Honors Symposia – Caleb Smith

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On Friday, February 16th, 2018, Dr. Caleb Smith of Yale University, presented an English and Writing Symposium that was co-sponsored by the Honors Program on his recently published book, The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict: Austin Reed. Austin Reed was a black prison inmate in New York during the 1800s who wrote about what it was like to be in prison during that time period. In his presentation, Dr. Smith discussed the process of converting Austin Reed’s writing into a readable manuscript and the various findings that resulted, including finding that parts of the manuscript were plagiarized and other parts were fanciful imaginings that didn’t actually happen.

Honors Symposia – Dan Berger

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On Thursday, February 22nd, Dr. Dan Berger from the University of Washington presented to Honors students on his recent book, Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era. In his book, Dr. Berger illustrates that civil rights activists used the prison system both to help organize their activism and as a symbol of racial oppression.

Honors Symposia – Alisha Gaines

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On September 22nd, Dr. Alisha Gaines, Assistant Professor of English at Florida State University and author of Black for a Day: Fantasies of Race and Empathy, spoke to UT Honors students. Dr. Gaines’s presentation was arranged and sponsored by the Department of English & Writing as a Scholar’s Symposium and was co-sponsored by the Honors Program. Dr. Gaines discussed some of her work examining efforts of White people trying to understand what it means to be Black in America by trying to pass as Black, typically for a very short period of time.