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2009 Events & News

February 25, 2009
Lecture: Maroun Aouad, "Arab Medieval Philosophers' Doctrines on War"
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[ Webcast ]

February 26, 2009
Maurice Jackson To Discuss Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism
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[ Webcast ]

February 28, 2009
Kislak Fellowship in American Studies - Application deadline - February 28, 2009
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March 25, 2009
Joseph Kosek Will Lecture on Radical Christian Pacifists on March 25 at Library of Congress
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[ Webcast ]

April 2, 2009
Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, Kluge Chair of Modern Culture, will discuss "Blooming Cherry Blossoms, Falling Cherry Blossoms: Symbolism of the Flower in Japanese Culture and History" at 4 p.m. in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress.
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[ Webcast ]

April 29, 2009
Michael D. Coe To Present Biennial Kislak Lecture
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April 30, 2009
Peter Brown, 2008 Kluge Prize Winner, Discusses Early Christian Monasticism
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[ Webcast ]

May 7, 2009
Lecture: Srividhya Swaminathan, Kluge Fellow on “Defining Enslavement:
Literary depictions of slaveries in early 18th century Britain” at Noon, Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building

This talk examines the mulitple depictions and the many forms of enslavement presented to the British reading public in the early part of the 18th century. Though "slavery" came to refer most commonly to transatlantic African slavery by the end of the century, in the beginning of the century the term had a far broader meaning. Slavery could be spiritual as well as physical and applied as often to European as to African people. By studying three narratives representing various forms of enslavement, I seek to understand the similarities and differences in the rhetoric of these works as precursors to proslavery arguments in the period of abolition.

May 12, 2009
Romila Thapar, 2008 Kluge Prize Winner, Discusses "Perceptions of the Past in Early India"
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May 14, 2009
Lecture: Marcy J. Dinius, Kluge Fellow, on "Frederick Douglass's 'Lecture on Pictures' and Daguerreian Portraiture" at 12:00 in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building

This talk considers Frederick Douglass's 1861 "Lecture on Pictures," one of the few speeches that the great self-educated orator and activist dedicated to a topic other than the problems of slavery and civil rights. Within this manuscript, contained in the Library of Congress's Frederick Douglass Papers, Marcy J. Dinius focuses on Douglass's specific interest in daguerreotypy--the first form of photography, invented in France and introduced to the world in 1839--in relation to his politics. These finely detailed images, printed on mirror-like silver-coated copper plates, made portraiture available to the masses for the first time in history. In these pictures, according to Dinius, Douglass sees the equally unprecedented potential for objectively and accurately representing African-Americans as equal human beings worthy of sympathy and respect.

May 27, 2009
Panel discussion on "Building the Bomb, Fearing Its Use: Nuclear Scientists, Social Responsibility and Arms Control, 1946-1996." The discussion will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building
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May 28, 2009
Lecture: “Indigenous Identity, Artistic Agency, and the Heraldic Imagination in Early Colonial Mexico” with Monica Dominguez Torres, Kluge Fellow, 12:00 in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Heraldry was one of the few spaces in which the indigenous elites of post-Conquest Mexico could express their own worldview and authority claims. As part of their political negotiations with the Spanish Crown, indigenous nobles of the Central Valley of Mexico requested and secured distinctive coats of arms that incorporated Mesoamerican symbols of power and ancestry into European heraldic models. These creations, however, had to conform to prescribed conventions that regulated the level of authority indigenous subjects could claim. Focusing on surviving documents requesting and endorsing indigenous coats of arms, this talk analyzes some of the complex negotiations behind the heraldic production of early colonial Mexico.

June 4, 2009
Lecture: Johanna Bockman, Kluge Fellow, on “Yugoslav Socialism in Latin America: The Left-Wing Origins of Neoliberalism” at 12:00 PM, Room LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building

According to Johanna Bockman, neoliberal policies seek to expand the role of the free market and reduce the role of the state. As a result, analysts of neoliberalism have often assumed that these policies were transported from the United States through such groups as the "Chicago Boys" in Chile. However, socialist Yugoslavia sent experts around the world, spreading its anti-state and often pro-market worker self-management socialism. This talk examines the role of Yugoslav socialism in Chilean and Peruvian neoliberalism.

