Friday, July 12, 2019

Douglass Institute: Day 4

Courtney Thorsson gives presentation at Frederick Douglass institute 

On Day 4, July 11, we had a keynote lecture and two breakout sessions at our NEH institute on Frederick Douglass.

Professor Courtney Thorsson, from the University of Oregon, transported us from the 19th century to discussions of contemporary works. Her presentation offered an overview of select, prominent writings by modern and contemporary African American writers. She discussed how Douglass’s work aligns with a range of novelists, including Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Colson Whitehead, and others.

Thorsson led a break out session later in the day. She led the group in thinking about black feminist appraisals of Douglass’s work and constructions of masculinity in representations of black men in literature and culture in general.

Donavan Ramon leads discussion 

Donavan Ramon, from Kentucky State University, led discussions on teaching Douglass with students. He's covered Douglass in a variety of contexts, so he was well-positioned to assist our teachers.

He discussed the kinds of challenges students face when they encounter the Narrative. He led participants in thinking about approaches that would benefit them as they covered Douglass, American, and African American literature.

A notebook on Frederick Douglass and Literary Crossroads NEH Institute

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