Letter from Conference Organizers

Nyansapo, or "wisdom knot", is an Adinkra symbol that conveys wisdom, ingenuity, intelligence and strength.

On behalf of Northwestern University’s Department of African American Studies, we are excited to extend this invitation to you to attend our spring conference, “A Beautiful Struggle: Transformative Black Studies in Shifting Political Landscapes—A Summit of Doctoral Programs.”

This conference is a part of a series of “visibility” conferences sponsored by the Graduate School at Northwestern University, and we are eager to showcase the research of our graduate students and introduce these emerging scholars to you as a leader in the field.

As you know, there are currently eleven universities that confer doctoral degrees in Africana Studies.  We therefore chose to expand our conference focus to highlight the legacy, innovations and research of Africana Studies scholars across the nation by seeking to bring together members from all eleven doctoral programs.

The conference theme, “A Beautiful Struggle…” attempts to capture both the triumphs and challenges of the Black Studies movement as we have gone from a history of protest to conferring Ph.D.’s in the field we hold dear.  It is our hope that this conference will be among the first of many conventions of doctoral Africana Studies programs as we share best practices, cutting-edge research, and provide networking opportunities for our graduate students.  It will also be a wonderful opportunity to critically assess the growth and challenges of the discipline and to engage the scholarly production of each program.

We are planning a festive and engaging three-day conference to take place on April 12-14, 2012.  Given that this is likely the first meeting of all doctorate-granting Africana Studies programs in the nation, this is a historical event not to be missed.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at afamdoc@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you April 2012!

Warmest Regards,

Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of African American Studies
Associate Professor, African American Studies and Sociology

Martha Biondi, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies, Department of African American Studies
Associate Professor, African American Studies and History

La TaSha Levy
Doctoral Candidate, Department of African American Studies