Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Voicing America

July 16 - August 4, 2013 | Teaching Gallery

The Project on the History of Black Writing at the University of Kansas, in cooperation with the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University, is hosting a Summer Institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, "Don’t Deny My Voice: Reading and Teaching African American Poetry.” Guided by major scholars and practitioners of African American poetry, this institute gives critical attention to relevant social, linguistic, literary and methodological elements of African American poetry today in an attempt to remap the landscape of poetry.

The Voicing America exhibition complements the NEH Summer Institute and features works from the Spencer Museum collection in dialogue with photographs by Dr. C.B. Claiborne of Texas Southern University. It takes as its premise the idea that poetry moves through space and time; is visual, aural and oral; and that visual artists are poets as well.

Public Programs

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Panel Discussion: Poetry Collections / Archives and the Role of the Community, Educators, Research and Recovery Efforts
3:30 – 6:00 PM / Spencer Museum of Art, 309 Auditorium, 3C1 lobby/hallway, Gallery 319
This panel discussion and reception opens the three-week summer institute "Don’t Deny My Voice: Reading and Teaching African American Poetry". Designed for college and university teachers, as well as graduate students, the Institute responds to the resurgence of interest in contemporary poetry, its expanded production and wide circulation. It will focus on the history, changes and modal transformations of African American poetry in our cultural and social landscape and consider three critical periods: 1900-1960, 1960-80 and 1980-present. The panel addresses the challenges of poetry collections and archives and the role of the community, educators and researchers in recovery efforts. Participants include Kathleen Bethel (Northwestern University), Melissa Watterworth Batt (University of Connecticut), Clarence Hunter (Tougaloo College Civil Rights Collection), Beth Whittaker (KU Spencer Research Library) and resident faculty Joanne Gabbin (James Madison University). A reception follows the program and the galleries will be open to attendees. The exhibition on view in the Museum's Teaching Gallery, "Voicing America" is organized to complement the Institute. For complete details visit: http://www.dontdeny.dept.ku.edu/index.shtml

Sponsored By: National Endowment for the Humanities, Project on The History of Black Writing, Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Office of the Provost, Office of the Chancellor, KU Libraries, KU Center for Research, Inc., Spencer Museum of Art

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Presentation: Frank X Walker: Poetry Reading
12:00 – 1:00 PM / Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 319
In conjunction with the exhibition "Voicing America" and the NEH Summer Institute "Don't Deny My Voice: Reading and Teaching African American Poetry," poet laureate of Kentucky Frank X Walker will read from his collection, "Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers." Walker is also associate professor of English and director of the African American and Africana Studies Program at the University of Kentucky as well as editor of "Pluck! the Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture." For further information about his poetry, please visit his website www.frankxwalker.com.