Courses and the curriculum as a whole are at the heart of the Aydelotte Foundation’s mission.
AF workshops aim to develop skills and techniques and to enrich our capacity for collaborative inquiry.
We are exploring the creation of a consultancy practice that will draw upon the institutional knowledge and insight of experienced faculty across academia.
We are investigating and assembling work on underrepresented histories of how Black people, institutions, and ideas have existed outside of, pushed against, or reshaped from within the ideas and institutions of the liberal arts.
The Aydelotte Foundation was charged at its creation with encouraging faculty and administrators to enter more vigorously and creatively into public conversations about liberal arts education and its future.
Read updates on our research interests, including open questions and difficult problems that we are grappling with.
In conjunction with the Black Cultural Center, the Program in Black Studies, the Department of Educational Studies, the Department of English Literature, the Department of History, and the President’s Fund for Racial Justice, the Aydelotte Foundation is pleased to invite you to a conversation with Imani Perry (Princeton University) and Jarvis Givens (Harvard University) on their collaborative project, The Black Teacher Archives. The conversation will be moderated by two members of the Aydelotte Foundation’s advisory board, Chris Dowdy (Paul Quinn College) and Laura Heffernan (University of North Florida). Register now at https://swarthmore.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_68R-s2KdRo6zzzQcwcz5eA.
This event is part of the Aydelotte Foundation’s project on “Race, Racism, and the Liberal Arts.” This project assembles work on underrepresented histories of how Black people, institutions, and ideas have existed outside of, pushed against, or reshaped from within the ideas and institutions of the liberal arts. It also investigates and recounts curricular, epistemological, and institutional genealogies that challenge how or whether the term liberal arts has silenced histories and ways of knowing developed by Black people, indigenous people, and people of color.
Please visit the Aydelotte Foundation’s website for updates on this research initiative, including additional events and publications.
Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and a faculty associate with the Programs in Law and Public Affairs, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Jazz Studies. She is the author of 6 books, including Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, which received the Pen Bograd-Weld Award for Biography, The Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award for outstanding work in literary scholarship, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction and the Shilts-Grahn Award for nonfiction from the Publishing Triangle. Her book May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem, winner of the 2019 American Studies Association John Hope Franklin Book Award for the best book in American Studies, the Hurston Wright Award for Nonfiction, and finalist for an NAACP Image Award in Nonfiction. Her most recent book is: Breathe: A Letter to My Sons (Beacon Press, 2019) which was a finalist for the 2020 Chautauqua Prize and a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Excellence in Nonfiction. Her writing and scholarship primarily focuses on the history of Black thought, art, and imagination crafted in response to, and resistance against, the social, political and legal realities of domination in the West. She seeks to understand the processes of retrenchment after moments of social progress, and how freedom dreams are nevertheless sustained.
Jarvis R. Givens is an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the Suzanne Young Murray Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute, having earned his Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. As an interdisciplinary historian, Givens' research falls at the intersection of the history of American education, 19th and 20th century African American history, and critical theories of race and schooling. Givens' first book, Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching (Harvard University Press), analyzes Carter G. Woodson's (1875-1950) critiques of the American school, the new curricular materials he developed, and how ordinary teachers put his ideas into practice during Jim Crow. He is also co-editing We Dare Say Love: Supporting Achievement in the Educational Life of Black Boys (forthcoming, Columbia University’s Teachers College Press) with Na'ilah Nasir and Chris Chatmon. Givens has published in journals such as: Race Ethnicity and Education, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, Harvard Educational Review, and more. He is a life member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and a contributor to Black Perspectives (blog of the African American Intellectual History Society).
Chris Dowdy serves as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas — America’s first Urban Work College and the oldest Historically Black College west of the Mississippi River. As chief academic officer, he facilitates the implementation of the Reality-Based Education model and the integration of the Work College program into the curriculum. He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University in 2013 and began his work at PQC as Special Assistant to the President in August of 2014. His research focus is on redress for historical injustice, and he is the author of articles on lynching memory and mercy, as well as projects in the digital humanities.
Laura Heffernan works on nineteenth and twentieth century literature and culture, with a particular focus on histories of reading and histories of literary criticism. She is author, with Rachel Sagner Buurma (Swarthmore College), of a new disciplinary history of English that focuses on the archival record of what major literary critics taught in their classes throughout the twentieth century, titled The Teaching Archive: A New History For Literary Study (University of Chicago Press, 2021). Portions of and outtakes from the book the have appeared in New Literary History, PMLA, the Modernism/Modernity "Discipline" column, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and ACLS News. Dr. Heffernan received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and taught at Tulane University and Brown University before joining the faculty at UNF. Dr. Heffernan helped develop the new Digital Humanities minor at UNF and, in 2019-21, she is serving as Director of UNF's Digital Humanities Institute.