PORTLAND, Maine – A University of Southern Maine (USM) professor will present a lecture next week on African-American memorials in New England.
Eve Raimon, USM professor of English, will discuss the paradox of how public recovery projects of such memorials, while rightfully extolling black achievements, often omit other uncomfortable facts about our American past.
“It’s important to consider how we reshape the region’s landscape through these memorials and how we can pay tribute to the past without misrepresenting it because of our own contemporary difficulties with racial difference,” Raimon said.
The lecture is the first of four public lectures to be held this academic year by the USM English faculty, according to Benjamin Bertram, USM department chair in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and associate professor of English.
“Each fall and spring semester, our USM English faculty present lectures on their topics of research and inquiry,” said Bertram. “Quite often, these topics are of general interest, so we open the lectures to the public.
“Professor Raimon’s lecture will raise issues that still are being considered today around the region, and even in Portland, as our nation still struggles with the repercussions of American slavery,” he noted.
The details of the presentation are:
“We’re Better Than That”: Memory and Recovery in New England’s African-American Memorials; a lecture by Eve Raimon, University of Southern Maine professor of English, 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30, Room 209, Luther Bonney Building, USM Portland campus; free and open to the public.
Raimon’s lecture is drawn from her work on a book in progress titled, “Beyond the Black Heritage Trail: Race, Place and Public Memory in New England.”
The professor received her Ph.D. in American and English literature from Brandeis University. At USM, Raimon teaches 19th-century African-American and American literature and culture, gender studies, media studies and non-fiction writing.
Raimon’s previous publications include essays on a range of topics, most recently on incarceration and sexuality in the work of James Baldwin, American writer and social critic, as well as a book chapter on the mammy figure in Cheryl Dunye's “mockumentary,” titled “The Watermelon Woman.”
Raimon also is co-editor of the collection, “Harriet Wilson's New England: Race, Writing, & Region,” with a forward by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (University Press of New England, 2007). She also published “The ‘Tragic Mulatta’ Revisited: Race and Nationalism in Nineteenth Century Antislavery Fiction (Rutgers University Press, 2004).
The three remaining USM Department of English lectures are detailed below. All are free and open to the public.
· “Ireland’s Latest Troubles and the Rise and Decline of the Field Day Theatre Company”; a lecture by Bud McGrath, University of Southern Maine professor of English; 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 20, Glickman Library, University of Southern Maine, Portland campus.
· “Traditions and Talents: Rome, Britain, and World War I”; a lecture by Nancy Gish, University of Southern Maine professor of English; 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26, Room 213, Abromson Center, University of Southern Maine, Portland campus.
· “What You Do When You Hit a Wall: A Qualitative Study of Difficulty in First-Year Writing Courses”; a lecture by Ann Dean, University of Southern Maine associate professor of English; 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, Room 213, Abromson Center, University of Southern Maine, Portland campus.
For more information about the USM Department of English, go to: http://www.usm.maine.edu/eng