Geographies of Voice: Women of Color at Harvard Across Three Centuries.

An Interactive Symposium of Offerings and Honorings

Thompson Room, Barker Center. Harvard University.
Monday, April 19, 1:30-3:00 p.m.


Join for us for an interactive performance and installation work, honoring the lives and legacies of women of color associated with Harvard/Radcliffe across three centuries, in slavery and freedom. Our performance and conversation will be centered on three "altar" spaces, honoring the lives and legacies of three enslaved women of color who were connected, in one way or another, with Harvard College. All in the community are invited to participate--to learn and to share their reflections on these complex histories of gender and race on and around the campus.

This event is organized by students in AAAS156 ( "Power and Aesthetics in Africa and the Diaspora", taught by Prof. Mark Auslander), as part of our class project oriented towards interpreting and witnessing testimonies and texts associated with women of color linked, in one way or another, to Harvard from the early 18th century onwards. We understand ourselves ourselves as engaged in a critical and imaginative re-excavation of the archives, listening for and to the voices of those who were long marginalized within the formal structures of the institution. We are are especially interested in helping to foreground practices of cultural production and political agency by women of African descent in and around Harvard and Radcliffe.

This project will also include an exhibition/installation in Pusey Library, incorporating primary materials from the Harvard University Archives, opening at the end of April.

Women to be honored include: the enslaved woman ("Venus") purchased by Harvard President Benjamin Wadsworth in 1726: Phillis Wheatley; Belinda Royall; Alberta V. Scott (Radcliffe 1898), Mary Gibson Hundley (Radcliffe 1918), Marita Bonner (Radcliffe 1922), Pauli Murray, Peggy Cooper Davis (Harvard Law School, 1968) and Thelma Awori (Radcliffe 1965).

Artistic advisor: Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier

Sponsored by African and African American Studies