9th Annual African, African American, & Diaspora (AAAD) Interdisciplinary Conference
This year's theme is “Bodies in Motion.” Ranging across topics from the politics of migration to the aesthetics of black embodiment, from action films to political activism; the conference will bring together a group of scholars from a wide variety of overlapping and intersecting fields.
Feb 21, 2019, 1:00 PM
James Madison University,
Harrisonburg, VA 22801, USA

Eric J. Montgomery, PhD

Wayne State University​ &

Michigan State University

Keynote Speaker

"Spirits in Motion: Cross-Currents

of Vodun and Orisha in the African Diaspora"


Dr. Heather Coltman

James Madison University

Provost and Senior Vice President

For Academic Affairs

Featured Speaker

"My Lord, What a Morning":

The Music and Life of Marian Anderson


Modern Building


Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Valley Conference Center

Official Hotel of JMU

710 S Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | (540) 564-0220|

Hotel Madison

Online Group Code AAAD19 or call 540-564-0200

Courtyard by Marriott Harrisonburg

1890 Evelyn Byrd Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | (540) 432-3031|

Courtyard by Marriott Harrisonburg

DoubleTree by Hilton Harrisonburg

1400 E Market St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | (540) 433-2521|

DoubleTree by Hilton Harrisonburg

Hampton Inn Harrisonburg – University

85 University Blvd., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | (540) 432-1111|

Hampton Inn Harrisonburg

Residence Inn by Marriott Harrisonburg

1945 Deyerle Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | (540) 437-7426|

Residence Inn by Marriott Harrisonburg


Hands Holding a Map


UberEats: Delivery from a variety of restaurants & fast-food

Golden Pony: Specializing in scratch-made American cuisine.

Pinball machines, art gallery, outdoor patio, two full bars, & live music.

Menu: goldenponyva.com


Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint

80 S Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Menu: jackbrownsjoint.com

Billy Jack's: Wings, chili cheese fries & a variety of craft beers.

92 S Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Menu: billyjacksshack.com

Jimmy Madison's: Southern cooking & robust whiskey list.

121 S Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Menu: jimmymadisons.com

Clementine: Live music, art & trivia at this funky bi-level lounge.

153 S Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Menu: clementinecafe.com

Capital Ale House

41-A Court Square, Harrisonburg, VA  Menu: capitalalehouse.com

MORE: THE 10 BEST Restaurants in Harrisonburg 2019 - TripAdvisor


Event Schedule

LOCATIONS: Madison Union (MU), Madison Hall (MH), and the Student Success Center (SSC)

Thursday, February  21st

1-3:45 pm: MU 256  AAAD 498 Sr. Research Experience.

4-5:00 pm: MU 302 Africana Literatures & Cultures Workshop

                                             (Speaker, Dr. Montgomery) 

6-9:00 pm: Cultural Night @ the Golden Pony. 181 N Main St




Friday, February 22nd

7:45-8:30 am: SSC 1075 Registration & Breakfast


8:20 am: Official opening, Robert Aguirre, Dean

of College of Arts & Letters, James Madison University


8:45-10:15 am: Panel/Session I

10:30-12:00 am: Panel/Session II

12:00-1:00 pm: SSC 1075 Lunch


1:00 pm: MH 1001 Keynote Speaker, Eric J. Montgomery.

Moderator: Shah Hanifi, Associate Professor of History 


2:15-3:15 pm: Panel/Session III​


4:00 pm: MH 1002 Featured Speaker, Provost Heather Coltman,

James Madison University

Moderator: Joanne Gabbin, Director of Furious Flower Poetry Center

Africana Cultures, Philosophies and Politics

Thursday, February 21, 2019

1:00-3:45 PM
Madison Union 256

Exploring Critical Africana Studies: African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

Senior Research Experience (AFST 489)

Claire Schroeder, International Affairs/AAAD, James Madison University

“The Ethnic Group Aspect to the Mau Mau Rebellion”

Liam Brennan, Computer Science/AAAD, James Madison University

“Mwalimu Julius Kabarage Nyerere’s Socialist Legacy in Capitalist Tanzania”

Debra Ferguson, Sociology/AAAD, James Madison University

“Black Music: A History Told Through Decades”

Zenobia Lee-Nelson, Communication Studies, James Madison University

“Movements and Black Queer Narrating”

Marissa Triola, History/Anthropology/Africana Studies, James Madison University

"Cape Coast castle: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, European Imperialism, and the Surrounding Community”

Savana Brown, James Madison University

"Anatomy of the Apologetic Black Woman"

Jasmine Holliday, Justice Studies, James Madison University

"Black Queer Artists Reshaping Black Space"

4:00-5:00 PM
Madison Union 302

Africana Literatures & Cultures Workshop 

Moderator: Besi Muhonja, Associate Professor, AAAD/Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, James Madison University

Presenter: Eric Montgomery, Wayne State University. 

“Mami Wata: Sacred Feminine”

6:00-9:00 PM
Golden Pony
181 N Main St

Cultural Night @ the Golden Pony

 A celebration of Africana cultures.

