Conference Schedule

Global History of Black Girlhood Conference

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Auditorium of the Harrison Institute, Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia

9:00-9:30 AM


Archie Holmes, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Virginia

Carmen F. Foster, Ed.D., Education Consultant, Historian, and Faculty, Federal Executive Institute

Ervin Jordan, Associate Professor and Research Archivist, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia

“The Black Female Image at the University of Virginia.”

9:30-10:30 AM

Panel 1: Slavery and Freedom

Annette Joseph-Gabriel, Assistant Professor of French, University of Arizona

“Coming of Age in Times of Trauma: Representations of Black Girls’ Resistance in Neo-Slave Narratives”

Kelly Duke Bryant, Associate Professor of History, Rowan University

““La Petite Libérée”: Strategies and Subjectivities of Liberated Minor Girls in Early Twentieth-Century Senegal”

Crystal Lynn Webster, Ph.D. Candidate, Afro-American Studies University of Massachusetts- Amherst

“The Metaphysics of Childhood: Toward a New Approach to Studies of Nineteenth Century Girlhood”

Comment: Catherine Jones, Associate Professor of History, University of California Santa Cruz

 10:30-10:45 AM

Representing Black Girlhood I

Nastassja E. Swift, Artist

“Conscious of Being Seen”

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Panel 2: Criminalization and Justice

Cynthia Greenlee, Independent Scholar, Editor at Rewire

“The colored girl must die’: Litigating childhood and capital punishment in late 19th-century South Carolina”

Timothy Nicholson, Assistant Professor of History, Saint Peter’s University

“Immoral Schoolgirls, Sensual Corruption and Contestations over Gendering the Postcolonial Tanzanian State”

Lindsey E Jones, Ph.D. Candidate, Curry School of Education; Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies

““How to Play in the Right Way”: Recreation as a Pedagogy of Girlhood”

Shani Roper, Research Officer, Liberty Hall

“Defining Black Girlhood: Girls Work and Lives at the Government Reformatory in Jamaica 1869 – 1937”

Comment: Anne M. Coughlin, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

 12:15-1:15 PM


Ruth Nicole Brown, Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, Center for African Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“Yesterdays, Our Land, and Black Girl Forevers”

1:30-2:45 PM

Panel 3: Pleasure and Play

Tara Bynum, Visiting Assistant Professor, Departments of English and African-American Studies, College of Charleston

“In Search of Obour Tanner And Phillis Wheatley; Or Reflections on a Black Girlhood”

Katherine Capshaw, Professor of English, University of Connecticut

“Haitian (and American) Girls Perform Revolution in the Wake of U.S. Occupation: Children’s Plays of the 1930s and 1940s”

Sarah Duff, Researcher, The Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

“Youth, Girls, Teenagers: On the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Age Categories in Twentieth-Century South Africa”

Reighan Gillam, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and African American and African Studies, University of Michigan

“From Silence to Voice: Snapshots of Black Girlhood in Urban Brazil”

Comment: Karen Sanchez-Eppler, L. Stanton Williams 1941 Professor of American Studies and English, Amherst College

2:45-3:00 PM

Representing Black Girlhood II

Alexandria Smith, Artist; Assistant Professor of Studio Art, Wellesley College

“Amalgamations of Girlhood”

3:15-4:15 PM

Panel 4: Kinship and Family

Daniel Livesay, Assistant Professor of History, Claremont McKenna College

“‘Her colour will always be against her’: Mixed-Race Girls in British Families, 1770-1820.”

Vanessa Plumly, Lecturer in German, State University of New York at New Paltz

“Minding the Relational Gap/s: White German “Omis” and the Complicated Bridging of Maternal, Racial, and Generational Divides in Afro-German Girlhood Narrations.”

Dara Walker, Ph.D. Candidate, History, Rutgers University

“Out of the Shadow of Moynihan: Black Girl Activism in the Age of Postwar Independence Movements, 1966-1972.”

Comment: Habiba Ibrahim, Associate Professor of English, University of Washington

4:15-4:45 PM

Film screening, Black Girlhood: Access and Assets


Abigail Akosua Kayser. Ph.D .Student, Curry School, University of Virginia

Latara Ragland, Check and Connect Coach, City of Promise

Tykeisha Hill, Lugo McGinness Academy / Charlottesville High School

Zyahna Bryant, Charlottesville High School

Lynaisha Booker, Buford Middle School

Talejha Cowan, Buford Middle School

Tanjalir Howard, Walker Upper Elementary School

BriAsia Booker, Walker Upper Elementary School

Mauriana Evans, Walker Upper Elementary School

5:30-6:30 PM

Reception, Minor Hall Lobby

6:30-8:00 PM

Keynote Panel, Minor Hall Room 125

Global Black Girl Politics: Activists Reflect on Youth, Justice, and Girlhoods

Janaé E Bonsu, National Public Policy Chair of BYP100.

