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Tim and Jeanne's Dinning Commons

Higher Ed / Higher Ground Events

Fall 2017 Events

An Evening with Ibtisam Barakat, Palestinian author and journalist

October 24, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

An Evening with Ibtisam Barakat, Palestinian author and journalist
Oct. 24, 6p.m.
Scanlon Banquet Hall

Please join us for a talk and discussion with acclaimed writer and educator Ibtisam Barakat. Born in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, Barakat has chronicled her experiences growing up in Palestine. She has penned two young adult novels, Tasting the Sky (FSG, 2007 winner of the Arab American National Museum Book Award) and Balcony on the Moon (FSG, 2016 Palestine Book Award Shortlist), as well as numerous articles in The Nation, Vox, and National Geographic. At Westfield, she will speak about social injustices for young people in the Middle East and Muslim-Americans here in the U.S.


Roundtable on Black Popular Music, with Emily Lordi, Chris Tinson, and Zahra Caldwell

November 13, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Continuing the Slay: Black Music and Popular Culture
November 13, 5:30p.m.
Scanlon Banquet Hall

Please join us for a roundtable discussion on the history and politics of black music and popular culture. Our conversation will be three renowned music scholars: Emily Lordi (UMass Amherst), Christopher Tinson, and Westfield's own H. Zahra Caldwell (EGST). These three scholars have published numerous books and articles on genres of music ranging from soul to hip-hop, Bessie Smith to Prince, in a wide array of both academic presses and popular media, including Slate, The Nation, and The Atlantic. 

Speaker biographies:

Emily J. Lordi is Associate Professor of English at UMass Amherst, where she writes and teaches about African American literature and black popular music. She is the author of two books—Black Resonance: Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature and Donny Hathaway Live—and is currently writing a book about soul. In addition to scholarly articles on topics ranging from literary modernism to Beyoncé, she has published cultural criticism on such sites as The Atlantic, Slate, The Root, The Fader, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Christopher Tinson is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History at Hampshire College, where he researches and teaches on the intersections between Africana radical traditions, U.S. ethnic studies, hip-hop culture, critical media studies, incarceration, community-based education, and race and sports. His writings have been published in The Black Scholar, The Journal of African American History, The Nation, and Radical Teacher. He currently resides in Holyoke, Massachusetts and has conducted workshops at various college campuses, high schools, and juvenile detention centers in the area, and serves as a youth mentor. Since 2006 he has hosted TRGGR Radio, a Hip-Hop-rooted social justice radio program.

H. Zahra Caldwell is an Assistant Professor at Westfield State University in the Ethnic and Gender Studies Department. She is an educator and cultural historian who teaches in the fields of History, Black Studies, and Women Studies. Her professional and academic work is focused on unpacking and expanding the definition of resistance as discussed within the long struggle for African American freedom, particularly as it relates to African American women, representation, and image construction. Her current project looks at social and political resistance waged by Black women activist artists between 1930-1960. Her most current publication can be found in the Journal of African American Studies and is entitled, “'We’re in the Feminine Aspect Now': Women Artists, Prince, and Visions of Utopia.”