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October 13: James Baldwin Symposium Featuring John Edgar Wideman

James BaldwinThe legacy of James Baldwin will be discussed by celebrated author John Edgar Wideman and scholars Greg Thomas and McKinley Melton on Saturday, October 13, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Hampshire College’s Franklin Patterson Hall (MLH).

Hampshire invites the public to this symposium, “Branches of Baldwin: The Writer and His Legacy.” Admission is free.

The event is one of several planned in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Hampshire’s James Baldwin Scholars program. The program is named for preeminent African American writer and scholar James Baldwin, who taught at Hampshire. It provides scholarships to talented, ambitious students from underserved communities who can benefit from a transitional academic year to develop and improve skills necessary for success in college.

John Edgar Wideman has received numerous literary awards, including the American Book Award and the O. Henry Prize. He is the first writer to win the International PEN/Faulkner Award twice, and is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and was a Rhodes Scholar.

Currently the Asa Messer Professor at Brown University, Wideman is a former Amherst resident and former faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Greg Thomas, a professor of global black studies in the English department at Syracuse University, holds a Ph.D. from University of California Berkeley and an M.A. from SUNY-Binghamton.

McKinley Melton, an English professor at Gettysburg College, taught previously at Hampshire College. His research and teaching interests are in the literatures and spiritual traditions of Africa and the African diaspora. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a B.A. from Duke University.

The symposium is part of Family, Alumni, and Friends Weekend, October 12-14, at Hampshire College.

More on the program, a video invitation to current and former JBs:

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