Rice in the weeks ahead, and also at other virtual venues featuring members of the Rice community. I think you’ll find the events below informative and thought-provoking. This kind of work, bearing on critically important issues in Black life and history, is continuously underway at the university, and February is always a particularly good time to get to know more of it.
Alex Byrd, Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
"This is America: A Conversation About the Black Lives Matter Movement in light of the Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol" with Cleve Tinsley, Rice alumnus and assistant professor at Virginia Union University; Brandon Mack, Rice alumnus and Black Lives Matter Houston organizer; and Kandice Webber, Black Lives Matter Houston lead organizer.
“Books That Shaped My World” with Caleb McDaniel, associate professor and chair of the Department of History at Rice and 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner for “Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America.”
"Holier than Thou: Religion, Race and the Children of African Immigrants" with Dialika Sall, a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Social Sciences at Rice.
“Black in Business: What the Evidence Tells Us About Being a Black Employee” with Derek R. Avery, Rice alumnus, C.T. Bauer Chair of Inclusive Leadership at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston; Danielle King, assistant professor of industrial and organizational psychology and affiliated faculty at the Center for African and African American Studies at Rice; and Jacqueline Couti, Laurence H. Favrot Associate Professor of French Studies in Rice's Department of Modern and Classical Literatures and Cultures, associate director of its Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, and affiliated faculty at its Center for African and African American Studies.
“Race, Gender, Resilience and Voice” with Danielle King, assistant professor of industrial and organizational psychology at Rice.
Rice Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dr. Alexander Byrd will moderate a discussion with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson about her book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.” The program is presented by the Houston Public Library.
“Rockwell Lecture: The Dukkha of Racism: Racial Justice Work in American Convert Buddhism” with Ann Gleig, associate professor of Religion and Cultural Studies at the University of Central Florida. She is the author of “American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity.”
“Virtual Life After Rice: Black Alumni in Law” with Rice alumni Alicia Burns-Wright, Joy Green, Jamila Mensah and Michael Warren.
“Reluctant Reception: Refugees, Migration and Governance in the Middle East and North Africa” with Kelsey P. Norman, a fellow for the Middle East and director of the Women’s Rights, Human Rights and Refugees Program at Rice's Baker Institute for Public Policy; and Abdoul-Raoufou Ousmane, a program associate with the Immigrant Health Access Project at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a former refugee who lived in Cairo for more than a decade while he sought refugee resettlement.
“What It Means to be Black in America” with Kris Marsh, associate professor of sociology and affiliate faculty of the Maryland Populations Research Center in the Department of Women’s Studies and the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland.
“Alegropolitics of the Afromodern Dance Floor” with Ananya Jahanara Kabir, professor of English literature at King’s College London.
“Right of Way: Race, Class and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America” with journalist and author Angie Schmitt.
Called “a manual on how to be a successful revolutionary, by beating the system at their own game,” you are sure to enjoy this part-thriller, part-satire and part-social-commentary retro classic. Presented on VHS.
"The History of African and African American Studies in Houston” with Anthony Pinn, Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities, professor of religion and director of the Center for African and African American Studies at Rice; Gerald Horne, Moores Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston; Melanye Price, endowed professor of political science and director of the Ruth J. Simmons Center for Race and Justice at Prairie View A&M University; Nicole Waligora-Davis, associate professor of English and member of the steering committee for the Center for African and African American Studies at Rice; Cary D. Wintz, Rice alumnus, distinguished professor of history and director of the history master's program at Texas Southern University; and Fay Yarbrough, Rice alumna, associate professor of history, associate dean for undergraduate programs and special projects with the School of Humanities and affiliated faculty with the Center for African and African American Studies at Rice. This is the inaugural event of the Southeastern Texas African and African American Studies Consortium, a partnership between Prairie View A&M, Rice, Texas Southern and the University of Houston.
“Rockwell Lecture: Alumni Panel” with Stephen Finley, associate professor at Louisiana State University; Biko Gray, assistant professor at Syracuse University; and Margarita Guillory, associate professor at Boston University.
“Rockwell Lecture: Confronting Structural Racism as Human Suffering” with Rhonda V. Magee, professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law.
Join Rice's Center for African and African American Studies, the Rice Department of History and the Department of Multicultural Community Relations in Rice's Office of Public Affairs for a virtual lecture called "The Intersection of Art and Activism in the Film Work of Ya'Ke Smith" by Ya’Ke Smith, an award-winning filmmaker who also serves as an associate professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin and the associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Mood College of Communication at the university. To RSVP, contact Jan West: Jan.F.West@rice.edu.
“Dangerous Creole Liaisons” with Jacqueline Couti, the Laurence H. Favrot Associate Professor of French Studies the Department of Modern and Classical Literatures and Cultures, associate director of the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, and affiliated faculty at the Center for African and African American Studies at Rice; Grégory Pierrot, associate professor of English at the University of Connecticut at Stamford; and Anny-Dominique Curtius, associate professor of Francophone studies at the University of Iowa.
Campbell Lecture on Racial Justice: “The Stakes of Racial Justice and the Future of American Democracy” with Eddie Glaude Jr., chair of African American studies at Princeton University, eminent scholar of African American history and religion, and prominent critic and C-SPAN and MSNBC commentator on racial justice.
"What if Black Women Have Always Been the Vanguard of Voting Rights?" with Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and its SNF Agora Institute.
March 10-April 21
Facing Race: Racism, Resistance and Reckoning in the United States course from the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.