2020 Schedule - Coastal Carolina University
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Conference Schedule

IGGAD2020: Without Borders Program (updated 2.28) - PDF


Jump to: Thursday | FridaySaturday


Wednesday, March 4

4:30 - 7 p.m. | Opening Reception at Freewoods Farm



Thursday, March 5

9 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.
EHFA 136 | Reconstruction/Making Culture 
Moderator: Becky Childs, CCU
  • The Evolution of Gullah Geechee: From Turner 1949 to the Children who Speak Gullah Geechee
    Jessica Berry
  • Reconstruction in the Gullah/Geechee
    Debra Dozier-Coulter
  • “For We are Making History”: John W. Bolts and Archival Memory in South Carolina
    Valerie McLaurin
  • Mobility among South Carolina Coastal Lawmakers during Reconstruction
    Alison McLetchie
EHFA 137 | The Arts: Music/Theater Gullah Geechee Diaspora
Moderator: Scott Bacon, CCU
  • Your Voice is My Sound: Audio Recording Technology, Identity and Re-Creating the Gullah/Geechee Diaspora
    Anthony Sanchez
  • African Diasporic Migrations from Rural to Urban Spaces: Alice Childress’ Reconstruction of Home in her Plays Gullah and Sea Island Song
    Corrie Claiborne
  • Oonuh Weary Ones Come on Home and Rest
    Dorothy Montgomery
  • Reflections on a Geechee Woman's Southern Journey
    Sandra Allen Lesibu
10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Recital Hall

Welcome Address - Holley Tankersley, Associate Provost and Eric Crawford and Alli Crandell

Plenary Discussion: Reimagining African American Heritage
Moderator: Victoria Smalls, Penn Center

Jeanne Cyriaque has worked in African American heritage for over twenty years. She currently is the immediate past chair of the Georgia Humanities Council. She was the original programs coordinator for the Georgia African American Historic Network (GAAHPN), and served as the editor for its award-winning publication Reflections. Cyriaque’s involvement in statewide initiatives brings urgency and awareness to the delicate process of nurturing important African American histories by and with communities. She was an inaugural commissioner of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor and is a member of the board of advisors for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She received the Lillian C. Lynch Citation from the Georgia Museum of Art and the Mary Gregory Jewett Award from the Georgia Trust for her achievements in historic preservation. Cyriaque received her B.A. from Bradley University (’72) and her M.A from University of Illinois-Urbana (’73), both in Sociology.


Jannie Harriot is currently the chairperson of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC). Over the last 30 years, Harriot has worked to identify and promote the preservation of historic African American sites and buildings, enrich programming for black children and increase visibility through collaborations with state and local historical organizations—in an effort to make the region’s African American history more visible and accessible. 

Harriot was a 2009 Purpose Prize Fellow, selected in 2010 as one of South Carolina’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence; the “Herbert A. DeCosta, Jr. Trailblazer” award for dedication to the preservation of African American history and culture in South Carolina in 2014; in 2018, the South Carolina Conference of NAACP awarded her the Presidential Citation in Education and Advocacy; the 2019 AT&T African American History Calendar month of May; selected for the first class inducted into the Ernest A. Finney Hall of Fame in 2018 and awarded “The order of the Palmetto” in 2019.


Justin RobinsonJustin Robinson is a Grammy award-winning musician and vocalist, cultural preservationist, and historic foodways expert. Outside his work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Robinson has used his wide range of interests and talents to preserve North Carolina’s African American history and culture, connecting people to the past and to the world around them. Robinson’s work focuses on preserving African American musical and culinary traditions, as well as helping African Americans rekindle their ties to the land.


12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Hicks Dining Hall | Lunch and In-Progress Project Presentations
  • From Africa and France to Haiti and Carolina: the Noisette Family's Journey - Prince Fellows, CCU
  • The Gullah Geechee Cultural Preservation Project - Athenaeum Press, CCU
  • African Diaspora in World Music - CCU Music Students
1:45 - 3:15 p.m.
EHFA 136 | gender / agency / land
Moderator: Shari Orisich, CCU
  • Adinkrahene: Honoring Women’s Leadership and Greatness Through Fiber and Textiles
    Precious Lovell
  • A Form of Skilled Labor: Entrepreneurial Gullah Geechee Women and “Head Carrying”
    Alisha Cromwell
  • Ambassadors for Africa: Shirley Graham Dubois and Diaspora Africans in Ghana
    Emmanuella Amoh
  • Historical Transformations of Land Tenure: Gender Inequality and the Rural Household Poverty in Tanzania, 1890s-2000s
    Jumanne Ngohengo
EHFA 137 | Deepening the Sierra Leone-Gullah Connection
  • Introduction by Darla Domke-Damonte
  • Moderated by Amadu Massally
3:20 - 4:15 p.m.
Johnson Auditorium (Wall Building) | Conversation with Margaret Washington

Margaret Washington is an esteemed Professor at Cornell University, where she teaches History and American Studies. Her research includes African American cultural/intellectual/religious, Gender, and the American South. 

