The Avery Research Center sponsors lectures, symposia, panel discussions, workshops, and conferences and collaborates with other cultural and educational institutions throughout the South Carolina Lowcountry.
2 Brown Bag Series: “Unenslaved: Rice Culture Paintings by Jonathan Green,” Jonathan Green, Artist, Cox Gallery of the Avery Research Center, 12-1:15 pm. Jonathan Green discusses his art exhibition featured in the Avery Research Center’s Cox Gallery from August 29 – December 15, 2013. Unenslaved: Rice Culture Paintings by Jonathan Green is a body of work inspired by Lowcountry Rice Culture and Green’s involvement with The Lowcountry Rice Culture Project. (http://www.lowcountryriceculture.org/)
7 Gallery Talk: “Sew On, Sew On, and Sew On: Contemporary Quilts and Handmade Objects,” Avery Research Center, 1:00pm. Featuring fiber artists: Catherine Lamkin, Dorothy Montgomery and Winifred Sanders. Free and open to the public.
22 Brown Bag Series: “Politics of Philanthropy: Henry Lyman Morehouse, the American Baptist Home Mission Society and the Naming of Morehouse College,” Daron Calhoun II, graduate student in the joint College of Charleston-Citadel M.A. History program and Avery Graduate Assistant, Avery Research Center, 12-1:15 pm. Calhoun presents his ongoing research on the paternalistic leadership of northern missionary organizations who came to the U.S. South to develop African American schools in the decades after Emancipation. Calhoun specifically discusses the early development of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and examines the decision to change the school’s name from Atlanta Baptist College to Morehouse College in 1913. He connects this decision to the broader fight for ideological and political autonomy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities away from the hegemonic systems of the primarily white, northern philanthropic associations such as the American Baptist Home Mission Society and the General Education Board.
5 Exhibition Opening: “Brilliant Reflections: People and Places,” Floyd Gordon, independent artist, Avery Research Center, 6:00-8:00 pm. The artwork of local Artist and Author Floyd Gordon will be featured at the Avery Research Center from February 5 – April 30, 2014. Exhibition Opening Reception & Book signing on Wednesday February 5, 2014, 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Free and open to the public.
11 Film Screening: “The Rosa Parks Story,” with director Julie Dash, Avery Research Center, McKinley Washington Auditorium, 6:00 pm. This film stars Angela Bassett and depicts the story of the civil rights heroine whose refusal to obey racial bus segregation was just one of her acts in her fight for justice. Hosted by the African American Studies department at the College of Charleston and featuring a discussion with the film’s director, Julie Dash.
22 Presentation: Sweetgrass basket maker/educator Henrietta Snype and Gullah Storyteller Carolyn White, 12-3 pm. This event is free and open to the public.
26 Brown Bag Series: “The Art of Protest,” Karole Turner Campbell, independent artist, Avery Research Center 12-1:15 pm. On the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Karole Turner Campbell discusses a series of paintings she is developing that are inspired by this tragic event and the trial of George Zimmerman that took place in June and July 2013. As she describes, Campbell uses her ART to Articulate and Respond to the myriad emotions provoked by the verdict, and to Transform these emotions into aesthetically viable works.
6 Exhibition opening: Africa: Masks, Music, & Motion, Avery Research Center, 6:00pm. This exhibition will feature African masks from Avery collections, and will run through December 20, 2014. Free and open to the public.
7 Film Screening: Pariah, hosted by Southerners on New Ground (SONG), McKinley Washington Auditorium, Avery Research Center, 6:00-8:30. Join Southerners On New Ground (SONG) for a screening of the film Pariah and to learn more about SONG’s work to reduce hostility for LGBTQ, black, and immigrant youth in public schools. SONG is a southern regional LGBTQ organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South, working to transform the South together. South Carolina SONG spent Valentine’s Day weekend inviting students, teachers and community members to be interviewed on our mobile interviewing booth, dubbed the “Love Truck.” This grassroots media project is designed to amplify the voices of people in the Charleston community. SONG interviewed over 25 Charlestonians about the state of Charleston’s public schools during the weekend, and will be screening a short video comprised of insightful moments from the interviews. After the screening, attendees are invited to engage in a community discussion about the proposed cuts to South Carolina state budget specifically impacting USC Upstate and the College of Charleston. SONG will also be discussing their call to action around these cuts, an online participatory response that has gone viral and been featured on several local, state, and national news sources. (see gayfacesgayplaces.tumblr.com). SONG will be serving popcorn and refreshments as we come together to learn more about our community! See description of the film Pariah below:
Pariah – n. An outcast.
