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Angela Davis: Legacies in the Making

October 31, 2009 @ 9:00 am - November 1, 2009 @ 1:00 pm  |  Humanities Lecture Hall, Room 206


Recognizing the Academic, Activist and Cultural Interventions of a Contemporary Visionary

Angela Davis Event PosterFor almost four decades, Angela Y. Davis’s scholarship and activism has defined the meaning and practice of being a public intellectual and has radically transformed many sites of knowledge production, including the positioning of the U.S. academy as a site of intervention and social transformation. Few professors have had such a broad impact in their fields of expertise or on the world in their lifetimes. This gathering of her former students, in conversation with scholars nationally, maps the impact of her vision on issues such as democratic theory, philosophy, Marxism, cultural studies/popular culture, social policy, race, class, and feminisms. Professor Davis has also trained students as activist scholars for almost four decades in both university systems in California. We thus convene this conference to examine the poetics and politics of Professor Davis’s pedagogy in California over the past forty years (1969-2009) and to consider how her role as an activist-scholar-teacher bridges the academy/community divide and dismantles the false dichotomy of theory/praxis.

One focus of the event will be to highlight cultural production that has emerged in conversation with the writing and theorizing that Angela Davis has facilitated and inspired. We are inviting Professor Davis’ colleagues, friends, and family to provide video messages recognizing her considerable on-going contributions to academic and activist work; these will be compiled into a montage to be screened at the symposium. The event, as a whole, will be recorded, and we plan to liaise with the California Documentary Fund to translate those records into a multi-media resource for education. There will also be an evening of music and poetry in honor of Professor Davis and her contributions to cultural “legacies in the making.”

Saturday, October 31, 2009
Humanities Lecture Hall

9:00 am – Breakfast

9:15 am – Screening The Fire This Time, a trailer of a film by Blair Doroshwalther

9:45 am – Welcome

10:00 am – Panel 1: Voices of Resistance
Facilitator: Rashad Shabazz, George Washington Henderson Post Doctoral Fellow, Geography, University of Vermont

W. Mark Cobb, Theoretical Transmission and Creative Defiance: Angela Davis and Intergenerational Politics

Che Gossett, Kiyoshi Kuromiya and the Legacy of Queer and Trans Anti-Prison Activism

Jordan T. Camp, The Sound Before the Fury of the Oppressed

Andrea Smith, The Color of Violence: Angela Davis and the Radicalization of the
Anti-Violence Movement

11:30 am – Panel 2: Race, Gender, and Politics
Facilitator: J. Kehaulani Kauanui, American Studies, Anthropology, Wesleyan University

Erik McDuffie , “I was walking a path… already established by my mother”: Black Left
Feminism and the Making of Angela Y. Davis’ Black Feminist Scholarship and Activism

Jack Jackson, Passing Class Notes: How Queer

Maylei Blackwell, Multiple Insurgencies: Women of Color Feminisms, Genealogies of

1 pm- 2:30 pm Lunch
Public Secrets: An Interactive Art Installation by Sharon Daniel, Professor, Film & Digital Media, Humanities 210

2:30 pm – Panel 3: Cultural Legacies
Facilitator: Kevin Fellezs, School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts, UC Merced

Sherrie Tucker, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism-in-the-Making: Reflections from the
Women’s Studies Classrooms of Angela Davis in the 1980s and 1990s

Roya Rastegar and Susy Zepeda, To “expand and make more capacious our notion of
freedom”: The Women of Color Research Cluster and Film Festival

Sujatha Moni, When Home becomes a Prison, does Prison become Home? Reflections on
Violent Diasporic Displacement in Jag Mundhra’s film, Provoked

Michelle F. Erai, Civilizing Images: Violence and the Visual Interpellation of Maori women

4-4:15 pm Break

4:15 pm – Panel 4: Are Prisons Obsolete?
Facilitator: Sora Han, Criminology, Law and Society, UC Irvine

Elizabeth Alexander, Reframing the Idea of the Prison-Industrial Complex

Leslie Patrick, “Are Prisons Obsolete?”: If Only It Were So–A Tribute to Angela Davis’ Foresight.

Lizbet Simmons, Angela Davis and the Terrains of Justice: Schools, Prisons, and New Orleans

Cassandra Shaylor, “Lectures on Liberation” to “Lectures on Abolition”: Angela Davis and New Terrains of Struggle

5:45-7 pm – Reception, Humanities 202

7 pm – Introduction: Maylei Blackwell

Screening: Mountains that Take Wing – Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama: A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation, a film by C. A. Griffith and H. L. T. Quan (QUAD Productions © 2009)

Sunday, November 1, 2009
Humanities Lecture Hall

9:30 Breakfast

9:45 Welcome

10 am-noon Panel: Legacies in the Making Panel
Facilitator: Bettina Aptheker, Professor of Feminist Studies and History, UC Santa Cruz

Neferti Tadiar, Women’s Studies, Barnard College, “Lifetimes in Becoming Human”

Saidiya Hartman, English, Columbia University, “A Little History of Abolition Dream Book”

Jacqui Alexander, Women’s Studies & Gender Studies, U of Toronto, “Working the Conjunctions: Angela Davis & the Radicalization of Oppositional Praxis”

12-12:15 pm – Break

12:15-12:30 Piano Performance: Anthony Davis (Kevin Fellezs, introduction)

12:30 pm – Screening: Angela Y. Davis and Radical Pedagogy, a film by Angela N Carroll and Eric Stanley

1:00 pm – Closing Remarks: Angela Davis

Photo by John Lee and poster design by Arianne Archer.

Event Sponsored by: University of California Humanities Research Institute Conference Grant, The Siegfried B. and Elisabeth Mignon Puknat Endowment, the UCSC Center for Cultural Studies, the UCSC Institute for Humanities Research, UCSC Faculty Against the War, History of Consciousness Department, UCSC Vice Chancellor for Research, UCSC Arts Division, UCSC Chief Diversity Officer, Community Studies, Feminist Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Merrill College, Oakes College, Philosophy, Porter College, Literature, Cowell College, American Studies, Languages, Politics, Psychology, and Stevenson College.

Conference Organizing Committee:
Maylei Blackwell, Christopher Connery, Michelle Erai, Carla Freccero, Irena Polić, Shann Ritchie, Trevor Joy Sangrey, Eric Stanley, Gregory Youmans, with additional assistance from Bettina Aptheker, Kevin Fellezs, Sora Han, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Natalie Purcell, and Rashad Shabazz.

Staff Assistance provided by the UCSC Institute for Humanities Research.


October 31, 2009 @ 9:00 am
November 1, 2009 @ 1:00 pm
Event Tags:


Humanities Lecture Hall, Room 206
UCSC Humanities Lecture Hall, 1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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