Africana Studies Program

During his visit to Bowdoin, Dr. King visited the Bowdoin College Museum of Art to view the groundbreaking exhibition The Portrayal of the Negro in American Painting. He is pictured here with Curator Marvin Sadik.

Honoring the Legacy: Martin Luther King Jr. Speaks at Bowdoin in 1964

It was 50 years ago this year that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to Bowdoin College to speak about the civil rights movement and the importance of ending segregation and discrimination in America.


Professor Chakkalakal Presents Writer’s Unpopular Perspective on Race

Associate Professor of Africana Studies and English Tess Chakkalakal recently gave a public talk on campus about Charles Chesnutt’s 1901 novel The Marrow of Tradition, a book she positions as “a — maybe the — great American novel.”

Stowe House 207 feat

The History and Renovation of Bowdoin’s Harriet Beecher Stowe House on WCSH’s ‘207’

Tess Chakkalakal, associate professor of English and Africana Studies, shares her insight into the history of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, which the College has recently renovated with the help of historic preservationist Nancy Barba.

tracy shirey

Tracy Shirey ’14’s Honors Thesis Provides Context for Racial Inequality (Des Moines Register)

The honors project of Tracy Shirey ’14 has been written up in the Des Moines Register, in the first story of a new series called “Black Iowa, Still Unequal?”

briana cardwell

Helping One Person at a Time, Briana Cardwell ’17 Counters Racism

This summer, Briana Cardwell ’17 has a grant from Bowdoin to intern for the Boston chapter of the NAACP. She received a Preston Public Internet Career Fund Fellowship, allowing her to work at a nonprofit staffed entirely by volunteers.

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Morehouse-to-Bowdoin Exchange Student Recalls his 1965 Bowdoin Semester

Fifty years after his semester exchange at Bowdoin, Morehouse College alumnus Freddie J. Cook returned to Bowdoin College this week to speak to students, staff and faculty about his experiences as a student in the 1960s.


Noliwe Rooks: Because What is Beautiful is Good

Noliwe Rooks’ talk explores the role that black women played at the beginning and the end of the first international Dove brand “real beauty” campaign and how and why that campaign used feminism as an advertising tool.


Historian Craig Wilder Delivers Annual John Brown Russwurm Lecture and Book Talk

Craig Steven Wilder, a professor of history at MIT and a leading historian of race in America, delivered the annual John Brown Russwurm Lecture March 31, 2015, in Main Lounge, Moulton Union. The following evening, he participated in a live-streamed book talk on his book, Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery and the Troubled History of America’s Universities.


Russwurm Lecture and Book Discussion with Craig Steven Wilder March 31-April 1

Craig Steven Wilder, professor of history at MIT and a leading historian of race in America, will deliver the annual John Brown Russwurm Lecture at 6:30 p.m., March 31, 2015, in Main Lounge, Moulton Union. A book discussion follows April 1 at 7 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.


A Bowdoin Reading List

Somehow, in the midst of all of their teaching and research, professors at Bowdoin also find time to write books. Check out these recent and upcoming titles by faculty members.

Civil War cluster students Michael Smith, Alexxa Leone, and Katie Randall (photo credit: Tess Chakkalakal)

Studying the Many-Sided Civil War

In one sense, there were only two sides in the Civil War – but there are many sides to the story of this pivotal era in American history. Bowdoin’s Civil War course cluster is bringing together a whole array of disciplines, including the historical, the literary, the visual, and the digital.

Judith Casselberry presents "Harvesting Souls for Christ: Black Pentecostal Women's Labor at the Altar"

Sabbatical Seminars: Casselberry on Black Pentecostal Women

This week’s faculty seminar series featured Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Judith Casselberry, who gave a presentation called “Harvesting Souls for Christ: Black Pentecostal Women’s Labor at the Altar.”


Mellon Mays Undergraduates Present Wide-Ranging Research

This year’s ten Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) researchers recently presented five weeks worth of research to professors, faculty advisors and fellow students at Bowdoin’s 2014 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Summer Research Colloquium.


A Thimble, and a Tale of Two Phebes

Within every object, no matter how unassuming, is a story. The Object Show at the Bowdoin Museum of Art draws from the diverse collections of the College to bring many such stories to light.

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Judith Casselberry and Symone Howard ’15

Students Bring Discussion of ‘Black Art’ to Bowdoin

After being inspired by Yale University’s recent 19th-Annual Black Solidarity Conference, “Rooted: An Odyssey of Black Art,” student members of Bowdoin’s African-American Society decided to bring a taste of the convention back to campus.


The Storied Life of an Escaped Slave

Clemson University English Professor Susannah Ashton explored the life of an escaped slave whom Harriet Beecher Stowe sheltered in her Brunswick home in 1850, two years before writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Watson Fellow Teona Williams ’12 Returns Home from World Travels

In one year, Teona Williams ’12 got lost in a slum in New Delhi, visited a fake corporate city in Thailand, celebrated Christmas in Cape Town, lived with a big, friendly family in Brazil, hiked 20 miles to a secluded cove in Trinidad, and watched the sunrise from a mountaintop in Jamaica.


Five Faculty Members Earn Tenure in 2014

Five Bowdoin faculty members have been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure.


New Library Show Examines Racist Afterlife of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’

The images presented in the current Hawthorne-Longfellow Library exhibit, “Visualizing Uncle Tom,” are so disturbing that a university in Great Britain decided they were too risky to present to the public.

Stowe House (Illustration credit: Abby McBride)

Chakkalakal Talks ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ on BBC

BBC Radio 4 recently came to Brunswick to visit the Harriet Beecher Stowe house and interview Tess Chakkalakal about the impact of Stowe’s novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”