June 10, 2009
Lecture: Christine Johnson, Kluge Fellow, “What was German about the Holy Roman Empire? National and Imperial History in the Renaissance” at 12:00 in the Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building.

The institutions of the Holy Roman Empire and the idea of Germany as a cultural and geographical entity were both strengthened in the Renaissance through the efforts of Central European political and intellectual elites working to establish their place within a rapidly changing Europe. Establishing the histories of the Empire and Germany was a key part of this effort, yet these histories only occasionally overlapped. This talk examines the push to link imperial and national history, the tensions in that effort, and the effects on imperial and national identity.

June 11, 2009
Lecture: Zachary Schrag, Kluge Fellow, on “Militias and Mobs in Antebellum America” at 12:00 PM, Room LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Throughout American history, city and state officials have called on volunteer militia and National Guard units to suppress riots. But from the Doctor’s Riot of 1788 to the Kent State shootings of 1970, Americans have complained that the use of troops for riot control threatens the rights and safety of citizens. In his lecture, Zachary Schrag will explore the evolution of this debate in early 19th century America. By comparing the Baltimore riots of 1812 with the Philadelphia riots of 1844, he will explain why Americans were dissatisfied both with militias that did too little and those that did too much, and why they struggled to find an alternative.

June 17, 2009
Lecture: Kelly Pemberton, Larson Fellow, “Competing Medical Cultures or Close Collaborators? Islamic Medicine and Biomedicine in South Asia and the Middle East” at 12:00 in Room LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.

In this lecture, Dr. Pemberton, discusses ways in which the relationship between various streams of knowledge and praxis surrounding Islamic tibb (medicine) in contemporary South Asia and the Middle East may be articulated. Drawing upon developments within Islamic Medicine during the last 30 years, she suggests a framework for investigating ongoing collaborations between biomedical practitioners and proponents of tibb, focusing on three manifestations of the latter -- Galeno-Islamic therapies, South Asian Unani medicine, and Traditional Arabic Medicine (TAM) -- as they are currently practiced in India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Egypt. In particular, she suggests how, despite the incorporation of organizational, institutional, and methodological models derived - at least in part - from Western biomedicine, Islamic tibb, understood in its broadest sense as a medical field comprising a network of physicians, curers, herbalists, ruhani tabib (doctors of the spirit), and practitioners of Prophetic medicine, may be seen, at least in part, as a response to medical models that ignore or de-emphasize contemporary religious and ethico-moral issues of importance to Muslim physicians. Looking also at the contemporary revival of Islamic Medicine light of the responses of states, transnational medical networks, and intergovernmental organizations to ongoing medical needs and concerns, Pemberton surmises that it indexes the renewed importance of Islamic models of engagement in civil society.

June 18, 2009
Lecture: "How Do Flowers Kill? - The Japanese Emperor and Modern Dictators," Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, Kluge Chair of Modern Culture, at 4:00 in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.
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June 24, 2009
Lecture: Jacqueline Messing, Kislak Fellow: “Ethnography, Identity and Ethnohistory: Studying narrative in contemporary and colonial Tlaxcala, Mexico” with Jacqueline Messing, Kislak Fellow. 12:00 PM in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Each year, indigenous languages around the world disappear with the death of their last living speaker. Messing believes that it is imperative for the social sciences and humanities to explain how and why people come to abandon their ancestral languages, as well as the role of colonialism, globalization and racism in this process. From a linguistic-anthropological and ethnohistorical perspective, she will discuss identity emergent in narratives from the sixteenth century historical record of indigenous communities in the Nahuatl-speaking state of Tlaxcala, Mexico, a region that was pivotal in the conquest of Mexico.

July 2, 2009
Lecture: Neil Maher, Kluge Fellow. “Ground control: Beyond an environmental history of the space race,” 12:00 PM in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Historians usually depict the space race of the 1960s and 1970s as a pitched technological battle between Cold War political rivals. Yet while U.S. and Soviet spacecraft forced the world to look upward towards the Moon, they also, quite ironically, encouraged citizens across the globe to gaze back down at “spaceship Earth” with a newfound environmental awareness. In this lecture, Neil Maher not only examines this environmental history of the space race, but perhaps more importantly, argues that it influenced many of the social movements of the postwar era, including the fight for civil rights, equality for women, an end to the Vietnam War, and the rise of suburbia and the military industrial complex.

