Delaware, Ohio Â Judylyn S. Ryan, Ph.D., associate professor of English at Ohio Wesleyan University, has been selected to participate in a seminar on Slave Narratives being offered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and The United Negro College Fund.
Twenty-eight participants were selected (from more than 100 highly competitive nominations) for the seminar, to be held June 13-16 at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
David W. Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale, will lead the seminar, which will be held for the third year in a row because of high interest in the subject matter among CIC colleges.
In announcing the selection of participants, CIC President Richard Ekman said, ÂThis seminar provides a great opportunity for participating faculty members to gain a better understanding of the experience of emancipation and the 19th century events that were so important in shaping our world today.Â
The seminar will examine the place of slavery and abolition in American history and culture, and participants will discuss the genre of slave narratives through some exemplary texts including biographies and autobiographies. Autobiographies by former slaves were first published in the late 18th century and early 19th century and grew in scale as new texts were promoted and printed by the early abolitionist movement in Britain and the United States.
Participants will read both antebellum and postbellum narratives. Before the Civil War, approximately 65 narratives were published in English. The pre-emancipation narratives were often serious works of literature focusing squarely on the oppression of slavery. The post-emancipation narratives, of which there are approximately 55 in existence, were more likely to be success stories Â triumphs over the past and visions of a more prosperous future. The seminar will cover the most famous pre-war narrative, that of Frederick Douglass, and the most famous post-war narrative, that of Booker T. Washington, as well as narratives from Professor BlightÂs recently published book, A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation.
ÂAs a longtime admirer of David BlightÂs genius, I am delighted to have been selected to participate in the seminar at Yale,Â said Ryan, who specializes in African American literature, black feminist theory, black womenÂs cinema, and African diaspora literatures at Ohio Wesleyan. ÂThis is an invaluable opportunity to engage in the kind of critical dialogue that will enhance my ability to provide students with an intellectually rigorous learning experience, consistent with the universityÂs commitment to offering a first-rate 21st century education.Â
Blight is also the author of several other books including Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, for which he won the 2001 Frederick Douglass Prize and the 2002 Bancroft and Lincoln Prizes; Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory and the Civil War; and Frederick DouglassÂ Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee. He was elected as a member of the Society of American Historians in 2002. Since 2004, he has served on the board of trustees of the New York Historical Society and on the board for African American Programs at Monticello in Charlottesville, Va.
For more information, visit CICÂs website at www.cic.edu/projects_services/coops/gilder_lehrman.asp.
Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nationÂs premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 22 Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of OhioÂs capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWUÂs close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 57 countries. Ohio Wesleyan earned a 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in General Community Service, is featured in the book Colleges That Change Lives, and is included on the Âbest collegesÂ lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.
The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of more than 600 independent, liberal arts colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that work together to strengthen college and university leadership, sustain high-quality education, and enhance private higher educationÂs contributions to society. To fulfill this mission, CIC provides its members with skills, tools, and knowledge that address aspects of leadership, financial management and performance, academic quality, and institutional visibility. The Council is headquartered at One DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, founded in 1994, is a nonprofit organization supporting the study and love of American history through a wide range of programs and resources for students, teachers, scholars, and history enthusiasts throughout the nation. The Institute creates and works closely with history-focused schools; organizes summer seminars and development programs for teachers; produces print and digital publications and traveling exhibitions; hosts lectures by eminent historians; administers a History Teacher of the Year Award in every state and U.S. territory; and offers national book prizes and fellowships for scholars to work in the Gilder Lehrman Collection as well as other renowned archives.