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   MLK Day Lecture: Dr. Erica Edwards Presents "Thinking Black Histories and Futures Beyond the Charismatic"

   Date : Tuesday, 21 January 2014       From : 7:00pm   To : 8:30pm
   Category : Lectures/Conferences/Symposia       Location : Blount/Buckman Lobby

   Event Description :

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Dr. Erica R. Edwards, associate professor of English at the University of California, Riverside and the author of Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership (2012), will present "Thinking Black Histories and Futures Beyond the Charismatic" as part of Rhodes' Martin Luther King Day events. Rhodes students also will honor King's memory by dedicating time at various service sites in Memphis on Jan. 20.

Edwards' lecture is being sponsored by Rhodes' African American Studies Program, the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and Bonner Center for Faith and Service. Free and open to the public, it begins at 7 p.m. in Blount Auditorium of Buckman Hall on campus. A reception and book signing will follow.

From Frederick Douglass' abolitionist oratory to Martin Luther King's vision at the Lincoln Memorial, charismatic leadership often appears in films, museum exhibits, and popular memory as the very motor of black history, according to Edwards. She asks: How has the cultural and political ideal of charisma shaped understandings of African American politics and social movements? And how have these understandings changed over the decades since the civil rights movement?

Placing novelists, poets, and dreamers at the center of this inquiry, in her Rhodes lecture she will challenge the audience to think in new ways about the relationships between African American narrative, American popular culture, and the contemporary history of black politics and social movements.

For more information about Edwards' lecture, contact Dr. Charles McKinney, director of Rhodes’ African American Studies, at or (901) 843-3525.

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