Some of her most notable work, A Peculiar People: Slave Religion and Community Culture Among the Gullahs, published in 1988, explores the African Secret Societies that heavily influenced, and adapted for, and within the creation of Gullah Geechee spirituality, and Afro Christianity.  Reviewing the book in 1989, Charles Joyner writes, “Relying on records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and documents from various denominations, ex-slave narratives, memoirs, manuscript correspondence, contemporary periodicals, and court records, she has painstakingly pieced together her story from scattered sources. Creel’s command of the literature of African ethnology is the most impressive of any historian thus far writing on slavery.” 

In 2011, Washington published Sojourner Truth’s America, which interprets the life of the prolific Black American abolitionist, suffragist, and activist through an examination of her personal motivations, and the ways her work and life have been interpreted and received by others.  

Moderated by Sara Daise


4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Johnson Auditorium (Wall Building) | Reading by Colin Grant and Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna is the award-winning author of the four novels HappinessThe Hired ManThe Memory of Love and Ancestor Stones, and the critically acclaimed memoir The Devil that Danced on the Water. Her fiction has won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book Award and the PEN Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, as has been short-listed for the Neustadt Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction, the IMPAC Award, the Warwick Prize and nominated for the European Prize for Fiction. Her memoir was serialized on BBC Radio and in The Sunday Times newspaper. Forna is currently a Lannan Visiting Chair at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.



Colin GrantColin Grant is an author, historian, and Associate Fellow in the Centre for Caribbean Studies. His books include: Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey; and a group biography of the Wailers, I&I, The Natural Mystics. His memoir of growing up in a Caribbean family in 1970s Luton, Bageye at the Wheel, was shortlisted for the Pen/Ackerly Prize, 2013. Grant’s history of epilepsy, A Smell of Burning, was a Sunday Times Book of the Year 2016.

As a producer for the BBC, Grant wrote and directed several radio drama documentaries including African Man of Letters: The Life of Ignatius Sancho; and A Fountain of Tears: The Murder of Federico Garcia Lorca.

Grant also writes for a number of newspapers and journals including the Guardian, TLS and New York Review of Books. Grant’s latest book is Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation.




Sharmilla Beezmohun has worked in publishing since 1994. She co-founded Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions in 2010 with Sarah Sanders. Speaking Volumes’ original Breaking Ground project (2013 on) promotes British writers of colour, with authors performing internationally, including in the USA. Breaking New Ground champions British writers and illustrators of colour for children and young adults.

In 2010 Sharmilla’s first novel, Echoes of a Green Land, was published in translation in Spain as Ecos de la tierra verde. She edited Continental Shifts, Shifts in Perception: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe (2016) and, with Sarah White and Roxy Harris, co-edited A Meeting of the Continents: The International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books (2005).

Sharmilla is a Trustee of the George Padmore Institute, an archive housing unique collections of material from pioneering Black British political and cultural organisations of the last 70 years.


Reception and Book Signing to follow.

Event is Free and Open to the Public

7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Drawing Circles through Dance
  • At Theatre of the Republic, Downtown Conway
  • Performances by Tamara Williams and Moving Spirits Dance Company, Kankouran West African Dance Company, and Miya Fowler.

    Purchase Tickets ($5-10) > 


Friday, March 6

8 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.
EHFA 164 | Marketing the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor: Is There a Better Way?
  • Facilitators: Heather Hodges, Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, and Laura Mandala, Mandala Research
9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
EHFA 136 | Africana Resistance
Moderator: Richard Aidoo, CCU
  • Tracing Cultures of Resistance to Slavery in the Atlantic Diaspora: Extrapolations from Enslaved Igbo Experience
    Nnamdi C. Ajaebili
  • Resistance to Enslavement in Georgia’s Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor: The Case of the Ebo Landing Rebellion in Glynn County and the Boggy Swamp Plantation Rebellion in Camden County
    J. Vern Cromartie
  • Clothing as Identity and Resistance: A Case Study of Women’s Sunday Dress in Gullah Geechee Communities
    Hattie Jordan
  • Rethinking Globalization: Edouard Glissant’s Tout-Monde as a Diasporic Call Towards Imaginary Wholelands
    Mamadou Moustapha Ly
EHFA 137 | Magic, Mysticism, Afrofuturism, Ways of Knowing
Moderator: Shari Orisich, CCU
  • Beenyahs BEEN Magic: Re-imagining the South Carolina Lowcountry as a Portal for Africana and Indigenous Ways of Knowing
    Sara Daise
  • The Shadow of the Leopard: Understanding Ekpe/Mgbe and Nsibidi
    Kevin J. Hales
  • Gullah’s Trabbels
    Khadija Kamara
  • Erna Brodber’s Louisiana: Moving beyond Borders to Understand Transnational Slavery
    Matthew Miller
10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Edwards Recital Hall | Keynote Panel: Imagining Archives without Borders

