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Imagining the Raced Space of Freedom: A Symposium in Honor of Thadious M. Davis



Nell Irvin Painter, 2018


Imagining the Raced Space of Freedom: A Symposium in Honor of Thadious M. Davis

Thursday, March 15, 2018 (Evening) to Friday, March 16, 2018 (All day)

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, sixth floor - 3420 Walnut Street

Perry World House, World Forum - 3803 Locust Walk

University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA




Imagining the Race Spaced of Freedom:

A Symposium in Honor of Thadious M. Davis

March 15-16, 2018

Please join us for a symposium in celebration of the career of Thadious M. Davis, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of English. We will gather to honor Thadious’s extensive contributions to scholarship, her lifelong commitment to mentoring, and her immense influence on our intellectual lives.   Showcasing scholars and colleagues that have been in conversation with and inspired by Thadious’s work, the symposium features a keynote lecture by Edwidge Danticat, recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant and author of the best-selling books Claire of the Sea Light and Brother, I’m Dying

Registration is required:

For more details, contact



Thursday, March 15, 2018

(Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 6th Floor, 3420 Walnut Street)

6:00pm to 7:30pm: Opening Reception

Welcome Remarks by Margo Crawford and Salamishah Tillet

Featured speakers: Anita Allen, Jed Esty, Joann Mitchell and Barbara Savage



Friday, March 16, 2018:  9:30am to 7:30pm

(Perry World House, World Forum, 3803 Locust Walk)

9:30am to 9:45am: Coffee/Tea


10:00am to 10:15am:

Welcome Address by Herman Beavers & Salamishah Tillet


10:15am to 11:30am:  Imagining Racial Freedom in Performance, Poetry, and Place 

Farah Jasmine Griffin, Leslie Sanders, Tracy Sharpley-Whiting 

Moderated by Dagmawi Woubshet


11:45am to 1:00pm:  Raced Space and Southscapes

Susan Donaldson, Joyce A. Joyce, and John Lowe

Moderated by Herman Beavers


1:00pm to 2:15pm:   Lunch


2:30pm to 3:45pm: Racial Aesthetics, Imagination, and Their Afterlives  

GerShun Avilez, Julius Fleming, Mecca Sullivan

Moderated by Margo Crawford


4:00pm to 5:15pm: Racial Freedom, Friendship, and Feminism

Deborah McDowell, Cheryl Wall, Nell Painter

Moderated by Barbara Savage


5:30pm to 6:15pm: Keynote by Edwidge Danticat


6:15 to 7:15pm: Closing Performance, Book Signing, and Closing Reception

Closing Remarks Anthea Butler 

Closing Performance Melanie R. Hill



For more details, contact


Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Africana Studies, English Department, Office of the President, the Provost's Interdisciplinary Arts Fund, and the Wolf Humanities Center.