Pariah follows the story of a young woman, Alike, from Brooklyn who must grapple with internal and external pressures that shake her sense of identity in the face of hostility and intolerance. In this multiple award-winning independent film, director Dee Rees provides her audience with a candid glimpse into the experience of a black, college-bound, self-identified stud lesbian. Alike is torn between her loyalty to herself, her friends, and her family as she tries to come to terms with her desires and dreams. This is further complicated as it seems that what she wants is furthest from the dreams and desires her family have in mind for her future. The journey to self-expression and acceptance can be difficult to navigate and sometimes we must break and recreate bonds along the way. The ones we lose may be hard to shake and the ones we gain may be the most rewarding but we can never know for sure until we have no other choice but to decide.
19 Brown Bag Series: “Launching the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative,” Mary Battle, College of Charleston, Avery Research Center, 12-1:15 pm. Dr. Battle discusses the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI), a digital public history project hosted by the Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL) at the College of Charleston. Funded through a pilot project grant from the Humanities Council of South Carolina and a major grant award from the Dorothy and Gaylord Donnelley Foundation, LDHI serves as an online platform for partner institutions and collaborative scholars to work with graduate assistants and College of Charleston faculty to translate multi-institutional archival materials, historic landscape features and structures, and scholarly research into digital public history exhibition projects. A major goal within LDHI’s mission is to encourage projects that highlight underrepresented race, class, gender, and labor histories within the Lowcountry region, and in historically interconnected Atlantic World sites. As the new Public Historian at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, Battle will particularly discuss Avery Research Center exhibition projects featured on LDHI that draw from Avery’s archives. LDHI staff, contributors, and graduate student assistants will also be in attendance to discuss their experiences working on the project.
25 Evening Lecture: “Symbology in African American Visual Art,” Alfred Conteh, artist, Avery Research Center, 6:00 pm. This event is hosted by the African American Studies program at the College of Charleston, and co-sponsored by the Avery Research Center, the School of the Arts, and the Department of Art History. Alfred Conteh’s non-objective exploration of form, rhythm, composition and texture in his sculptural assemblages calls forth the kind of visceral response that is usually associated with more symbol-laden visual forms. Working primarily in wood, he creates powerful geometric constructions that reveal a profoundly contemporary spirit and a desire to move his audience to both think and feel.
27 Film Screening hosted by the Alliance For Full Acceptance and the Avery Research Center: The New Black, followed by discussion with film producer Yvonne Welbon, McKinley Washington Auditorium, Avery Research Center, 6:00 pm. The New Black is a documentary directed by Yoruba Richen that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar—the black church and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda. The New Black takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets and provides a seat at the kitchen table as it tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community.
28 Evening Lecture: “Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston,” Amrita Myers, Indiana University-Bloomington, McKinley-Washington Auditorium, Avery Research Center, 6:30 pm. Dr. Myers discusses her recent publication, Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston, in which she analyzes how black women in Charleston acquired, defined, and defended their own vision of freedom. Addressing topics such as manumission, work and property ownership, Myers argues that for black women in the Old South, freedom was an experience, not just a fixed legal category. Emancipation without the ability to improve one’s financial, social, and legal standing was a poor imitation of liberty. Black women thus strove to acquire property, established alliances with influential men, and utilized the courts and the state legislature to demand the fullest protections of the law. Additionally, evidence pertaining to white women and black men reveals how laws and customs about race and sex kept slavery and freedom inextricably linked for black women. Never fully free, the liberty of black women thus depended on their skills of negotiation in a society dedicated to upholding racial slavery and patriarchy. Ultimately, Forging Freedom reveals the ways in which Charleston’s black women overcame significant obstacles in order to craft a freedom of their own design instead of settling for the limited liberties imagined for them by white southerners.
