Symposium Schedule

Symposium Schedule

Colored Conventions in the Nineteenth Century and the Digital Age

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 Friday, April 24

All sessions held in the University of Delaware Library, Class of 1941 Lecture Room unless marked otherwise. (Map)

9:30 - 10:15 | Registration, Coffee, and Welcome

  • Sarah Patterson and Jim Casey, Colored Convention Co-Coordinators
  • Clay Colmon, Director of Grants Committee and Jessica Conrad, Founding CCP member

10:15 - 10:30 | Break

10:30 - 12:00 | Panel I: Debating Racial Conventions: Print and the Politics of Belonging

Moderator: Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Director,  Program in African American History, the Library Company of Philadelphia; associate professor, Department of Black Studies and History, University of Delaware.

  • Erica Ball, "Citizenship: Virtue and Politics in Antebellum Black Conventions"
  • Joan Bryant, "Colored Conventions and the American Race Problem"
  • Carla L. Peterson, “James McCune Smith, Race, and Constitutional Law”
  • Derrick R. Spires, “'Little Books' and Incendiary 'Address': The Politics of Form and Voice in the Colored Conventions"

12:00 - 12:15 | Walk to Lunch

12:15 - 1:15 | Lunch (Memorial Hall 3rd Floor Dome)

1:15 - 1:30 | Return to Library Class of 1941 Room

1:30 - 2:15 | Overview of the Colored Conventions Project

2:15 - 3:45 | Panel II:  Beyond the Podium: Women’s Work and the Politics of Inclusion

Moderator: Anne Boylan, Professor of History, University of Delaware

  • Jewon Woo, "Ohio’s Black Women Leaders at the Colored Conventions"
  • Psyche Williams-Forson, "Another Seam in the Fabric: Exploring Black Women, Domesticity and Material Culture in the Context of the Colored Conventions of the Nineteenth-Century"
  • Eric Gardner, “'Eloquently and Feelingly': Edmonia Highgate and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper at the 1864 Syracuse Convention" 

3:45 - 4:15 | Break

4:15 - 5:45 | Panel III: Black Schooling: Educational Philosophy and Conventional Heteropatriarchy

Moderator: Joycelyn Moody, Sue E. Denman Distinguished Chair in American Literature, University of Texas at San Antonio

  • Kabria Baumgartner, “'Without Reference to Sex or Complexion'”: The Evolution of African American Higher Education and the Antebellum Black Convention Movement”
  • Sarah Patterson, "'Speak Boldly for Your Rights': Postbellum Colored Education Conventions”
  • Jermaine Thibodeaux, "'To Be Swift in Accepting our Legal Equality': Creating Black Texans & Reproducing Heteropatriarchy at the 1883 Colored Men's Convention"

6:00 - 8:00 | Dinner on your own or at Taverna Restaurant (121 E. Main St, Newark, DE) Directions.

Saturday, April 25

All sessions held in the Delaware Historical Society Reading Room unless marked otherwise. (Map)

Note: Food and drinks are not allowed in the DHS Reading Room, and coffee and snacks will not be provided. 

9:30 - 10:00 | Welcome and Logistics

  • Dr. A. Sheree Brown, Head Curator, Center for African American Heritage, Delaware Historical Society
  • Michele Blum, Colored Conventions Symposium Planner and Team Member
  • P. Gabrielle Foreman, Faculty Director, Colored Conventions Project.

10:00 - 11:30 | Panel IV: Spaces and Unconventional Networks

Moderator: John Ernest, Chair, Department of English, University of Delaware

  • Jim Casey, "Conventional and Unconventional Hubs of Nineteenth Century African American History"
  • Margarita Simon Guillory, "William Cooper Nell and the Politics of Religion in the Colored Conventions Movement”
  • Jean Pfaelzer, "The California Colored Conventions and the Formation of Black Abolition in California"

11:30 - 1:15 | Lunch at Chelsea Tavern 821 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801

  • (Limited to symposium participants)


1:30 - 2:30 | Reconvening: National Teaching Partners, Research Opportunities, and Undergraduate Poster Session

Moderators: Kimberly Blockett, Associate Professor of English, Penn State, Brandywine

Sarah Patterson, Ph.D. Candidate, Co-Coordinator, the Colored Conventions Project, University of Delaware

  • Monica Lindsay, University of Delaware
  • Nathan Nikolic, University of Delaware
  • Caleb Trotter, University of Delaware
  • Heather Sinkinson, Penn. State University
  • Haleigh Swansen, Penn. State University

2:30 - 2:45 | Break

2:45 - 4:15 | Panel V: Emigration, Movement, and Debate

Moderator: Dr. Richard S. Newman, Director, The Library Company of Philadelphia

  • Selena R. Sanderfer, "The Emigration Debate in the Southern Colored Conventions, 1865-1885"
  • Nevell Owens, "Conventions, the Idea of Africa and Emigration Debates"
  • Andre Johnson, "All Aboard: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the 1893 National Negro Convention"

4:15 - 4:30 | Break

4:30 - 6:00 | Panel VI:  Living Legacies and Historic Churches: Next Steps, Future Plans.

Moderator: Denise Burgher, Historic Churches Outreach Liaison, the Colored Conventions Project

  • Dr. A. Sheree Brown, Head Curator, Center for African American Heritage, Delaware Historical Society
  • Cheryl LaRoche, historical archeologist and lecturer in American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Pamela F. Tilley, Historiographer of the Connectional Lay, African Methodist Episcopal Church 

6:15-6:45 | Closing Comments and Evaluations

  • Sarah Patterson, Co-Coordinator, the Colored Conventions Project, Ph.D. candidate, English department, University of Delaware
  • Jim Casey, Co-Coordinator, the Colored Conventions Project, Ph.D. Candidate, English department, University of Delaware
  • P. Gabrielle Foreman, Ned B. Allen Professor of English, Professor of Black Studies, Faculty Director, the Colored Conventions Project, University of Delaware

7 o'clock | Dinner at Chelsea Tavern 821 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801.


Adjournment Sine Die.


Updated April 2015.