July 6, 2009
Lecture: Dimitry Lyubin, “Artist colonies in Europe and the United States at the turn of the 20th century,” at 12:00 PM in LJ-159, Thomas Jefferson Building.
[ Webcast ]

Dimitry Lyubin, Mellon Fellow, will discuss the phenomena of the artists colony in Europe and the United States at the turn of the 20th century. According to Lyubin, these colonies were located in small towns, far from big cities, and that colony residents concerned themselves mostly with subjects of peasant life and country landscapes.

July 7, 2009
2009-2010 Kluge Fellows selected. Thanks to the efforts of Library of Congress subject specialists and curators and, based on the recommendations of National Endowment of the Humanities panel members, the Librarian of Congress has selected the 2009-2010 class of Kluge Fellows.
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July 8, 2009
Lecture: “Limited War, Unlimited,” Marilyn Young, 4:00 PM in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.
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[ Webcast ]

July 9, 2009
Lecture: Petr Eltsov, The Great Tradition of Ancient South Asia: From Sanskrit Literature to the Archaeology of the Harappan/Indus Civilization (ca. 2600/2500 - 1900/1800 BC)" at 12:00 PM in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.

This lecture focuses on the puzzles of the earliest South Asian civilization - the Harappan/Indus Civilization of the 3rd millennium BC - from the point of view of ancient Indian thought. The main themes discussed in the lecture are: the use of ancient texts in the analysis of archaeological data, the historicity of ancient Indian literature, the sociopolitical identity of the Harappan culture, and ideological implications of the study of the past in modern South Asia.

July 15, 2009
Lecture: Philippa Levine, "Still Invisible: Women, Gender and Decolonization," 4:00 PM in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.
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July 21, 2009
K. Shankar Bajpai Named Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Library of Congress’ John W. Kluge Center.
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August 13, 2009
Lecture: Jason Stahl, Jameson Fellow, on “Conservatives in a marketplace of ideas: Think tanks, interests, and expertise in the 1970s” at 12:00 PM, Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building.

In the 1970s, the funding and intellectual work of conservative think tanks saw massive increases over the previous decade. Through a case study of the American Enterprise Institute, Jason Stahl will examine the interrelationship of these increases with changing conceptions of public policy expertise -- namely, a move from a liberal technocratic ideal to a conservative "marketplace of ideas." Stahl will show how this shift created a new dominant discourse of public policy expertise which still thrives today and has greatly aided in the postwar conservative resurgence.

August 14, 2009
Kislak Fellowship recipients named at Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress announces Luisa Elena Alcala and Jennifer Loughmiller-Newman as Short-Term Kislak Fellows at the Library's John W. Kluge Center, where they will research cultures and history of the Americas. Loughmiller-Newman will study Mayan ceramics and the chemical and physical analysis of residues and decomposition. Alcala will research a project titled "Art Taming the Landscape: Creating a Sense of Place in Colonial Spanish-American Images."
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August 20, 2009
Lecture: Karen Leal, Kluge Fellow, on “Between European and Ottoman: Hellenic Grand Dragomans, Roman Subjects, and Classical Ruins at the turn of the 18th Century” at 12:00 PM, Pickford Theater, James Madison Building

By the nineteenth century, philhellenic Europeans had appropriated the classical Greek world as their distinct cultural patrimony. However, sources composed in the late 1600s and early 1700s by Ottoman dignitaries, Greek Orthodox intellectuals, and French and English travelers reveal a more fluid period when the Greco-Roman tradition exerted an influence on the perceptions all these (sometimes overlapping) groups had of themselves and one another. Greek, Ottoman, French, and English literary texts, archival records, and visual sources thus reveal the cross-cultural currents and ties connecting members of the Ottoman intelligentsia with their counterparts in Paris and London in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

September 17, 2009
Lecture: Yang, Junchang, Kluge Fellow on “Pre-Qin gold and its application in ancient China” at 12:00 in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Pre-Qin refers to the special historical period before the Qin dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC) in Chinese history. The earliest known gold artifacts found in China include earrings, nose rings and the like, dating to the late of Xia Dynasty (circa 2070-1600 BCE), discovered at Huoshaogou, near Yumen in Gansu province - an area of contact between Yellow River or Asian heartland agriculturalists and ancient nomadic peoples. And from that time on, the gold had been found to be used at different places of each dynasty, most of them being unearthed from tombs. In this lecture based on archaeological findings, Junchang Yang introduces the use of gold and the development of the making of gold artifacts during the pre-Qin period, including the type and the scope of gold being utilized at different dynasties of pre-Qin period. The composition of gold material and manufacturing methods will also be discussed.

