Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Nelson Mandela tributes and conference lead Pan-Africa Week focus on…

Georgia (Mar 10, 2014)

Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Nelson Mandela tributes and conference lead Pan-Africa Week focus on civil and human rights struggles

Kennesaw State University will examine civil and human rights struggles in Africa and the African Diaspora during Pan-Africa Week, March 17-21. The week will feature forums and artistic presentations, including a debut of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Ruined,” tributes to Nelson Mandela and a student research and engagement conference.

The violence against women resulting from war and the pursuit of conflict minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo are highlighted in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies’ presentation of the play “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage March 18–23 in the Stillwell Theater. Directed by Karen Robinson, professor and interim chair of TPS, the play tells the story of the courage and survival of women who have been visited so violently by atrocities that they are no longer able to bear children.

 “As we learn about the role that conflict minerals play in fomenting unspeakable atrocities in the DRC, we must ask ourselves: What is our responsibility in perpetuating the violence from afar with our global consumption of not only gold and diamonds, but our voracious appetite for mobile phones and electronics?” Robinson said.

Each performance will be followed by discussions with the director, actors, and guest faculty in disciplines from across the University. A panel focusing on trauma and healing, co-sponsored by TPS and the Gender and Women’s Studies program, will follow Sunday’s matinee performance. For tickets, visit www.kennesaw.edu/arts/boxoffice or call 770-423-6650.

Two Pan-Africa Week exhibits focus on the fight against apartheid in South Africa and pay tribute to the recently deceased South African President Nelson Mandela. “Graphic Resistance: Anti-Apartheid Political Posters” features facsimiles of vintage posters created between 1960 and 1990 protesting against apartheid. “Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013): Before Prisoner, Beyond President” displays vintage press and art photographs and memorabilia celebrating Mandela’s life. The exhibits, curated by Jessica Stephenson, assistant professor of art history, and Monica Russ, a student in art history and African and African Diaspora Studies, are located in the Social Sciences Building Atrium through March 31.

On March 20, the all-day 6th Annual African and African Diaspora Studies Student Research and Engagement Conference will present 16 student and community panels focused on struggles for civil and human rights, culture and contemporary issues in the African diaspora. It also will feature two keynote speakers: Robert "Bobby" Hill, professor emeritus of history at the University of California Los Angeles, disicussing "The Concept of Africa for Africans"; and Chapurukha Kusimba, chair of anthropology at American University, discussing "Maritime Networks and Urban-Centered States in East Africa."   

Other Pan-Africa Week highlights include:

·       Forum: The National Center for Human Rights CEO Doug Shipman will discuss the “Global Struggle for Freedom: Atlanta’s Legacy and its Relation to Current Human Rights Movements” Monday, March 17, 12:30 p.m., Social Sciences Building, Room 2034.

·       A musical tribute to Nelson Mandela by the Kennesaw State University Choir, led by Professor Emeritus of Music Oral Moses, and a screening of the documentary “Nelson Mandela: The Life and Times,” Wednesday, March 19. The musical tribute begins at 2 p.m. The screening will follow. Both are in the Social Sciences Building, Room 1019, and are free and open to the public.

·       Forum: Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College, will discuss “Violence and Silence in the Black Woman’s Experience,” Friday, March 21, 9:30 a.m., Social Sciences Building, Room 3019.

Pan-Africa Week is a collaboration between the Kennesaw State College of the Arts’ School of Art and Design and Department of Theatre & Performance Studies; College of Humanities and Social Sciences; African and African Diaspora Studies Program; Center for African and African Diaspora Studies; and Institute for Global Initiatives.

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--Kathie Beckett ansd Sabbaye McGriff




A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu