Paine College Department of Humanities to Celebrate 19th Anniversary of Evelyn G. Etheridge Conference of the Harlem Renaissance and to Commemorate the Centennial Birth of Celebrated Author and Alumnus, Frank G. Yerby, ‘37

Posted by painewebmaster | 09/20/2016 11:09 AM

By Jeffrey Lanier Jones
The Paine College Department of Humanities will celebrate the 19
th Anniversary of the Evelyn G. Etheridge Conference on the Harlem Renaissance on November 2 4, 2016 at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. The Conference, founded in 1997 by Dr. Lola Richardson, former chair of the Department and Paine Alumna, will examine the national and international impact of one of the most important artistic and cultural movements in history that spanned from 1919 to 1940 and produced notable writers, critics, and artists such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Aaron Douglas, Ann Petry, Bessie Smith, and Duke Ellington. This year’s theme, “Precursors, Periods, and Postscripts: Critical Thought, Beliefs, Productions, and Activism Before, During, and After the Harlem Renaissance” invites professors, undergraduate and graduate students, and independent scholars to present research that will examine the origins and the legacy of the Renaissance through interdisciplinary collaborations. Special guest presenters include Dr. Christopher Varlack of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Doris Wellington, independent scholar and author, Atlanta, Georgia. The Conference keynote speaker is Dr. Daniel Black of Clark Atlanta University, renowned scholar and author of They Tell Me of a Home, The Sacred Place, The Coming, and his latest novel, Listen to the Lambs.

This year’s Conference will also highlight and honor the artistic contributions and legacy of Paine College Alumnus and Bestselling Author, Frank Garvin Yerby of the Class of 1937 on the centennial of his birth. Yerby was an acclaimed author who wrote over 30 novels and numerous short stories and poems including the 1946 publication of his first novel, The Foxes of Harrow, which garnered him international acclaim. He enjoyed considerable success during his lifetime and was the most prolific and commercially successful author of his time. After his death in Madrid, Spain in 1991, Yerby’s influence upon American literature continues to be analyzed and treasured. In sum, this conference will feature scholars on Yerby such as Dr. Maryemma Graham of the University of Kansas, Dr. Veronica Watson from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Dr. John Lowe, University of Georgia, Stephanie Brown of The Ohio State University at Newark, and Ms. Jameelah Jones of the University of Kansas who will assess his significance to American letters. Special events will include a visual arts exhibition and book fair, author book signing, and a community festival that will highlight various student and community groups and gives thanks to the Augusta community for its support of Paine College.

For more information on the Conference and the Yerby Centennial, please contact Prof. Nancy Wellington Bookhart at 706.294.1369 or by email at NBookhart@paine.edu.