September 22, 2009
C. Raja Mohan Named the Henry Alfred Kissinger Scholar in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has appointed C. Raja Mohan, professor of South Asian studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, as the Henry Alfred Kissinger Scholar in Foreign Policy and International Relations in the John W. Kluge Center.
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September 29, 2009
Former Chilean Ambassador Genaro Arriagada Named Distinguished Visiting Scholar at John W. Kluge Center.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has named Genaro Arriagada, former ambassador of Chile to the United States, as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library’s John W. Kluge Center. At the Library, Arriagada will be writing about the political dimensions of energy security in Latin America, with a focus on the oil and gas situation in Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia.
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October 1, 2009
Lecture: Linda Stiber Morenus, Kluge Staff Fellow on “Chiaroscuro woodcut printing in 16th - 17th century Italy: Technique in relation to artistic style” at 4:00 PM in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Chiaroscuro woodcut prints (named from the Italian term for contrasting light and dark tones) emulate pen, wash, metal point, and chalk drawings of the period. They aimed at a similar graphic statement through layers of colored inks. An appreciation for the characteristics of these colored printing inks, and how the Italian chiaroscuro woodcut process was manipulated, are keys to our historical and aesthetic interpretation of these works.

In her illustrated talk, Morenus will present research that contributes to the establishment of a signature of style, materials, and methods for the Italian printmakers in the study. Her approach relies on information gained through the examination of Italian chiaroscuro woodcuts with a light microscope, experimentation with making model chiaroscuro prints and colored inks, and the comparison of these re-creations to historic prints - an entirely novel approach within the field of paper conservation and print scholarship.

October 20, 2009
Symposium: "Public Art and Illustrations: The Cartoons and Art of Ding Cong," at 9:00 AM in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building. This symposium will celebrate the life and work of China’s famous cartoonist and artist, Ding Cong, who provided daring social commentary on Chinese society during China’s turbulent 20th century.

This event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center. No reservations or tickets are needed.
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October 22, 2009
Lecture: “The Tale of Joseph and Zulahkha and Tatar National Identity on the Volga Frontier,” Agnes Kefeli, Kluge Fellow, at 12:00 in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.

The ancient tale of Joseph, son of Jacob, was a "best seller" on the Silk Road from Russia to China. Before the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, Tatars, a Turkic-speaking people living in the Middle Volga, used it to propagate Islam and address the internal communal fractures caused by Russian colonization. Today, proponents of national Islamic identity call for the re-appropriation of such tales to restore boundaries between Tatars and Russians.

This event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed.

October 29, 2009
Book talk: “Kennedy and the Berlin Wall: ‘A hell of a lot better than a war’” with author, W. R. Smyser, 4:00 PM in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.

The lecture, sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center and the German Historical Institute of Washington, D.C., marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The book talk is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.
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November 18, 2009
Lecture: “The Black Mesa Syndrome: Indian Lands, Black Gold,” Judith Nies, Black Mountain Fellow, at 12:00 in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building.

In this era of transnational corporations, the methods of separating indigenous peoples from their lands are many, and often quite legal - at least to those making the laws. When Native lands hold important energy resources, like coal, the human rights and environmental impacts take place far from mainstream media. Forty years ago the National Academy of Sciences declared that Black Mesa, Arizona might have to be a National Sacrifice Area. In an era of global warming and climate change, key questions remain: Whose sacrifice and for what reasons?

This event is free and open to the public; no tickets are needed.

