(Augusta, GA)- Paine College will host the 2011 Harlem Renaissance Conference: Rainbows of Artistry: Dancers, Divas, Actors and Writers of the Harlem Renaissance. The conference will begin on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, offering four Pre-Conference Workshops, which will be conducted by educators Hazel Arnett Ervin and Ruthe T. Sheffey; children’s writer Jordan Trent; and local Augusta artist Malaika Favorite. The conference sessions will take place in the Candler Memorial Library Building Conference Center.
Demonstrated in the workshops, which are open to the public, especially secondary school teachers, will be African American literary traditions, which might influence pedagogical practices and strategies when teaching and shaping creative and critical thinking. The conference will end on Friday, November 11, 2011, following two days of scholarly sessions, art exhibitions, and a dramatic presentation.
College professors, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are traveling from within Georgia and from New Orleans, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, New York, and China will attend this year’s conference.
In 2002, a group of English faculty at Paine College began an annual conference to pay tribute to Harlem Renaissance artists, writers, and musicians. From 1919 until 1935, the Harlem literary movement was an unprecedented collaboration of artists, writers, and musicians who converged upon Harlem and created a corpus of arts and letters which (1) portrayed the complexity of the African American experience, following the Reconstruction era in America, and (2) provided the means of resistance to attacks upon African American intellect and humanity. The Harlem period is famously associated with persons such as James Weldon Johnson, W. E. B. Du Bois, Jean Toomer, Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, Claude Mckay, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, Aaron Douglas, Cab Calloway, and Duke Ellington; it also produced lesser known writers, artists, and musicians such as Gwendolyn Bennett, Marita A. Bonner, Helene Johnson, Augusta Savage, James Van Der Zee, Fletcher Henderson, Eubie Blake, and even younger literary artist Sterling Brown whose reputation would eventually eclipse his poetic beginnings in Harlem.
As an historical period and a critical literary movement of the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance fostered for the African American community a socio-cultural awakening and a black poetics, which, according to Alain Locke, marked “a new psychology” of the “New Negro” in American society. It is this historical period and critical literary movement in American and African American history which Paine College remembers and celebrates each year.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications & Marketing at 706-396-7591 or Ncarter@paine.edu. To register, contact Dr. Hazel A. Ervin at 706-821-8278 or Hervin@paine.edu.