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Presence, Performance, and Power: Black Bodies as Agents of Resistance on White Campuses

Presenter: Gloria Howell, Indiana University

February 27, 2019 | 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Central Time

Register Now | Cost: $50.00

Closed captioning provided.

The arts have historically represented very pivotal aspects of the Black experience. From slavery to #BlackLivesMatter, Black people have utilized cultural arts as forms of self-expression in diverse settings for countless occasions. Considering the significance of music and dance in particular in the lives of Black people, it is necessary to create space for the exploration and expression of these art forms in higher education. Through an analysis of a Black cultural arts entity at a large predominately white Midwestern university, we argue that Black students have adapted the historically defined role of entertainer, shaped by the institution of slavery, and repurposed it as a tool to support their ability to thrive at the institution. Specifically, this work seeks to analyze how Black students utilize performing arts curricula, centered in the African American tradition, as a platform for community building and resistance. This session should benefit participants who are interested in fostering identity-affirming spaces that allow Black students to explore the different dimensions of who they are in creative ways. This session could also be helpful for participants who are interested in recruitment and retention of Black students.


Gloria Howell, PhD candidate, Indiana University

Howell's research interests include culturally relevant pedagogy through the arts, Black student identity development and affirmation, college readiness initiatives for underrepresented groups, and Black student activism in higher education. She is currently the Associate Director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University.