Beverley Palesa Ditsie, Filmmaker, Activist, Co-Founder of Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW), South Africa

Denise Oliver-Velez, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies, SUNY- New Palz, U.S.A.; former member of Young Lords Party and Black Panther Party

Phindile Kunene, Curriculum Developer, Tshisimani Center for Activist Education, South Africa; former member of Young Communist League of South Africa and South African Student Congress

Chair, Claudrena Harold, Associate Professor of African-American History, University of Virginia

Saturday, March 18, 2017

9:00-10:00 AM

Panel 5: Trauma and Healing

Ebony Perro, Ph.D. Candidate, Africana Women’s Studies and English, Clark Atlanta University

“Coming of (R)age: Black Girl Identity Formation in Morrison and Meriwether”

 Anasa Hicks, Ph.D. Candidate, History, New York University

“‘Working Girls’: the implications of intimacy for young domestic servants in Cuba”

Emily Bridger, Teaching Fellow, University of Exeter

“Political Girlhood and the Struggle Against Apartheid in South Africa, 1984-1994”

Comment: Joanna Williams, Associate Professor, Youth-Nex, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

10:00-10:15 AM

Patrick Tolan, Director, Youth-Nex, The UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development, Curry School, University of Virginia

“The Positive Youth Development Framework for Understanding Black Girls’ Development”

10:30 AM-11:45 AM

Panel 6: Identities and Borders

Corrie Decker, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of California, Davis

“Saving Girls and Cultures: Defining the “Child” in Colonial East Africa”

Kai M. Green, Assistant Professor of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

“The Terrain of Black Woman and Girlhood”

Sonya Donaldson, Assistant Professor of English, New Jersey City University

“Whose Little Girl Am I”: Fantasy and the Fantastic in (Re)constructing Black German Identity”

Nicole Burrowes, Presidential Post-Doctoral Fellow, History Department, Brown University

“From Booker T. Washington to Vesta Lowe: Black Girls and the Local Tuskegee of British Guiana”

Comment: Laura L. Lovett, Associate Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst

11:45-1:00 PM


Kyra Gaunt, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Baruch College-CUNY and Africana, Puerto Rican, and Latin(x) Studies at Hunter College-CUNY.

“‘Twerking is African’”: Technology and an Imagined Community of a Global Black Girlhood”

1:15-2:30 PM

Roundtable: Defining Black Girlhood in a Global Context

Chair: Michele Mitchell, Associate Professor of History, New York University

Oneka LaBennett, Associate Professor, Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University

Lynn M. Thomas, Professor of History, University of Washington

Wilma King, Arvah E. Strickland Distinguished Professor of African American History and Culture Emerita, University of Missouri

Colleen Vasconcellos, Associate Professor of Atlantic History, University of West Georgia

Bayyinah Jeffries, Assistant Professor of African American Studies, Ohio University

3:00-5:00 PM

Undergraduate Symposium and Reception

Destiny Crockett, English, African American Studies, and Gender & Sexuality Studies, Princeton University

“Black Girls’ Resistance to Policing and Surveillance in Black Women’s Literature of the 1970s and 1980s.”

Alicia Hamilton, History, Harvard College

“From Black Girlhood to Black Power, The Untold Stories of the Women of the Black Rights Movements: A Case Study of June Jordan”

Kemi Layeni, English, Studio Art, and African American & African Studies, University of Virginia

“In Between Life and Death: Memory, Violence, and the Four Little Girls”

Najya A. Williams, Harvard University

“No More Band-Aids: The Reality of a Young Woman of Color”

Margaret Banks, English, Amherst College

“Unbecoming Black Girls: Scripts of Black Girlhood in the Black Female Bildungsroman”

Ashleigh Imani Cartwright, African American Studies and Sociology, Columbia University

“Black Girls Left Behind: School Discipline in the Era of Neoliberalism”

6:00-8:00 PM

The Big Read

Auditorium at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

Tayari Jones, Author,  Silver Sparrow and Leaving Atlanta

Panel discussion with students:

Sakira Jones, Albemarle High School
Kiara Olatunde, Charlottesville High School
Jasmine Hayes, Charlottesville High School
Khadijah Williams, Orange County High School
Kimani Gough, Buckingham County High School
Kalani Bennett, Monticello High School
Shemya Key, Monticello High School
Te’Nielle Tinsley, Monticello High School

Moderator: Lisa Woolfork, Associate Professor of English, University of Virginia

Student advisors, Leah Wilson-Puryear, Director of Upward Bound, University of Virginia; Abigail Kayser, Ph.D. Candidate, Curry School, University of Virginia; Alicia Trice, Trio Upward Bound