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The 5th annual Humanities Week observance at Essex County College is scheduled for March 21-24. This year’s theme is Radical Tradition in the Humanities.


All programs, which will be held at the College’s Newark campus, are free. One of the highlights of the week’s activities is a special performance by members of the world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts troupe, set for 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 22.


“It’s wonderful to see how this program has evolved in just five years,” said Humanities Professor Rebecca Williams, co-chair of Humanities Week at the College along with Professor Jennifer Wager. “This is a great opportunity for our students to see the scholarship of our faculty and guests as well as the Humanities on a broader level.”


The program is presented by the College’s Division of Humanities & Bilingual Studies.


Here is the schedule for Humanities Week:

Tuesday, March 21, Smith Hall

  • 10 a.m. Welcome: Jennifer Wager, Prof. Rebecca Williams, Conference Co-chairs
  • 10:15 a.m. Keynote: Nell Painter, a historian and artist from Newark noted for her works on southern history in the 19th She is professor emerita at Princeton University where she taught history.
  • 1 p.m.  Cinema: “Documenting Radicalism,” presented by Essex County College faculty. “Dare to Dream: Free Medical School for U.S. Students of Color,” presented by Professor Jennifer Wager. Essex County College. “Feminist Inquiry and Female Corporeal Agency in Haifaa al-Mansour’s Wadjda,” presented by Dr. Viral Bhatt, Essex County College.


Wednesday, March 22, Siegler Hall. The 1 p.m. performance of Shen Yun will be in the Mary Burch Theater

  • 10 a.m. Filling History’s Gaps: Screening and discussion of the 2017 film The Black Eagle of Harlem, a film produced, directed and written by Essex Professor William Tooma on the life of aviation pioneer Co. Hubert Fauntleroy Julian. Also participating in the discussion will be Dr. Akil Kokayi Khalfani, director of the College’s Africana Institute who also appears in the film, and Essex student Najee R. Smith.
  • 11:30 a.m. Reimagining Revolution: “Revolution through the Lens of the Humanities: Literature, Art and Music 1800s to the Present,” presented by Professor Donna Hill of Medger Evers College, City University of New York. “The World Turned Upside Down,” presented by Professor Elizabeth Sanderson of Trinity Christian College in Illinois. “The Kinetics of Our Discontent” Toward a History of Social Arrest,” presented by Dr. Mehmet Dosemeci of Bucknell University
  • 1 p.m. Shen Yun Performing Arts presents “A Journey to China’s 5,000 Year Old Civilization.”   Shen Yun Performing Arts is a New York-based troupe which performs classical Chinese dance. This presentation will feature some of the troupe’s dancers.


Thursday, March 23, Siegler Hall

  • 10 a.m. Radical Utopias and Dystopias: “Imperialism and the Alternate History Genre,” presented by Essex Professor Liam Drislane. “Revolutionary Figures: Transcendentalists of Concord,” presented by Professor Richard Marranca of Passaic Community College.
  • 11:30 a.m. Revolutionary Feminisms: “Deconstructing Hierarchical Structures in the Novels of African Women Writers: Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood,” presented by Essex. Professor Dr. Nessie Hill. “Black Lives Matter: 19th Century Redux,” presented by Professor Williams
  • 1 p.m. The Aesthetics of Black Radicalism: “Era Bell Thompson and Richard Wright: Radical Perspective of Africa,” presented by Essex’s Dr. Eileen DeFreece. “Revolution Incarnate: Gwendolyn Brooks and the Assembly of the Radical Black Aesthetic,” presented by Ph.D. candidate Matthew Stumpf of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. “Rooted in Brick: Newark’s Grassroots Politics as ‘Traditional Radical’ Discourse – Big City Blues…Small Town Strong,” presented by Essex Adjunct Professor Eunice Singleton.
  • 6:45 p.m. 13th: The Academy Award nominated documentary feature by Ava Du Vernay which provides an in-depth look at the United States’ prison system and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.


Friday, March 24, Smith Hall

  • 11:30 a.m. Narratives of Revolution: “’The Show that Never Ends’: Crime Scenes and Communal Narratives in Spike Lee’s Clockers and Chi-Raq,” prsenbted by New York University graduate student Brian Plungis. “The Counter-Culture and Revolution in Films of the 1960s and 1970s,” presented by Essex’s Victoria Timpanaro. “Gentrification and Disappearing Black Communities,” presented by Dr. Kaia Shivers of New York University.
  • 1 p.m. Women’s History Month: Women’s Empowerment: Actress Naturi Naughton, an East Orange performer best known for her roles as Lil’ Kim in Notorious, Tasha St. Patrick in Power and the remake of Fame. Naughton’s appearance was made possible by the College’s Student Life and Development Office.
Posted in Essex County College News