July 14, 2011
MaryNell Morgan, of Greenwich, N.Y., a professor of Cultural Studies; Historical Studies; and Social Theory, Social Structure and Change at SUNY Empire State College’s Saratoga Springs location, was invited to participate at an interdisciplinary NEH Summer Institute, “The Role of Place in African-American Biography,” at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in conjunction with Williams College and the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail. It took place June 13 to July 10.
“I am honored to have been invited to take part in this program on such timely and important topics. I appreciated the opportunity to share ideas and scholarship with other college and university faculty from around the country, as well as interacting in a meaningful way with the institute’s core faculty,” said Morgan. “The core faculty are prominent thinkers in their fields, and I was pleased to be among such good company.”
“It is always an honor for any faculty member to be invited to participate in an NEH institute; it represents national recognition of their expertise,” said Vice Provost Deborah Amory. “Dr. Morgan’s research and presentations on African-American history, and particularly the life and work of W.E.B. Du Bois, is magnificent; she well deserves this honor and this recognition.”
This four-week institute examined African Americans in New England from Colonial days to the early 20th century through explorations of individual biographies and the social history of blacks in New England through five representative lives – W.E.B. Du Bois, Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, Samuel Harrison, Agrippa Hull and James VanDerZee.
Dr. Morgan is a W.E.B. Du Bois scholar who has studied and presented research on Du Bois in various forums, both academic and popular.
The institute, led by Frances Jones-Sneed, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Robert Paynter, U-Mass-Amherst, and Richard Courage, Westchester Community College, featured guest lecturers in African-American history, American history, literature, art history and anthropology. The institute comprised lectures, discussions, historic site visits, and opportunities for research. The 25 participants were drawn from across academic disciplines and institutions and encouraged to share their expertise and approaches to pedagogy.
“Dr. Morgan has had a career-long engagement with the life and work of W. E. DuBois,” notes Northeast Center Dean Gerry Lorentz, “and her scholarship always has been grounded in a deep sense of place and the connections between place, identity, and social justice. Because of this, she was an excellent match for this particular NEH Institute and I’m sure that her colleagues benefited greatly from her participation.”
Celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2011, SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. Learners also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience.
The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, not-for-profit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. For additional information, visit www.esc.edu. For more on the 40th anniversary, please follow this link.
David M. Henahan, Director of Communications 518-587-2100, ext. 2918 David.Henahan@esc.edu
518-321-7038(after 5 p.m. and weekends)