Steven G. Fullwood is a documentarian, archivist and writer. He is the co-founder of The Nomadic Archivists Project, an initiative that partners with organizations, institutions, and individuals to establish, preserve, and enhance collections that explore the African Diasporic experience. Fullwood is the former assistant curator of the Manuscripts, Archives & Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In 1998, he founded the In the Life Archive (ITLA) to aid in the preservation of materials produced by LGBTQ people of African descent. 


Miranda Mims, Nomadic Archivists ProjectMiranda Mims is the Special Collections Archivist for Discovery and Access and Curator of modern literature and publishers, human rights and social justice, and local LGBTQ history and culture in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation (RBSCP) at the University of Rochester. She is the co-founder of the Nomadic Archivist Project (NAP), an awardee of the Society of American Archivists Foundation (SAAF). NAP is an initiative devoted to developing relationships and beginning conversations around preserving legacy, memory, connection, and trust in the African diaspora. Mims is formerly an archivist at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and at Catholic University's Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literature and its Institute of Christian Oriental Research (ICOR).


Chaitra Powell is the African American Collections & Outreach Archivist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The Library Journal named Powell a 2017 Mover & Shaker in the library field for her efforts in making marginalized voices central to the archives. She has spearheaded the African American Families Documentation Initiative since 2014, and supplied guidance to community archiving projects like the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum. She received both her B.A. in Sociology (’07) and M.A. in Library Science (’10) from The University of Arizona.

Powell embodies the critical task of synthesizing African American cultural artifacts that have been historically hidden or neglected. Powell has coined the term “community-driven archives” as a methodology for communities to understand the importance of their stories, to participate in conversations of cultural preservation alongside researchers and practitioners, and to distribute the agency in collecting and accessioning materials. Powell is the project director for a multi-year Mellon Grant focused on developing tools and strategies to support community driven archives, such as Archivist in a Backpack, which translates the oral history process into an accessible and affordable backpack kit.

Moderator: Alli Crandell, CCU

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
West Field House (Brooks Auditorium) | Lunch Discussion: Researching Cultural Heritage and Conservation on Cumberland Island, GA
Introductions: Carolyn Dillian and David Palmer

Kelly Goldberg, Kevin Fogle, Heather Hodges, and Keilah Spann
1:45 - 3:15 p.m.
Recital Hall | Family Stories, Historical Fiction, Archives 
Moderator: Scott Bacon, CCU 
  • Making Invisible Stories Visible: Mitchelville Augmented Reality Tour Project
    Christopher Maraffi
  • Developing Online Archives for Interactive Humanities Projects
    Betsy Newman and Patrick Hayes
  • Making Peace With the Stories You Get
    Althea Sumpter
  • Subversive Cartography of the Lowcountry
    Judith L. Strathearn
EHFA 137 | Diasporic Movement
Moderator: Shari Orisich, CCU
  • Expanding the Circle of Culture: And Africana Studies Examination of Haitian and Gullah-Geechee Social Contracts
    Samuel Livingston
  • Promising Freedom at the Edge of an Empire
    Grace Turner
  • Back to Africa? Revisiting Historical and Contemporary African Return Movements
    Hewan Girma

EHFA 136 | Tales of, and Revelations from Material Culture and Vernacular Arts As Tools of Resistance Moderator: 

Anne Bouie

3:30 - 4:45 p.m.
EHFA 136 | Learning Land
Moderator: Sara Makeba Daise, CCU
  • Indigenous Ontologies: Gullah Geechee Autonomy in Livelihoods of Abundance in the Americas
    Sharon Fuller
  • Juba—Sanctuary
    Scott Barton
  • Voodoo in the News: New Orleans, 1804-1857
    Susan Kwosek
  • Black Indigeneity: exploring the ethno-racial policy and culture of the Garifuna and others in Central America
    Sheryl Felecia Means
5 - 7:15 p.m.
Singleton Ballroom | Wrap Up Presentation, Discussion and Dinner Reception

Toten' Brookgreen Plantation Back Home to Africa
Veronica Gerald and Deon K. Turner
7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Reclaiming the Banjo

Purchase Tickets ($5-10) > 


Saturday, March 7, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Complete schedule at gullahgeecheeday.com . 



Learn more about the Conference

The 2020 IGGAD conference will bring together scholars, artists and community practitioners to trace the African Diaspora. Early registration expires on January 15.