U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway to visit university
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
Experts from across the nation, including U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway, will visit Newark throughout the semester to take part in a workshop series celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Several departments are organizing the “Emancipation Semester,” according to history professor and event coordinator Anne Boylan.
“For a long time, white Americans didn’t do much with Emancipation, now that we’re on the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, I think those themes are becoming more visible,” Boylan said
The semester long celebration will culminate on April 6 at 12:30 p.m. with the Emancipation Symposium, which will include speakers presenting their research on the Emancipation Proclamation.
Boylan said the Delaware Historical Society has been instrumental in facilitating the Emancipation Symposium. Tretheway, who Boylan named “the star” of the event, will read one of her pieces there.
“I don’t think we ever expected to get the poet laureate to come,” Boylan said. “She is a very busy woman, but she is taking the time to come to us.”
Following the presentations, a reception will be held at Town Hall, Boylan said. The rest of the semester will feature events centered on President Lincoln’s famous document.
Weekly workshops are slotted for every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. in 203 Munroe Hall, Boylan said. The sessions will be led by university professors as well as professors from Emory University, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.
The workshops will cover a variety of emancipation topics such as American sectionalism, religion and race in post-Emancipation black churches and abolition in the Spanish Caribbean.
There are also weekly “Research on Race, Ethnicity and Culture” talks offered every Wednesday at 12:20 p.m. in 223 Gore Hall.
She said all the speakers have been eager to work and interact with the students.
Freshman Kyle Kreider said the anniversary of the document is important to celebrate and gave the nation a sense of “fulfilling unity.”
“It is important to remember the past issues of inequality that has scarred our nation’s history,” he said.
“Everybody has been very generous,” Boylan said “They don’t get paid to do this about the guest speakers. They are all volunteering their time to do this.”
Along with professors lending their expertise to the workshops, many university departments have contributed in other ways, Boylan said.
“The Humanities Forum is providing us with funding,” Boylan said. “We submitted a grant and they very nicely gave us a grant. But in order to do that we had to get matching funds, so we had to raise money within the university.”
She said academic departments such as the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, the English Department, the Black American Studies Department, the Women and Gender Studies Department, the university library, the School of Public Policy and Administration and the Center for Black Culture contributed funding to secure the grant.
Senior Kate Petrick said she has might attend some of the events.
“It’s not every day you get to learn about such an integral time in our countries history,” she said.