Studying African Diaspora Studies at Kenyon
Students concentrating in African diaspora studies explore the variety of cultural types in the African diaspora as well as the connections between African studies and African American studies. Intensive, discussion-based seminars led by faculty from multiple disciplines promote an intellectual give-and-take, exploring a range of topics, from ethnomedicine to the history of the civil rights era to the literature of Richard Wright and Toni Morrison.
Announcing the Allen B. Ballard Prize
The Allen B. Ballard Prize is awarded to a Kenyon student in recognition of an outstanding scholarly project that promotes understanding of the history, cultures and peoples of the African diaspora by focusing on issues pertaining to social justice. The prize honors Allen Ballard '52 H'04, a scholar of Africana studies and one of the first two students to integrate Kenyon in 1948.
The Crossroads Seminar
Taught by an interdisciplinary group of faculty interested in engaging with others in the discussion of issues pertaining to African diaspora studies, this seminar is a colloquium, where Crossroads professors offer lectures that explore the cultures of the African diaspora and their influences on the global culture.
“Pleasurable” doesn’t seem like a word that would apply to the harrowing story of a mother who kills her child rather than allow her to be enslaved. Yet Morrison writes prose so beautiful, one could describe reading such a story as, in some sense, pleasurable, even as this beauty deepens the power and pain of her words.