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Visiting Fellow Archive (2016-2017)



The 2016-2017 Visiting Fellow is Robin D.G. Kelley, Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History, UCLA

Robin D.G. Kelley is a distinguished expert on African American Studies and U.S. History. His research and publications explore the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; black intellectuals; music; and poverty studies and ethnography. His publications include:

  •  Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists during the Great Depression (The University of North Carolina Press 1990)
  •  Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (Free Press 1996)
  •  Yo’ Mama’s Disfunktional !: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (Beacon Press 1997)
  •  Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (Free Press 2009)
  • Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (Beacon Press, 2012)
  • Freedom Dream: The Black Radical Imagination (Beacon Press 2013)


Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 at 4pm
Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level of Stevenson Hall
701 South Morgan

March 1, 2017 at 4 PM

Lecture:  “ ‘A Female Candide’: Inside U.S. Empire with Grace Halsell”

This presentation focuses on the life and writing of Texas-born journalist Grace Halsell, who spent part of the Cold War as a foreign correspondent in Europe, Latin America, Asia (including a stint in Vietnam), working as a staff writer under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and engaged in investigations into U.S. “internal colonies” (America’s ghettoes, Indian reservations, and the U.S. Mexico border).  Halsell initially believed the conceits of U.S. Cold War liberalism that promoted an American myth of a functional, melting pot democracy; a society that birthed the New Woman—free, independent, and autonomous; a society where the whole point of war and the threat of nuclear annihilation was to secure peace and protect the American Way of Life from tyranny.  But in the course of her travels and experiments in racial passing, old empires fell and U.S. imperial power asserted itself against struggles for sovereignty and self-determination.  The worlds she encountered not only undermined these conceits, but just as the Cold War liberal myth began its world tour, it began to crack at the seams (home and abroad).  Civil rights, feminist, and queer struggles revealed a society in turmoil.  Questions of race and sex split open American society, revealing both its dark underbelly, as well as opening eyes, freeing imaginations, and putting white privilege and male privilege (not to mention U.S. national privilege) on the defensive.  Halsell’s world view, schooled in Cold War liberalism, Southern paternalism & white supremacy, and domesticity, begins to unravel especially after her stint in Vietnam, and even more so when she turns her attention to the U.S., its ghettos, reservations, borders – and finally to Palestine.

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 at 3pm
Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level of Stevenson Hall
701 South Morgan

March 2, 2017 from 3 – 5 PM

Seminar: “Finding the Black Radical Tradition: The Life and Thought of Cedric J. Robinson”

Through reading and discussion, we will examine the life and work of the late political theorist and historian, Cedric J. Robinson (1940-2016).  Drawing on untapped archival sources and a selection of Robinson’s writings, we will examine his early life, education, activism, and African travels, and some of his profound insights into the myth of political order, the genesis of capitalism, the limits of Marxist analysis, and what he calls the “Black Radical Tradition”—Black movements whose objectives and aspirations confounded Western social analysis.  We will be reading and discussing passages from The Terms of Order (1980); Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (1983); An Anthropology of Marxism (2001), and Forgeries of Memory and Meaning: Blacks and the Regimes of Race in American Theater and Film Before World War II (2007).

Please finds links to seminar readings below:

“The Inventions of the Negro” by Cedric J. Robinson

“Race, Capitalism, and the Antidemocracy” by Cedric J. Robinson

Institute for Anarchist Studies: “Capitalism, Marxism, and the Black Radical Tradition” by Cedric J. Robinson

Robin D. G. Kelley, “Cedric J. Robinson: The Making of a Black Radical Intellectual,” Counterpunch (June 17, 2016)

Selections from Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition by Cedric J. Robinson

Preface to 2000 Edition

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 8