Please join us on Wednesday, November 30 from 12pm-1:30pm for our graduate colloquium featuring Julia Cox (English) and Mary Zaborskis (English) in the second floor conference room of 3810 Walnut Street. RSVP below to reserve your lunch. Paper descriptions are as follows:
Julia Cox (English) "Never a Wasted Hum: The Freedom Singing of Fannie Lou Hamer"
This paper will examine the voice and singing of activist Fannie Lou Hamer. The paper will theorize ways of joining musical and political discourse inside the 1960s Civil Rights Movement by examining Hamer's testimony at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.
Mary Zaborskis (English): "Displacing Black Juvenile Delinquent Girls from Sexuality, Futurity, and Home in the Virginia Home Industrial School"
In this presentation, I look at archival materials for the first US reform school for African American girls established in 1915. Juvenile delinquency in this era was bound with sexual impropriety, and I argue schools educated girls in gender and sexual norms to control their sexuality outside the institution. When girls were sent back to the school, it was usually because they were convicted of a sexually-related crime; the school explained that these girls were “feeble-minded,” a category which rescripted sexual delinquency from being a result of race to being a result of constructed disability. Girls who could not be absorbed into the national order and whose labor could not be exploited had to be pathologized, and her new destiny was more institutionalization and, for many, sterilization.