P. Gabrielle Foreman

Sankofa Imperatives, Black Women, and the Archival Turn

P. Gabrielle Foreman, Founding faculty director of the award-winning Colored Conventions Project, housed in Penn State's Center for Digital Black Research
November 8, 2021 - 5:00pm

401 Fisher-Bennett Hall

In this talk, P. Gabrielle Foreman takes up what she calls the Sankofa imperative in Black digital and artistic spaces. Reflecting on the two major stands of her research as the founding faculty director of the Colored Conventions Project and as the research historian for a decade-long performance project to bring buried Black history to the stage, she discusses how digital archives and resurrectionary poetics stitch the ephemerality and partiality of the Black past-present into a quilt of historical recovery.

P. Gabrielle Foreman is a poet's daughter and interdisciplinary scholar raised on the South Side of Chicago and Venice Beach, California. She is the founding faculty director of the award-winning Colored Conventions Project, housed in Penn State's Center for Digital Black Research/#DigBlk, a Center she launched and co-directs with Shirley Moody-Turner. #DigBlk is made up of a cross-institutional team of undergraduate researchers, graduate student leaders,  librarians, on-site and satellite faculty, and arts and community partners that brings the buried history of early Black organizing to digital life. Gabrielle is known for her long-standing commitment to working in collectives and to institution and community building. She has also worked for a decade with renowned dance educator Lynnette Overby and poet Glenis Remond on performances based on her research that bring Black history to the stage. Foreman is author of five books and editions, which include most recently, The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century, and the forthcoming Praise Songs for Dave the Potter: Art and Poetry for David Drake. She is Professor of English, African American Studies, and History at Penn State where she holds the Paterno Family Chair of Liberal Arts. In 2022, she will serve as the Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American Antiquarian Society where she will work on a new book on the founding families of early Black activism. In 2022-2023, she’ll be amongst a dozen Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholars to give talks at chapters across the United States. 

This event is sponsored by Africana Studies, the Department of English, the Price Lab for Digital Humanities, and the Wolf Center for the Humanities