(food, entertainment poetry, dance, conversation, and networking)

Featured Performers

DJBeCope: djbecope.com

Lauren K. Alleyne: laurenkalleyne.com

Asst. Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center - Spoken Word

African Student Organization (ASO) - African Dance

JMU Bhangra - Asian Dancers


Session Presentations and 60 min. Panels

Friday, February 22, 2019

LOCATIONS:  Madison Hall (MH) and the Student Success Center (SSC)

Session/Panel I

8:45 - 10:15 AM

Panel 1,  MH 2069, Bodies in Motion: Colonial Wounds/Postcolonial Repair

Panel Sponsored by Art History, James Madison University

Moderator: Mary Thompson, Associate Professor of English, James Madison University

Maureen Shanahan, Professor of Art History, James Madison University

Beth Hinderliter, Associate Professor of Cross-Disciplinary Studies, James Madison University

Nefin Dinç, Assistant Professor, School of Media Arts & Design, James Madison University 


Session 1a, MH 2001: Cuando lleguemos, nunca llegamos / When We Arrive, We Never Arrive:

Borderlands and the Intersecting Politics of Race, Place, and National Identity.

Sponsored by Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies

Moderator: Case Watkins, Assistant Professor of Justice Studies​​

William Van Norman, Associate Professor of History, James Madison University. “From Cuba to Spain to the Atlantic World: The Creation of Illegal Slave Trading Family Networks, 1820-1850”

Daniel Morales, Assistant Professor of History, James Madison University

“Letras y Ciudadanos: Mexican Migrant Letters to the Mexican Government”

Brenci Patiño, Associate Professor of Spanish, Mary Baldwin University

“Diasporic Movements of Resistance: Music and Dance at the Border”

Allison Fagan, Associate Professor of English, James Madison University

“Documenting the Undocumented Black Body in Motion: Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s Narrative Odyssey”


Session 1b, SSC 4047: Representations of Africa and the Diaspora in Literature and Poetry.

Moderator: Emeka Anaza, Assistant  Professor of  Hospitality, Sport, & Recreation Management, James Madison University

Kimingichi Wabende, Department of Literature, University of Nairobi

“Politics of Naming and Owning in Gender and Sexuality”

Quincy Flowers, Assistant Professor of English, Kingsborough Community College

“‘On the Stretch’: the ‘Flying African’ and Fiction Out of Bounds”

Peter Eubanks, Associate Professor of French, James Madison University

“Suffocating in the Ghetto of Exoticism: Guy Tirolien and the Orientalizing of the Black Body”


Session 1c, SSC 4043: Communities, Movements, and Activism

Moderator: Meg Mulrooney, Professor/University programs

Kyle Rothemich, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

“‘Set Free from Slavery’: Bondage and Freedom in the Antebellum Shenandoah Valley”

Kyle McGovern, History, University of North Carolina Wilmington

“The Transformation of Political Activism in Sport between 1967-1968”

Steven Thomas, Northeast Neighborhood Association and 

Susan Zurbrigg, Professor of Art, James Madison University “The Dallard-Newman House of Historic ‘Newtown’ (Northeast Harrisonburg, VA)”

Session/Panel II

10:30 - 12:00 PM

Panel 2, MH 2069:  Fade to Black: Race in the Work of Contemporary Black Filmmakers.

Moderator: Dolores Flamiano, Professor of Media Arts and Design

Jonathan Albrite, Department of English, James Madison University

Mitchell Teal, Department of English, James Madison University

Rob Austin Porter, Department of English, James Madison University

Session 2a, MH 2001: Perpetual Resistance: Afro-Brazilian Politics of Race, Place, and Literatures

Sponsored by Latin American, Latin & Caribbean Studies, James Madison University

Moderator: Melinda Adams, Associate Dean, Public and International Affairs, James Madison University

Kristin Wylie, Assistant Professor of Political Science, James Madison University

“The New Marielles? Gender, Race, and Political Ambition in Brazil” (w/ Malu Gatto, University College London)

Lilian Feitosa, Assistant Professor of Portuguese, General Faculty, University of Virginia

“Afro-Brazilian Children’s Literature: Denouncing Injustice, Constructing an Identify, and Connecting to Africa”

Case Watkins, Assistant Professor of Justice Studies, James Madison University

“Territories of/as Resistance: Afro-Brazilian Communities and Environmental Politics in Neoliberal Brazil”

Parker Brookie, Ph.D. Student in Spanish, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Fortified Enclaves” in Contemporary Brazil: Segregation and Racialized Fear in the Film Neighboring Sounds

Session 2b, SSC 4043: Storytelling through Music and Performance

Moderator: Beth Hinderliter, Associate Professor of Cross-Disciplinary Studies, James Madison University

Brittany S. Harris, School of Performing Arts, Virginia Tech

“Breathing Life into the Black and White: Performing Sandra Bland”

DJ Be Cope, Independent Artist and Venus Miller, Career Readiness Coordinator, James Madison University "Hip Hop: Through the Eyes of a Legend" 

