Department News

Joint session of World Music

On Thursday, March 5, 2015 Performing Tradition through Sound, taught by Judith Eissenberg, and Dancing the African Diaspora: Keyterms, Grammars, taught by Jasmine Johnson will be hosting a joint session in Slosberg Recital Hall, open to the campus community, with presentation by Fatu Gayflor and Toni Shapiro-Phim. This event is sponsored by the Minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST).

Next Speaker in Art | Blackness | Diaspora; Jennie C. Jones

On Thursday, February 26 and Friday, February 27, 2015, New York-based artist Jennie C. Jones will speak as part of the lecture series ART | BLACKNESS | DIASPORApresented by the Department of Fine Arts, the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, and the Rose Art Museum. Jones collaborated in the organization of this semester's Collection in Focus exhibition, and both her work and objects from the Rose collection are on view in the Mildred S. Lee Gallery. As Jones explains, "My work resides at the intersection of art history, music history and black history, layering the formal language of modern art-abstraction and minimalism-over the conceptual and technical strategies of avant-garde jazz . . . exploring cultural confluence and hybridization and presenting a more complex and historically inclusive version of modernism."

Panel Discusses Portrayal of Race and the Civil Rights Movement in 'Selma'

On Thursday January 22, 2015 Brandeis students and faculty members gathered in Rapaporte Treasure Hall to discuss and debate historical and thematical themes of the new film Selma and its portrayal of race relations and the Civil Rights Movement. The panel included Professor Thomas Doherty (AMST), Professor Jasmine Johnson (AAAS and WGS), Professor Daniel Kryder (POL) and Professor Chad Williams (AAAS). University President Frederick Lawrence moderated the event. See more from The Justice here

Professor Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman at "Approaching Blackness" in Berlin

Professor Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman took part in a conference in Berlin entitled “Approaching Blackness: 13th Annual Students and Graduated Conference” on Thursday, November 13, 2014. She was the Keynote Lecture/Du Bois Lecture and spoke on “Jim Bond’s Howl: Materializing Black Grief and Grivance in US Literature”.

Professor Faith Smith at MIT's Feminist Unbound Series

On Wednesday, November 12th Professor Faith Smith participated in a panel as a part of the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies initiative Feminist Unbound entitled "Sexualities, States and Governance". This interdisciplinary panel discussed the intimacies of sexuality and the complexitites of governance.

Blackness | Art | Diaspora Series: A Conversation with Mark Bradford and Anita Hill

Abstract artist Mark Bradford and Professor Anita Hill discussed his work in a societal context as a part of the Blackness | Art | Diaspora Series. This series is presented by the department of AAAS, the department of Fine Arts and the Rose Art Museum. Bradford and Hill discuss Bradford's life trajectory of growing up working in his mother's beauty shop to becoming an artist as well as his work with The RightWay Foundation. Click here to read more about the event. 

Professor Jasmine Johnson featured in State of the Arts Fall 2014 issue

Click here to view see the issue and turn to pages 14-15 to read Jasmine Johnson's full interview on dance, her research and practice, and on joining the Brandeis community.

Professor Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman at MIT and Freie Universität of Berlin

On September 17th 2014, Professor Abdur-Rahman participated in the panel entitled “The Intellectual Lives of Feminisms” at MIT, as a part of the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies initiative, Feminisms Unbound. In 2014-2015, Professor Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman will be a visiting professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute's Graduate School of North American Studies at the Freie Universität of Berlin, where she will undertake research on a new book, tentatively titled Millennial Style: The Politics of Experiment in Contemporary African Diasporic Culture.

Candlelight Vigil and Town Hall Meeting

Organized by student leaders in response to the shooting death of Michael Brown, numerous members of the Brandeis community, including students, faculty, staff, chaplains, and public safety, gathered by Chapels Pond on Thursday, Sept. 4 in memory of the lives lost to institutional racism in the United States. Click here to read more from BrandeisNOW.

AAAS Welcomes New Hires!

Brandeis University has recently hired two new professors as a part of the African Diaspora cluster initiative, Jasmine Johnson (AAAS and WGS) and Gregory Childs (HIST). We would also like to welcome Derron Wallace, Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Education and African and Afro-American Studies, to the Brandeis community as well. Congratulations and we look forward to working with each of you! Read more about our new hires in BrandeisNow.

Professor Chad Williams speaks at White House panel on African American veterans

From BrandeisNOW Chad Williams, chair of the African & Afro-American Studies Department, spoke at an event on Monday, Feb. 24 hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. The event, sponsored by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, featured a screening of the new documentary “Veterans of Color.” Williams participated in a post-film discussion about African American veterans. 

Professor Chad Williams to host 9th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin. Luther King Jr. Memorial

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word" - Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Professor Chad Williams, Chair of AAAS, will be hosting this year’s Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, entitled “For the Love of A Dream!”. The event will feature performances by Brandeis’ very own Erica Barnett ’17, Makalani Mack ‘16, Kaos Kids, and the return of the Emmy Award Winning Sean Fielder and the Boston Tap Company by popular demand. The keynote couplet for the evening will be the duo of freedom activists and musicians Mr. And Mrs. Hubert and Jane Sapp. Scholar-Motivator and Social Change Agent, Mr. Jermaine Hamilton, will his render his own delivery of Dr. King’s words to close out the event. Sponsored by MLK Scholars and Friends, Office of Dean of Students, and the AAAS Dept.

"Africans in America" article by Professor Chad Williams published in latest issue of Humanities 

Click here to read the article, entitled "Africans in America", that Professor Chad Williams wrote for the official magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities

New clutster hiring initiative in African diaspora studies featured in Brandeis NOW

“The field of African diaspora studies has allowed scholars to understand the connections as well as differences between dispersed peoples of African descent in exciting new ways — by grappling with issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, gender, language and religion in an interdisciplinary manner,” - Chad Williams, associate professor and chair of the department of African and Afro-American Studies. Read the full story on the new initiative here!