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26th annual MLK Memorial Public Affairs Lecture to feature University of Virginia scholar

February 02, 2009

Judy Holmes
(315) 443-2201

Judy Holmes

Syracuse University's 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Public Affairs Lecture will feature Deborah McDowell, director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. McDowell will present "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Martin Luther King in His Time and Ours" Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium. The lecture- sponsored by the Department of African American Studies in The College of Arts and Sciences-is free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU pay lots.

McDowellAdditionally, AAS will host an "Open Dialogue with Deborah McDowell" Thursday, Feb. 12, at 11 a.m. in Room 219 of Sims Hall. The session is free and open to the public.

McDowell, the Alice Griffin Professor of Literary Studies at the University of Virginia, is a well-known writer, scholar and editor of African American literature for both academic and general audiences. Her books include "The Changing Same: Studies in Fiction by African-American Women" (Indiana University Press, 1995), "Leaving Pipe Shop: Memories of Kin" (Scribner, 1997) and, as editor, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" (Oxford University Press, 2000). She has also published numerous articles, book chapters and scholarly editions.

McDowell is founder of the African-American Women Writers Series for Beacon Press and served as its editor from 1985-93, overseeing the republication of 14 novels from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She also serves as a period editor for the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature, was contributing editor to the D.C. Heath Anthology of American literature and was co-editor, with Arnold Rampersad, of "Slavery and the Literary Imagination" (1988).

McDowell is the recipient of various grants, including the Mary Ingraham Bunting Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute, the National Research Council Fellowship of the Ford Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center Fellowship. McDowell is co-chair with David Blight of a scholarly group sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University. She was recently elected to the executive committee of the Prose Fiction division of the Modern Language Association.

McDowell received a B.A. degree from Tuskegee University and master's and doctoral degrees from Purdue University.

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