Session 2c, SSC 4047: Bodies in Motion: African Cosmologies and Diasporic Connections

Moderator: AJ Morey, Associate Vice Provost and Cross Disciplinary Studies

Sarah Richter, Art History, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

“Navigating the Atlantic: Fabrice Monteiro’s Photographic Vision of Fractured Atlantic World Legacy”

Liseli A. Fitzpatrick, Visiting Lecturer in Africana Studies, Wellesley College

“Black Bodies and the Sacred: Embodiment, Movement and Materialization of African Cosmologies amidst the Dark Ages of Slavery and Colonialism”

Michelle D. Cude, Associate Professor and Lisa Schick, Educational Foundations & Exceptionalities Department, James Madison University “Bodies in Motion: Maasai Girls Moving Forward with Hope!”

Session/Panel III

2:15 - 3:45 PM

Panel 3, MH 2069: Play Diplomacy for Social Justice 

Sponsored by the Gandhi Center

Moderator: Terry Beitzel, Associate Professor of Justice Studies, James Madison University

Smita Mathur, Associate Professor Early Elementary Education, James Madison University

John Glick and Nani Glick, Patch Adams Associates

Session 3a, MH 2001: Movements, Bodies, and Landscapes

Sponsored by The Africana Literatures and Cultures Workshop (ALCW)

Moderator: Mollie Godfrey, Associate Professor of English, James Madison University

David Babcock, Assistant Professor of English, James Madison University “The Bildung of the Professional Class: Development’s Narrative Genres in Mary Karooro Okurut’s The Invisible Weevil”

Brooks Hefner, Associate Professor of English, James Madison University

“On the Pre-History of the Black Superhero”

Case Watkins, Assistant Professor of Justice Studies, James Madison University

“Complexity in an Afro-Brazilian Landscape: Palm Oil and Sociological Change in the Atlantic World”

Sofia Samatar, Department of English, James Madison University and 

Lauren K. Alleyne, Asst. Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center & Assoc. Professor of English, JMU

“World-Makers or Space-Takers? Black Study and the Campus Body”

Panel 3b, SSC 4043: Scrambled and Stunted Futures

Sponsored by University of Virginia’s African-American & African Studies and

the Carter G. Woodson Center Institute

Kwame Edwin-Otu, University of Virginia 

Delali Kumavie, Northwestern University

Chinwe Oriji, University of Texas at Austin

Titilola Halimat Somoton, Columbia University 

Dr. Anne Rotich, University of Virginia

Session 3c, SSC 4047: Race, Religion, Identity, and Migration

Moderator: Andrew WitmerAssociate Professor of History, James Madison University

Don Politie, Jr., History, University of South Carolina “Isabel Gonzalez and the Puerto Rican Insular Cases: Policing Race, Gender, and Citizenship under the U.S. Jim Crow Empire”

Cristovão Oluwasegun Oriowo Nwachukwu, English, University of Florida

“Black Girl in Paris: Decolonizing Mind and Body”

Tony Royle Jr., American Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"African Migration to Italy Through Film"

Marina Shafik, Department of English, James Madison University

“Civilized Slaveholding: Slavery, Race, and Modern Citizenship in the Cherokee Nation”


African, African American, & Diaspora Studdies (AAAD) 

Conference Chair Conveners

Dr. Talé Mitchell

Assistant Professor of Advertising
School of Media Arts & Design

Dr. Emeka Anaza

Assistant Professor, Hart School of Hospitality,
Sport, and Recreation Management


Dr. Besi Muhonja and Dr. Mollie Godfrey

Coordinators for African, African American, and Diaspora Studies (AAAD)

Conference Committe

Dr. Melinda Adams

Associate Dean and Professor of Political Science

Dr. AJ Morey

Associate Vice Provost for Cross Disciplinary Studies

Emily Neighbors

Event Planner and Curriculum Support Specialist​

Dr. Shah Mahmoud Hanifi

Associate Professor of History

Dr. Brooks Hefner

Associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English

Dr. Sofia Samatar,

Assistant Professor of English

Dr. Lamont King

 Associate Professor of History and Associate Director of the Ghana Summer Program

Venus Miller 

Career Readiness Coordinator

Jasmine Holiday

AAAD Intern

Debra Ferguson

AAAD Intern

Abena A. Opoku 

AAAD Intern


Our Sponsors

Working Together

College of Arts & Letters


Department of English JMU

School of Media Arts & Design (SMAD)

Black Students Alliance

Office of Access & Inclusion

African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

African Student Organization

Center for Multicultural
Student Services

Center for Global Engagement

CAL Visiting Scholars Program

Furious Flower poetry Center

Cross-Disciplinary Studies

Hart School of Hospitality; Sport and Recreation Management

African Literatures and Culture Workshop

Center for Faculty Innovation


Contact Us

If you have questions about the registration process, our schedule or general information, don’t hesitate to reach out.

90 Bluestone Drive
Room 102
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807


©2020 Annual AAAD Interdisciplinary Conference.