WMU News

Expert on Pan-African and Caribbean social activism speaks

Jan. 26, 2004

KALAMAZOO--One of the nation's foremost experts on Pan-African history and Caribbean social activism will visit Western Michigan University as part of its Visiting Scholars and Arts Program.

Dr. Robert Hill, associate professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, will present two lectures during his visit. He will discuss "The Remains of the Name: The Origins of the Harlem Renaissance and the Discourse of Egyptology" at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2. "The Remains of the Name Part II: Pan-Africa and Pan-Islam in the Awakening of 'Africa for Africans,' 1917-1919" will be the topic of a 6:30 p.m. talk Wednesday, Feb. 4. Both lectures will take place in Room 1110 of the Dalton Center and are free and open to the public.

"Hill's first lecture will talk about the impact of Egypt's art history on the formulation of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920's," says Dr. W.F. Santiago-Valles, WMU associate professor of Africana studies, and coordinator of Hill's visit.

The second lecture will address the international context of how people of African descent shared a community of intellectual interests after 1910.

"It will be a great opportunity to hear Hill's insights as he has been pursuing the intersections of Pan-Africanism on both sides of the Atlantic for over 30 years," says Santiago-Valles.

Hill has taught at UCLA since 1977, where he established the Marcus Garvey Universal Negro Improvement Association Project. As editor-in-chief, Hill has edited ten volumes of "The Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers" and recently served as executive consultant in the making of "Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind," a film produced for the PBS series "The American Experience."

In addition to his work on Garvey, Hill has served on numerous advisory committees for other documentary projects, including The W.E.B. Du Bois Film Project; the Schomburg Commission for the Preservation of Black Culture; the exhibition "A Harlem Renaissance: The Art of Black America" at the Studio Museum in Harlem; and The Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project, which is based at Stanford University.

Hill also is the literary executor for C.L.R. James, the West Indian author, Marxist historian, and Pan-African political activist, and he is the editor of two forth-coming volumes, "The Rastafari: Bible: JAH Version," and "Lion Zion: Marcus Garvey and the Jews."

The Visiting Scholars and Arts Program at WMU was established in 1960 and has supported more than 500 visits by scholars and artists representing some 65 academic disciplines. The chairperson of the committee that oversees the program is Carol Bennett, instructor in the Department of Business Information Systems.

Related story
Hill to conduct workshop on 'Editing Archival Documents'

Media contact: Matt Gerard, 269 387-8400, matthew.gerard@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400