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MLK colleague to address role of literature in social activism at symposium

March 26, 2001

A member of Martin Luther King's inner circle is the featured speaker for this year's Fifth Annual Joseph Asanbe Memorial Symposium, to be held Thursday, March 29 in the African American Cultural Center.

This year's event acknowledges the 45th anniversary of the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott and questions how study in the humanities contributes to social activism.

Dr. Ralph J. Bryson, distinguished professor of American literature at Alabama State University, Montgomery, will deliver the main address, "Can Literature Bridge the Racial Divide?"

Bryson's presentation follows a luncheon at 12:45 p.m., which also will be in the African American Cultural Center.

A panel discussion will be held from 3:20-4:15 p.m. in the center and will look at the contribution of humanities to social activism. Barry Kitterman, associate professor of English, will moderate the panel, which includes Bryson as well as Sharon Johnson, associate professor and head of acquisition/periodicals for the library. Dr. Linda Barnes, associate professor of English; fiction writer and essayist David H. Bradley, holder of the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence in the Creative Arts at APSU; Dr. C. Alvin Hughes, history professor; and Dr. William Carrasco, assistant professor of languages and literature, are also members of the panel.

The lecture and discussion are free and open to the public.

The symposium is named for the late Dr. Joseph Asanbe, who joined the faculty in 1987 and led the effort to make courses in African American literature part of the University's curricula.

For more information about events related to the symposium, telephone Dr. Mickey Wadia at 7448.