3 Evening Lecture: “Military Service as a pathway to Social Equality and Black Higher Education,” Marcus Cox, The Citadel: Military College of South Carolina, McKinley Washington Auditorium, Avery Research Center, 6:30 pm. For anyone who has ever wondered why black men and women would voluntarily join the military during the Jim Crow era, during a time when they were considered unworthy of social equality and economic opportunity, Dr. Marcus S. Cox, Professor of History at the Citadel, will lecture on his recent publication titled, Segregated Soldiers: Military Training at Historically Black Colleges in the Jim Crow South. The book additionally touches on the history of military training programs at Black Colleges and how military service and training in the Black community was not only used to advance the cause for social justice, but also helped build the Black middle class during the mid-twentieth century.
9 Brown Bag Series: “Resolving Heirs’ Property Issues and Learning the Value of Family Land,” Jennie Stephens, Executive Director, Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, Avery Research Center, 12-1:15pm. Dr. Stephens will discuss how the Center helps protect heirs’ property through education and the delivery of direct legal services to families seeking to obtain clear title and keep their land. She will also explain how the Center promotes the sustainable use of land with forested acres to increase the economic benefit to African American families through the Sustainable Forestry Program.
16 Panel Presentation: “Graduate Student Experiences in Digital Humanities and Public History: Working on the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI),” Bradley Blankemeyer, Andrew Cuadrado, and Beth Gniewek, College of Charleston-Citadel Joint Master’s Program in History, Addlestone Library, Room 227, 12-1:15 pm. Blankemeyer, Gniewek, and Cuadrado describe their experiences working as graduate assistants for the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI), a digital public history platform hosted by the Lowcountry Digital Library at the College of Charleston. Students provide insight into their experiences developing online exhibitions in Omeka with collaborative scholars and institutional partners such as the Avery Research Center and the South Carolina Historical Society. They will also discuss opportunities and challenges for graduate students interested in digital humanities and public history work at the College of Charleston.
18 Evening Lecture: “The Souls of Black Comix,” John Jennings, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Avery Research Center, McKinley Washington Auditorium, 6:30 pm. In the last decade, a new generation of black scholars, publishers, creators, archivists, documentarians, and curators have come forth with a re-imagined vision of what it means to depict the African American experience via the comics medium. An underground movement has been operating unseen, flowing in tandem to the mainstream but showing very different levels of the American experience. The Black Age of Comics is an attempt to shift the paradigm of how black images and stories are portrayed in the medium of comics. In this presentation, Dr. John Jennings discusses the history of Black images in the comics medium, and presents his own recent work, including his upcoming graphic novelization of Octavia Butler’s KINDRED (with collaborator Damian Duffy).
2 Brown Bag Series: “A brief moment in the sun: Francis Cardozo and Reconstruction in South Carolina,” Avery Research Center, 12-1:15 pm, co-sponsored by the Center for Southern Jewish Culture and the Jewish Heritage Collection, Addlestone Library. Neil Kinghan, PhD Student, University College London. Kinghan will discuss his research on Francis Cardozo (1837-1903) and the part he played in Reconstruction against the background of slavery, racism and discrimination in South Carolina and other southern states before and after the Civil War. Born in Charleston as the son of a white Jewish man and a former slave, Cardozo trained as a minister in Great Britain and returned to Charleston in 1865 to become the first Principal of the Avery Normal School. He was also the first African American to be elected to a state-wide office in the United States, as Secretary of State for South Carolina in 1868. He held office throughout Reconstruction, until he was wrongly prosecuted for fraud and imprisoned when the Democrats returned to power in 1877. He was later pardoned, and subsequently became the principal of an all-black high school in Washington D.C.
Avery Research Center 25th Anniversary Celebration