Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Black Studies Now

A little over a year ago, we began having brief conversations here and there about how to modify black studies at SIUE. The goal was to update the program’s mission and activities to reflect a distinctly 21st century vision. Folks like Henderson, C. Washington, and Shelley provided early input.
As the conversation grew and the idea emerged to rethink the program’s web-site, we started having even broader conversations concerning black studies, web-design, and digital possibilities with Marci and Tristan (Here's some of Tristan’s work). We looked over and analyzed numerous African American Studies web-sites and found that African masks and sculptures as well as 1960s iconography served as the most prevalent images used to frame the various programs.
The reasoning behind those chosen symbols was apparent. What was less clear, however, was why so few programs had sought to base their designs on modern symbols and points of reference. As a result, we posed questions about what a hip and modernized African American Studies program might look like.
In other words, we wanted to envision a kind of black studies2.0.
This blog, and in particular, our Wednesday posts are a public extension of those early conversations we were having about the near-future of African American Studies and our interest in modifying the black studies program at SIUE. Do have some ideas or questions about where black studies is and where it’s going? Let us know or tune in as we talk through a range of issues on the subject here.
--Howard Rambsy II

[Image design by Tristan Denyer and Marci Daniels.]

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