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Social Justice Lecture: Quiet, Justice, Love

SJLS-kq spring 2014 fourOn Tuesday, Oct. 14, Stetson University’s Social Justice Lecture Series will present guest speaker Kevin Quashie, Ph.D., pictured left, professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at Smith College, a women’s college in Massachusetts, to speak on “Quiet, Justice, Love.” The lecture, which is open to the public, free of charge, will be held at 7:30 p.m., in the Stetson Room, second floor of the Carlton Union Building, 131 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand.

In his talk entitled, “Quiet, Justice, Love,” Quashie will describe two men, both African-American, who stand on a medal podium at the summer Olympics in 1968. One of them has won the 200-yard dash while the other has finished third; both men raise their fists in a black power salute. He plans to explore the following questions: 1) what can this image tell us about how we think of race, and blackness specifically; 2) what can it say about notions of resistance and justice; and 3) what does it say about quiet, about love?

Quashie will discuss African-American culture, often considered expressive, dramatic and even defiant, characterizations which are linked to the idea of resistance. Indeed, these terms come to dominate how we think of blackness. He will address the topic of reimagining how we think about black culture, about resistance and justice. He will question how could the idea of quiet, as a notion different from silence and as a metaphor for one’s inner life—include insight into how to be alive in ways that are aware of social violence, but that retain the power and grace that is inevitable in the everyday act of being human?

There will be an interactive symposium with Quashie from 10 to 11 a.m., Oct. 14, in Rinker Auditorium, inside the Lynn Business Center, 345 N. Woodland Blvd. Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., associate professor of Social Justice Education at Stetson, will facilitate discussions on Quashie’s work on black culture, resistance and justice. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in an informal dialogue. This event, which is open to the public, will shed light on various topics that will connect to Quashie’s evening lecture and provide an opportunity to engage in conversation.

With a bachelor’s in English from Florida International University, Quashie received both his master’s in English, and Doctor of Philosophy in English from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.

Quashie is the author or editor of three books: New Bones: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Writers in America. Edited with Keith Miller and Joyce Lausch. Prentice Hall Inc, 2000; Black Women, Identity, and Cultural Theory: (Un)Becoming the Subject. Rutgers UP, 2004; and most recently, The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture. Rutgers UP, 2012.

The Stetson University Social Justice Lecture Series is grounded in the university’s values and serves as a platform for ongoing curricular and experiential learning opportunities that relate directly to social justice issues. Its mission is to engage its communities in an intensive exploration of social justice by inviting accomplished leaders to Stetson University to enrich and motivate the community’s understanding of those issues and, in doing so, increase the university’s significance as a teaching and learning environment that emphasizes personal and social responsibility.

Founded in 2013, the series featured Peter Edelman, faculty director of the Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, as its inaugural guest speaker. Through his five-decade career, Edelman is one of the country’s leading anti-poverty advocates.

Dr. Susan Rankin, founding member of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, and former professor and senior research associate at The Pennsylvania State University, spoke in February 2013. With a career dedicated and committed to social justice, Rankin spoke on “Out of the Shadows: Building Inclusive Communities.”

Members of the Social Justice Lecture Series committee include Law Professor Robert Bickel; Associate Professor of Philosophy Joshua Rust; Yolany Gonell, director of Diversity and Inclusion; student Alicja Duda; and Amy Gipson, director of Strategic Communications and assistant to the President.

For more information, please contact Amy Gipson at agipson@stetson.edu, or call (386) 822-7220.