November 19, 2009
Lecture: “Lying, Stealing, and Other Theatrical Crimes: Molnar’s The Devil and the Transnational Trade in Theatrical Commodities, c. 1907-8,” Marlis Schweitzer, Kluge Fellow, at 12:00 in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Between the 1890s and 1910s, American theatre impresarios traveled annually to Europe in a bid to bring the brightest talent, the latest novelties, and the hottest-and therefore most profitable-theatrical properties to North America. While most managers spent the majority of their time in London, many also visited Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Leipzig, Budapest, Rome, and Milan, determined to see the best the world had to offer before their American rivals. Indeed, the competition to secure North American rights for foreign theatrical commodities was incredibly intense, fueled by an ongoing feud between the Theatrical Syndicate, an organization of six theatre managers who controlled hundreds of theatres and booking agencies across the United States, and independent theatre owner/ managers who refused to allow the Syndicate to monopolize theatrical production. Within such a competitive environment, theatre impresarios had to move swiftly to sign contracts or face the prospect of empty theatres at home.

This lecture will draw on material found in the Library of Congress's Minnie Maddern Fiske Collection to offer a case study of the events surrounding the acquisition, translation, and production of Ferenc Molnar’s play “The Devi”l (Az Ordog) by two rival American theatre managers, Henry W. Savage and Harrison Grey Fiske. In the aftermath of a dismal theatre season following the Panic of 1907, both managers claimed that they had the authorized version of the Hungarian play and the moral right to stage it. And in many respects, both were right. By tracing the competing networks of agents, managers, and translators who participated in the transformation and circulation of “The Devi”l as it moved from Budapest to Berlin to New York, I will highlight the complicated personal and business networks that were an integral part of the emerging transnational trade in theatrical commodities.

This event is free and open to the public. No tickets are needed.

November 19 , 2009
Presentation: Celebration of 400th Anniversary of “Royal Commentaries” by El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. This work, considered by historians to be the earliest and most important literary work of the Americas, was published in 1609. The Library of Congress and the Embassy of Peru will celebrate its 400th anniversary with a presentation by scholars at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building.

This presentation is sponsored by both the John W. Kluge Center and the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, along with the Embassy of Peru. The event is free and open to the public; tickets and reservations are not needed.
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November 19 , 2009
The American Folklife Center Announces the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies at the John W. Kluge Center.

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress invites qualified scholars to apply for a post-doctoral fellowship for advanced research based on the Alan Lomax Collection. The Lomax Collection is a major collection of ethnographic field audio recordings, motion pictures, photographs, manuscripts, correspondence and other materials that represent Lomax’s lifetime of work to document and analyze traditional music, dance, storytelling and other expressive genres that arise from cultural groups in many parts of the world. Lomax (1915-2002) was one of the greatest documenters of traditional culture during the 20th century.

The Alan Lomax Fellows Program, established for a period of five years, supports scholarly research that contributes significantly to a greater understanding of the work of Lomax and the cultural traditions he documented over the course of a vigorous and highly productive 70-year career. It provides an opportunity, for a period of up to eight months, for concentrated use of materials from the Lomax Collection and other collections at the Library of Congress, through full-time residency at the Library.
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December 3, 2009
Lisa Noetzel, Kluge Fellow, “Francisco Pareja: Missionary and Linguist in Spanish Colonial Florida” on Thursday, December 3, 2009, 12:00 PM, Thomas Jefferson Building, Room LJ-119. This event is free and open to the public; no reservations or tickets are needed.

Timucuan is a dead language. Spoken by an indigenous tribe that lived in northeast - north central Floridal during the time of Spanish colonization, it was learned and recorded by Friar Francisco Pareja, a missionary and self-taught linguist. Thanks to his efforts, Timucua is now considered the best attested language from a native tribe in Spanish Colonial Florida.

December 10 , 2009
Lecture: David Christian and John R. McNeill, "The Anthropocene: Are We There Yet?" Christian and McNeill will discuss how rapidly increasing human impact on the biosphere is changing the way scholars and experts view human history at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10 in the Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress.

This event, sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, is free and open to the public. No reservations are needed.
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December 16, 2009
Fayth Parks, Larson Fellow in Health and Spirituality, “Legacy of healing: Resilience and Positive Thought in African American Folk Beliefs, Spirituality, and Emotional Healing Practices: Implications for Physical, Mental, and Social Health" on Wednesday, December 16 at 12:00 PM in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building. This event is free and open to the public; no reservations or tickets are needed.

Every community has its own unique set of medical practices and methods for improving the quality of life. Forms of resilience are embedded in folk beliefs and healing practices of African American people. The cultural history of Geechee/Gullah Sea Islands and coastal communities provides us with a window into psychosocial factors that shape folk beliefs and healing practices today.

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