Friday, July 12, 2019

Douglass Institute: Day 3

Barbara McCaskill 

Day 3, July 10, of our institute included two keynote lectures and continued discussions about Douglass, literary studies, and historical studies.

First in the morning, Professor Barbara McCaskill discussed Douglass, slave narratives, graphic novels, and approaches to teaching. She wowed us with her fantastic energy and vibrant delivery style. She also had us taking notes, based on her extensive knowledge.

McCaskill merged multiple ideas throughout her presentation, as she discussed Douglass in relation to other authors of slave narratives and also drew connections to a contemporary graphic novel trilogy, March focusing on the autobiographical experiences of John Lewis during the Civil Rights Era.

Elizabeth Cali and Tisha Brooks

Later in the day, Tisha Brooks and Liz Cali, our resident faculty members, gave another lecture, this one on Frederick Douglass and photography. They focused on the shifting self-presentation of Douglass in portraits. They based their discussion on Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated Biography of the Nineteenth Century’s Most Photographed American and Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity.

Brooks and Cali also discussed different ways that they incorporate ideas about Douglass's images into their classrooms. Their presentation was really useful for moving beyond Douglass the author and thinking about him as a photograph subject and kind of curator of his public image.

A notebook on Frederick Douglass and Literary Crossroads NEH Institute

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